EB-5 Program – Updated Statistics and Information

Arnstein & Lehr Attorney Ronald Fieldstone

Ronald R. Fieldstone

USCIS recently published a statistics report on the impact of the EB-5 Program for the fiscal years 2012 and 2013 (downloadable on the Economics and Statistics Administration’s website by clicking here). Furthermore, IIUSA has published statistics on various performance factors concerning the EB-5 Program. Both are summarized below, since the results are quite interesting.

USCIS Report

  1. The national estimates are that more than 11,000 immigrant investors provided $5.8 billion dollars in capital, roughly 35% of the total investment in the applicable projects ($16.7 billion dollars). Projects operated through Regional Centers generated an estimated 170,000 jobs based upon the total investment. The balance of the project costs came from non-EB-5 sources. The aforementioned USCIS statistics report includes a chart (on page 15 of the full report PDF) showing total investment and job creation from active EB-5 projects for the fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
  2. For number of jobs created, the states, in order of priority, were California, New York, Florida, the District of Columbia and Maryland. California accounted for the 30% of the jobs. 

IIUSA Report

IIUSA also issued comprehensive data reports of the Program updated through the 4th Quarter of 2016. The reports show charts with the statistical results related to I-526 receipts, I-526 approvals and denials, and the number of pending petitions, as well as I-829 Petitions. It is noteworthy that the number of I-526 receipts in the 4th Quarter was down, the number of approvals was up, and the number of denials was down. For informational purposes, the USCIS I-526 summary for fiscal years 2008-2016 can be viewed on the USCIS government website by clicking here. With respect to I-829 Petitions, it is also notable that the backlog keeps increasing so that there are more petitions pending as a result. Therefore the number of receipts has increased dramatically and the number of approvals has decreased significantly.

NES Innovation Summit – Miami, FL

As a separate matter, I attended the NES Financial Annual Innovation Summit held in three different cities – Los Angeles, Miami and New York. León Rodriguez, the former director of USCIS, was the featured speaker. Some of his takeaways included the following:

  1. The key states were Florida, California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, with Ohio being a relevant state as well.
  2. He saw the focus more at the local level and the energy level of trying to attract foreign investment and create jobs for the local areas. The EB-5 Regional Center Program supports this movement. The capital expenditures in particular location not only create jobs, but increase the tax base and economic productivity and stimulate further development in certain sectors.
  3. He indicated that the government can be strategic in stimulating development. Local and state governments are providing incentives, including favorable zoning, tax breaks, etc., in order to stimulate jobs and enhance development. The EB-5 Program fits into the same format of targeting high employment areas, either directly or through the creation of jobs for employees, which may be located at a reasonable commute distance to the applicable project. Mr. Rodriguez noted that not only is there stimulation in job creation, but also stimulation in the overall economy.
  4. He indicated that it was very important to get the message out to the public that the program helps local governments stimulate development and create jobs and that there are other important effects in these developments, since it stimulates additional commerce in the applicable area.

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