USCIS Rescinds Guidance on Tenant Occupancy
On May 15th, 2018 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded its prior guidance on tenant occupancy, with an immediate effective date. EB-5 investors moving forward, will not be credited with jobs of tenants of the job-creating enterprise. USCIS has found that "The construction of standard office or retail space" creates a tenuous nexus between the injection of EB-5 capital and the future jobs within the space. USCIS is striving to create a system which fosters reasonable methodologies for verifiable jobs, perhaps in response to recent congressional criticisms. USCIS will however continue to grant deference to existing projects with Form I-526, I-924, and I-829 petitions.
While this announcement surprised many, FirstPathway Partners has long refrained from the inclusion of risky jobs such as those resulting from tenants of its projects. According to FirstPathway Partners' Senior Vice President Jennifer Sherer, “The BMO Harris Bank Financial Tower economic impact methodology does not rely on Tenant Occupancy for job creation.” In addition, the project has a sizable construction job surplus and has filed both I-924 and I-526 prior to the effective date of the new policy.
The BMO Harris Bank Financial Tower broke ground late last year and has since made incredible progress. It has already begun creating hundreds of jobs through the construction process and continues to receive praise from the community.