USCIS began implementing the first phase in a series of proposed enhancements to the EB-5 program (Immigrant Investor Program), by announcing that Form I-924 (Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program) applicants will now be able to communicate directly with USCIS adjudicators through e-mail, to resolve issues and questions that arise during the adjudication process.
USCIS has announced that the direct email communication process is only available to entities that have a pending Form I-924 application and it is not available to regional center promoters who have pending regional center applications that were filed prior to the implementation of Form I-924 on Nov. 23, 2010.
Under the new direct email communication process of USCIS:
- Form I-924 applicants may email USCIS questions regarding pending applications, including questions related to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) issued by USCIS;
- USCIS may email Form I-924 applicants to informally ask for clarification on certain issues to facilitate review, understanding and adjudication of the application;
- USCIS may send a courtesy copy of an RFE or NOID to the email address listed on the I-924 and, if applicable, to the email address listed on the Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, associated with the application.
USCIS has also issued a Q&A on Direct Email Communication with EB-5 Regional Center Applicants, a few relevant extracts from which are as below:
How will the direct email communication process work?
- Form I-924 applicants with pending applications will be sent an email with a unique identifier and a specific email address to use when corresponding with USCIS. Once assigned an email address, applicants may use this contact information to send and respond to emails to discuss—either informally or through the RFE or NOID process—issues raised in their regional center applications. An applicant will receive an email with instructions shortly after his or her Form I-924 application is accepted by USCIS for filing.
Will USCIS use email to issue RFEs and NOIDs, and can Form I-924 applicants use email to provide evidence in response to such notices?
- If an RFE or a NOID is issued in regard to a Form I-924 application, USCIS will follow standard procedures and will mail a hard copy of the RFE or NOID to the address listed on the Form I-924 or, if applicable, to the attorney or accredited representative listed on a valid Form G-28.
USCIS may email a courtesy copy of an RFE or NOID to Form I-924 applicants and, if applicable, to attorneys or representatives of record listed on the Form G-28 associated with the application. However, applicants may not formally respond to an RFE or a NOID via email. USCIS cannot accept an applicant’s formal response to a RFE or NOID via email. Once an applicant is ready to submit the formal response to an RFE or NOID to USCIS, he or she should follow the response submission instructions provided on the RFE or NOID.
Can the direct email communication process be used to discuss issues regarding individual Form I-526 and Form I-829 petitions or other EB-5 issues not directly related to a pending Form I-924 application?
- No. The direct email communication process is solely for discussing issues regarding pending I-924 applications. It is not a forum for general policy and legal questions about adjudicative procedures or decisions, or for questions relating to Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur; Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions; or Form I-290B, Appeals or Motions. USCIS will not respond to emails received concerning issues unrelated to a currently pending I-924 application.
What if an applicant has questions about his or her Form I-924 after it has been adjudicated?
Applicants may contact USCIS with other questions regarding the EB-5 Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.