Your Guide to Completing I-956 Form

Your Guide to Completing I-956 Form

Are you considering applying for Regional Center designation for your EB-5 investment project? If so, it’s essential to understand the I-956 application process and the requirements for approval. 

The I-956 Form, the Application for Regional Center Designation, is the crucial document determining whether your investment project qualifies as a Regional Center under the EB-5 visa program. 

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of what the I-956 is, who needs to file it, and the benefits of being a designated Regional Center. We will also walk you through the eligibility requirements, application process, and tips for success.

What Is A Regional Center?

A regional center is designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to promote economic growth in a specific geographic area. Regional centers are private, for-profit entities seeking to attract foreign investment through the EB-5 program. Regional centers are located throughout the United States.

One of the key benefits of investing through a regional center is that it allows EB-5 investors to pool their funds with other investors, which can help to mitigate the risks associated with individual investments. Regional centers typically use the pooled funds to finance various projects to create jobs and spur economic growth in the designated area.

To become a designated regional center, you must apply through the USCIS with Form I-956, a 12-page application form. Once a regional center is approved, it can offer investment opportunities to EB-5 investors seeking permanent residency in the United States.

Understanding Form I-956

Form I-956 is used to request authorization to act as an agent for an EB-5 investor in the United States. An agent acts on the investor’s behalf and has the authority to make decisions and take actions related to the EB-5 investment.

Filing Fee

The cost of filing Form I-956 is $17,795.

Other Associated Costs

To participate in the regional center program, every individual associated with the center must fill out and submit Form I-956H, which verifies the legitimacy of the persons involved. A biometric services fee of $85 per person must be paid.

Here are some tips for completing Form I-956 accurately and efficiently:

  1. Read the instructions carefully to ensure you understand the requirements before filling out the form.
  2. Ensure that all the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date. Errors or omissions can cause delays or lead to the rejection of the application.
  3. Make sure that all supporting documentation is included with the application.
  4. Keep a copy of the completed form and all supporting documents for your records.
  5. Apply as soon as possible to avoid delays in the EB-5 investment process.
  6. Consider seeking the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney or agent to help you complete the form and ensure that all requirements are met.

What Does The Processing For Form I-956 Look Like?

The processing of Form I-956 is a lengthy one. The time required for the processing of this form is currently unknown and typically involves the following stages:

  • Submission: The agent completes and signs Form I-956, attaches all required supporting documents, and submits the application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) electronically or by mail.
  • Receipt: The USCIS sends a receipt notice to the agent indicating that the application has been received and is being processed.
  • Review: USCIS reviews the application to ensure all required information and documents are provided.
  • Request for additional information: If USCIS determines that additional information or documentation is needed to process the application, it will send the agent a request for evidence (RFE).
  • Approval: Once the USCIS determines that the application is complete and meets all requirements, it will issue an approval notice. This notes authorizes the agent to act on behalf of the investor in connection with their EB-5 investment.
  • Denial: If the USCIS determines that the application does not meet the requirements, it will issue a denial notice explaining the reasons for the denial. The agent may be able to file an appeal or a motion to reopen or reconsider the decision.

The processing times for Form I-956 can vary depending on factors such as the workload of the USCIS and the complexity of the application. It’s recommended that applicants submit their applications as early as possible to avoid any delays.

Who Is Eligible To File I-956?

Individuals or entities that wish to act as an agent for an EB-5 investor are eligible to file this form.

Requirements for Regional Centers:

To be designated as a regional center by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an organization must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a legal entity such as a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other similar organization.
  • It must be located within the United States.
  • It must submit a detailed business plan demonstrating how it will promote economic growth in the region where it is located.
  • It must show that it has a management team with experience promoting economic growth and creating jobs.
  • It must demonstrate that it can attract and manage EB-5 investments.

Overview of the investment requirements for EB-5 visas:

To be eligible for an EB-5 visa, an individual must make a qualifying investment in a new commercial enterprise. 

The investment must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be at least $1.8 million, or $900,000 if it is made in a targeted employment area (TEA).
  • The investment must create or preserve at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. citizen workers.
  • The investment must be made in a new commercial enterprise, defined as a for-profit entity established after November 29, 1990, or a for-profit entity established before that date but has been restructured or reorganized so that a new commercial enterprise results.

Types of projects that qualify for regional center designation:

Regional centers can focus on various project types, including real estate development, infrastructure projects, and energy projects. The USCIS evaluates each regional center’s business plan to ensure that it promotes economic growth and job creation in the designated geographic area. As long as the project meets the requirements of the EB-5 program, it can qualify for regional center designation.

Our Team Can Help You Navigate The EB-5 Process

At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., we have expertise in filing forms like I-956, which can be difficult and have extended processing times. Our experienced immigration attorneys are dedicated to helping you navigate this process, giving you your best chance at efficient approval.

We can help you submit the required paperwork, answer any questions about the process, and help you be on your way to establishing a regional center in the United States. Contact us today to get started.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!