USCIS Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program

USCIS Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program

If you are applying to become an EB-5 regional center, you will use United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program.

On this page, you will find information about EB-5 regional centers, what Form I-924 is, how to apply for regional center services, and how to renew your regional center status once achieved.

What Is USCIS Form I-924?

Form I-924 is the form that public or private entities in the United States use to apply to become a USCIS-designated regional center. To qualify for an EB-5 immigrant visa, you need to stimulate economic growth in the United States in ways that may include:

  • Increasing export sales
  • Boosting the regional economy and job development
  • Creating jobs in the U.S. economy
  • Increasing the country’s capital investment

USCIS Form I-924 is essentially a designating petition. You are asking USCIS to designate your “economic unit” as a regional center.

Form I-924 is also used as a request to make an amendment to your already designated economic unit. If any of the following has changed, you will file a Form I-924:

  • The regional center undergoes a name change
  • There is an ownership transfer
  • The organizational structure of the USCIS-designated regional center is altered
  • Oversight and reporting responsibility units have an administration change
  • The regional center has removed or added principals after an institutional change (such as a change of administration or ownership)
  • The geographic location of the regional center has changed

There are also reasons that you may consider filing an amendment. Speak with your immigration attorney today about whether your USCIS-designated regional center needs to file an additional Form I-924 or if you instead need to apply for an annual Form I-924A. More information about Form I-924 is available later on this page.

EB-5 Regional Centers: What Does Designation Mean on a Form?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was introduced to the United States in 1990 and remains a method for stimulating economic growth and creating jobs. An EB-5 USCIS-designated regional center is determined by USCIS after a business applies using Form I-924.

An EB-5 USCIS-designated regional center can be a private or public entity. As part of a USCIS-designated establishment, EB-5 investors are able to create jobs—one of the main prerogatives of being an EB-5 center.

One of the requirements for becoming an EB-5 USCIS-designated regional center is that each EB-5 investor must provide 10 full-time jobs.

How to Apply for Regional Center Services With Form I-924

The application process for Form I-924 is a lengthy one that can involve multiple parties, including:

  • Your immigration attorney
  • Business plan drafters
  • Your accountant(s)
  • Other business professionals who help form your EB-5 plan

Remember, an EB-5 business is expected to stimulate the U.S. economy. USCIS may ask you to provide additional information and evidence after you have initially submitted your application. Filing the form is an important part of contributing to the growth of jobs and the economy.

The form itself is a 10-part document that must be submitted to USCIS. Be sure that the whole form is filled out correctly. Legal assistance is advised, as this process must be done correctly if it is to be successful.

Form I-924: Geographic Move

To apply for Form I-924 based on a geographical change, you must also submit a USCIS-approved Form I-924 amendment before filing Form I-526 to petition for an immigrant investor visa.

If you are in this position, reach out today to the experienced lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. We can walk you through the steps of the immigrant investor program for EB-5 employment-based immigration and file your Form I-526.

Form I-924 Processing Time

Processing times for Form I-924 vary greatly. You can check your application status using the USCIS case status tool. Processing times vary anywhere from four months to almost 10 years.

I-924 Form Fee

The USCIS Form I-924 fee is $17,795.

Documentation Needed for USCIS Form I-924

You are required to prove that you are eligible to become an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center. In order to do so, you must submit evidence about your EB-5 project. The evidence you submit will depend on what your specific project entails.

Because the EB-5 process and filing Form I-924 is individualized for your business, working with an immigration attorney who has experience with EB-5 businesses is extremely beneficial.

It is of the utmost importance that you provide USCIS with your business’s geographic range. Include a map of where your regional center will be located, as its purpose is to provide growth in a particular area.

You must also have a proposed plan for your regional center in the form of a project. The projects are business models that will look different in each industry. There are multiple industries that can attain EB-5 designated regional center status; having a business model to support your evidence is necessary.

You can ensure that your regional center meets all EB-5 requirements by providing information like:

  • EB-5 investor agreements (can be drafts)
  • Investor offers
  • Escrow agreements
  • Additional agreements related to affiliation with the regional center
  • Contracts and other applicable documentation with other organizations showing their current and/or future involvement with the regional center

You should submit the following documents along with your Form I-924 to show the eligibility of your regional center:

  • A business plan showing that at least 10 full-time jobs will be provided by your EB-5 investor(s); 10 for each
  • Any marketing and promotional activities, past or ongoing
  • Budget sheets
  • Economic reports
  • LP or LLC agreements
  • Evidence to support all EB-5 investment funds are from legal sources

Any document that supports your business as EB-5 eligible should be included as additional documentation to submit with your Form I-924. Speak with your immigration attorney for a thorough explanation and review of documents that will best support your EB-5 project.

What Is Form I-924A?

Form I-924A is called the Annual Certification of Regional Center. If you remain eligible as a regional center, you must submit this annual form together with additional evidence to continue your status as a regional center.

Form I-924A Instructions

According to USCIS, in a given year, if you are designated for the program on or before September 30, an I-924A form must be submitted as of December 29. If you have a designated letter dated on or after October 1, then your Form I-194A needs to be submitted on December 29 of the next year.

USCIS provides Form I-924A detailed instructions for applying for Form I-924A. Your form must be signed and filed correctly, and the correct filing fee amount paid. The signatures do not need to be original, but they must be a copy of the original, handwritten signatures on the form. You may also be required to take a biometrics exam as part of your application process.

Be sure to either type or use black ink when filling out your form. You may need additional space, which is the purpose of the “additional information” section.

Be honest and transparent on your form. This is of the utmost importance, particularly with the additional evidence you submit with your application.

  • Finally, if a section does not apply to your business, write N/A instead of leaving a section blank. And i
  • f the non-applicable information you need to provide is numerical—unless the form states otherwise—write “none”

Who Can File Form I-924A?

If you are an already established USCIS-designated regional center, you will file Form I-924A to remain a designated regional center.

Filing Fee for Form I-924A

To submit Form I-924A, you must pay a filing fee of $3,035.

Notice of Intent to Terminate

If you do not file Form I-924A to renew your regional center status, then USCIS will send you a Notice of Intent to Terminate (NOIT). Another reason a business may receive an NOIT is if the business is no longer promoting economic growth. If you receive an NOIT, you have 30 days to respond with evidence that you should not be terminated.

If your application is pending, you do not need to file Form I-924A.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

If you have any questions about Form I-924, Form I-924A, or would simply like to ask “What does designation mean on a form?” the knowledgeable attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. are here to help. We have over 30 years of immigration law experience and are well-versed in the process of applying to become an EB-5 economic unit. You may be just beginning your journey towards becoming an EB-5 designated regional center. Or maybe you want more information about hiring an individual on an EB-2 immigration visa for your business.

If you are in those situations or anywhere in between, our experienced immigration attorneys are just a phone call away. Contact us today at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!

We're looking forward to hearing from you!