U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to issue rules to make changes to the EB-5 immigrant classification and to employment verification, according to the agency's semiannual regulatory agenda released April 26.
USCIS is expected to release a notice of proposed rulemaking in July proposing amendments to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations to implement changes made by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization of 2001. The legislation made various changes to the EB-5 alien immigrant classification.
The EB-5 program allots 10,000 visas per year for aliens and family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
Applicants must invest between $500,000 and $1 million in “designated regional centers, areas of high unemployment or other qualifying rural areas.”
After five years, the investor and his or her family may obtain U.S. citizenship, subject to meeting all immigration requirements, as required under law.
USCIS is expected to release a notice of proposed rulemaking in February 2011 proposing amendments to regulations governing the types of acceptable identity and employment authorization documents and receipts that employees may present to their employers for completion of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
The rule is expected to propose removal of several documents from the list of documents acceptable for proof of identity.
USCIS said the effect of the proposed changes would be to improve the integrity of the employment eligibility verification process by simplifying the list of acceptable documents for ease of use by employers, ensuring that the list contains secure and fraud-resistant documents and adding safeguards to the verification process.
Also, final action on an interim rule is expected in September that would correct an error in a 2009 final rule governing the types of acceptable identity and employment authorization documents and receipts for completion of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The error allowed employers to accept expired documents in certain situations.
Under the interim rule published on April 3, employers could no longer accept expired documents. The interim rule also added a new document to the list of acceptable documents that evidence both identity and employment authorization and made several technical corrections and updates.
Frankly, anytime USCIS announces new rules or "guidance" in the form of memos, everyone in the EB-5 stakeholder community thinks, "What are they going to do do us now?"