Comment: Second Grace Period for RCs

In our commentary USCIS Cannot Issue RC Regs we stated that USCIS is unlikely to issue any regulation until Congress reauthorizes the RC program. This means there will be a SECOND “Grace Period” for Regional Centers, somewhat similar to the Grace Period that existed from July 2019 through November 2019. This will be for ALL RCs, with the liberal TEA definition that existed prior to November 2019. Just like in 2019, this SECOND Grace Period will be dominated by urban RCs. However, there are important differences in the SECOND Grace Period, as below:

  • Firstly, we expect the Second Grace Period to be only 60 days instead of 120 days in 2019--given the APA, there is no reason for USCIS to give the industry more than 60 days 
  • International travel in 2021 will be sharply limited by covid - this will limit the proportion of incoming EB5 investments originating from overseas. We expect that the number of person-days spent overseas by EB5 projects will be down 90% over 2019
  • Covid surges are unpredictable across countries, and almost any country could reasonably be hit by covid surges - in particular, vaccination rates in Far Eastern countries such as Taiwan and Korea are still much lower than USA, and these countries could get hit with covid surges, which would affect EB5 investment
  • The action will be in the H1B Indian market based in the USA where travel is already back to normal. During this Second Grace Period, we expect 50% of wires to come from H1B Indians in the US (these accounted for 15% of investments in the 2019 grace period) 

Our best guess is that this Second Grace Period will be in the last quarter of 2021, and since it will be a short 60-day grace period (instead of 120 days in 2019), there will be very limited time to prepare to make the most of it. It will likely be Christmas all over again in 2021 for EB5 - Get Ready Now!

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