USCIS INCREASES FEE FOR EB-5 REGIONAL CENTER PROGRAM
The Department of Homeland Security announced on March 2, 2023 that the annual fees to be collected for the “EB-5 Integrity Fund” will be increased. The increased revenue will be primarily used to administer the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The fee will be $20,000 for regional centers with more than 20 investors and $10,000 for regional centers with 20 or fewer investors. The payment for fiscal year 2023 is due by April 1, 2023. DHS also noted that the filing fee for Form 1-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor, increased by $1,000 on October 1, 2022. Under this new EB-5 law, USCIS will terminate the regional center designation of any regional center that does not pay the fee within 90 days of the due date. USCIS will provide a notice of intent to terminate and will give the petitioner the opportunity to prove that the fee was paid in the proper amount within 90 days of the due date before sending a notice of termination.
POLICY GUIDANCE FOR MOBILE BIOMETRIC COLLECTION
USCIS has evaluated their methods for conducting mobile biometrics collection as well as how that information can be collected from beneficiaries in remote locations. The policy update comes from a concern that benefit requestors may be unable to attend appointments at USCIS Application Support Centers due to issues stemming from lack of transportation or difficulty in reaching an ASC due to substantial travel times. USCIS may now offer mobile biometric collection and biometrics collections at remote locations. The policy update now provides an alternative method of fingerprint collection, to include fingerprint cards and more cohesive coordination with other agencies for certain benefit requestors who live in remote locations where USCIS mobile biometric services would not be practical.
DOL PERM AND PREVAILING WAGE DETERMINATION PROCESSING TIMES FEBRUARY/MARCH 2023
An analyst review of PERM applications filed in June 2022 or earlier, and processing audited cases with priority dates of March 2022 or earlier was conducted by the Department of Labor. DOL is currently working on standard consideration requests that were filed in July 2022 or earlier. DOL is currently issuing prevailing wage determinations for PERM prevailing wage requests filed in January 2022 and H-1B prevailing wage requests filed in January and February 2022. They note that no PERM Center Director review remaining pending as of now.