In addition, according to the RIA requirements, all I-526e petitions filed after March 2022 need to have a disclosure signed by the investor outlining any fees paid in connection with their investment, including any fees paid or going to be paid to foreign Promoters.
The legislation was introduced in March 2022, and the first draft of Form I-956K for the registration of foreign Promoter appeared on the USCIS web-site in September 2022 for public review and the possibility of submitting comments to USCIS. The final form was published on January 4, 2023. From that date, no company is allowed to promote EB-5 Projects without the prior sending of an I-956K form to USCIS.
For the time being, the form to register as a Promoter is completed in a notification format, and there are no government fees for submitting it.
Form I-956K contains information on the name of the Promoter, their address, tax number and the person who is authorised to represent the company and must certify that the agent is following USCIS requirements on disclosing the commissions and acting with integrity when dealing with clients. Agents must also submit copies of all existing contracts with Regional Centers, NCE, affiliated entities or with any direct promoters (direct promoters who are directly connected and considered to be acting as a subsidiary of the Regional Center).
It is worth noting that USCIS requires registration by legal entities which promote EB-5 projects and by the consultants and managers of these legal entities with managing positions and any employees who work with investors directly.
Upon registration with USCIS, agents should receive a receipt notice confirming that their application has been submitted. After USCIS has reviewed the application, they should assign a registration number to each promoter. Currently, there is no available information on how long this may take.
Our company initially submitted its registration as a third-party promoter on January 25th and resubmitted it again on February 2nd. We received a receipt confirming that USCIS received our application in August 2023.
In the event that an agent had signed an agreement for promoting a new project or had terminated any agreement with a RC, a new form needs to be submitted before a company may begin to promote this project.
Contracts which were already in place before March 2022 do not require registration even if payments are still being received based on them.
If a requirement to register was not fulfilled, the authorities can suspend or permanently bar the individuals involved from participation in the program. At the same time, Regional Centers must submit information on the fees paid in their annual statement to the best of their knowledge. Not following RIA requirements may lead to severe consequences.
Since the RIA was enacted, Regional Centers have started to amend their agent agreements. Following the publication of the form, no reputable Regional Center will pay an agent any commission without proof that the concerned agent sent the required form to USCIS.
As of September 2023 (USCIS has confirmed this during their online engagement session of April 25, 2023) there is no place where either clients or Regional Centers may check who has submitted their registration form. However, USCIS did advise during their last public engagement that they will consider doing so in the future.
According to Q2 fiscal year statistics published in July 2023, 38 forms I-956K were submitted in Q2.
There are still many questions to be answered relating to promoter registration, and it does not look like USCIS is going to provide any clear answers or guidance on them soon. So from our side, we are trying to be open and transparent with our investors and partners and work with integrity, fulfilling the USCIS requirements as far as is possible based on the information they provide us.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/2023
18 09 2023
EB-5 Program – petitions I-526e & I-829 – overview of requirements and processing time
01 09 2023
EB-5 Rural Projects – Review of advantages and disadvantages
25 08 2023
EB-5 Green Card through Real Estate Projects
17 07 2023
US Citizenship through Investment
19 06 2023
USA EB-5 investor visa: investment amount, requirements, additional costs