U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California orders immediate re-start of EB-5 regional center program; enjoins USCIS from deauthorization of EB-5 regional centers, enabling Behring to accept new EB-5 investors
BLACKHAWK, Calif., June 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Behring Co., a vertically integrated real estate developer and the operator of Behring Regional Center ("BRC"), praised the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California's decision to issue a preliminary injunction, setting aside the deauthorization of EB-5 regional centers by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"). Today's decision by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria held that USCIS almost certainly committed legal error when it unilaterally deauthorized designated EB-5 regional centers existing at the time that the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 ("RIA") was enacted into law and required regional centers to apply and receive approval for new designation before allowing them to operate and accept new EB-5 investors. Read the decision here.
The court's decision means that EB-5 investors can file new I-526 petitions now. The court's order enables Behring Regional Center, and all pre-authorized Regional Centers, to sponsor EB-5 projects. USCIS is required to accept I-526 petitions filed by new EB-5 investors that make qualified EB-5 investments through BRC. BRC attorneys at Greenberg Traurig welcomed the decision: "We are so pleased that the court recognized the true congressional intent," said Laura Reiff, shareholder at GT. "Existing regional centers can now operate and accept new investors. This is a program that should be embraced by the agency and the country as it brings much-needed revenue into the US and helps with job creation."
Behring will be hosting a webinar discussing the EB-5 program and the current updates in detail on June 27, 2022 at 4:00 PM PST. View Webinar Registration
When challenging USCIS's unilateral cancelation of EB-5 regional centers in April, BRC asserted that USCIS actions were contrary to the plain meaning of the RIA. BRC further asserted that USCIS's creation of new Forms I-956 and redesignation requirements violated the Administrative Procedure Act because USCIS did not go through notice-and-comment rulemaking. In granting BRC's preliminary injunction, the court stated that "Behring has made an exceedingly strong showing that the agency violated the APA. USCIS was almost certainly wrong in assuming that the Integrity Act affirmatively deauthorized existing regional centers, so the agency was almost certainly wrong to announce that the centers are no longer authorized." It agreed that BRC was likely to succeed on the merits of its case and that USCIS was wrong to assume that the RIA de-authorized existing regional centers. In recent weeks, Congress also had signaled its support when sending letters informing USCIS that its actions were against Congress's intent to restart the EB-5 Regional Center Program as quickly as possible after a 9-month lapse.
"It is an amazing victory for EB-5 investors, and we look forward to having the opportunity to go back to work creating jobs and promoting economic growth," said Colin Behring, CEO of Behring Regional Center LLC. With an active EB-5 project that is already I-924 exemplar approved, Behring investors will have the first opportunity to be eligible for the new 2,000 visas set aside for high unemployment (Target Employment Area) investments. Behring's EB-5 investment options include lower risk debt-style investments and higher earning preferred equity and common equity, all of which are open to investors immediately.
About Behring Co.
Behring Co. is a vertically integrated real estate developer, private equity fund manager, and EB-5 regional center serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Behring owns and operates the Behring Regional Center, a USCIS accredited EB-5 regional center with 100-percent investor approval history serving hundreds of investors since 2013. For more information, please visit www.behringEB5.com.
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