The US on Thursday introduced a new facility for premium processing of permanent residency, or Green Card, applications from foreign nationals that are willing to make heavy investment in US, resulting in creation of jobs.
As part of the Obama administration's continued commitment to improve the legal immigration system and meet economic and national security needs for the 21st century, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the introduction of premium processing of green card applications, which guarantees processing within 15 calendar days for an additional fee.
Commonly referred as the EB-5 Programme, it was created by the US Congress in 1990 to attract investors and entrepreneurs from around the globe to create jobs in the US.
"We are dedicated to enhancing this programme to ensure that it achieves that goal to the fullest extent possible," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas.
The USCIS also proposed the creation of new specialised intake teams with expertise in economic analysis and the EB-5 programme requirements.
Under this, EB-5 regional centre applicants will be able to communicate directly with the specialised intake teams via e-mail to streamline the resolution of issues and quickly address questions or needs related to their applications.
Finally, the USCIS proposed to convene an expert Decision Board to render decisions regarding EB-5 regional centre applications.
The Decision Board will be composed of an economist and adjudicators and will be supported by legal counsel, an official statement said.
This proposal will be online until June 17, 2011, for public comment - providing stakeholders an opportunity to offer feedback on the proposed changes to the administration of the EB-5 programme.
Senator Patrick Leahy, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, welcomed the USCIS's proposed changes to the EB-5 foreign investor programme.
"With these improvements, stakeholders will benefit from a more efficient and predictable process for the approval of capital investment projects. Investor confidence will be bolstered and the agency will have more tools to ensure that eligible job-creating investment projects are well-planned and successfully executed," he said in a statement.