Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

AAO Denies RC Application to Build Resort Suites


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published an Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision affirming denial of a proposal for a regional center designation. The AAO found that the applicant’s proposal was a “marketing strategy to attract buyers for vacation suites rather than investors of capital in a new commercial enterprise.”

Specifically, the AAO said that the evidence incontrovertibly established that the applicant proposed that “investors” would purchase a vacation suite as either a “primary residence,” “second home,” or “investment property.” The AAO affirmed the California Service Center director’s determination that such a real estate purchase of a private residence, even if still under construction, “is not an at-risk investment of capital that can be credited with direct or indirect job creation.” The purchase of individual residential suites by alien “investors,” even if concentrated in one resort complex, is also not the type of “pooled investment” concept Congress envisioned for the regional center program, the AAO noted. In summary, the AAO said:

[T]he applicant has proposed an investment plan whereby alien investors would make independent, passive, personal real estate investments that garner them no equity ownership in a new commercial enterprise. Instead of presenting a plan for a pooled equity investment of capital into a new commercial enterprise, the applicant has merely put forth a marketing strategy to attract sufficient buyers to fund later phases of development. This plan does not meet the letter or spirit of [the law and regulations] designed to encourage pooled investments in a new commercial enterprise benefitting a geographic region.

More info at: April 26, 20122 Decision

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Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.