With U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gearing up for new audits of regional centers used in the EB-5 visa program, it’s crucial that centers are properly tracking investor funds and have important records on hand, attorneys say.
Following a wave of fraud lawsuits connected to the EB-5 visa program, as well as Congress’ ongoing failure to reform it, USCIS has started inching toward changes of its own, including issuing a notice in January to gather feedback on regional center issues.
The latest sign that USCIS is trying to tighten the reins on the EB-5 visa program came last Tuesday, when the agency unveiled the start of the EB-5 regional center audit program. Regional centers are a major part of the EB-5 program, which provides green cards to foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. project.
The centers essentially allow investors to pool their funds, and they’re a popular choice. As of 2014, about 95 percent of investments in the EB-5 program were in regional center projects, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report.
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