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Federal Authorities Scrutinize Regional EB-5 Centers for Fraud

Sept. 6, 2016

Readers may be surprised to learn that many EB-5 regional centers are owned and operated not by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, but by private entities or individuals. What might that mean for EB-5 development projects and foreign investors?

In theory, the regional centers are operating in accord with USCIS policies and standards. In fact, a USCIS official in charge of the EB-5 program recently confirmed the agency’s commitment to consistency, noting that the agency had closed 55 regional centers as of mid-July 2016 that were not providing adequate oversight for their EB-5 projects.

Are various types of fraud more likely to occur at regional centers, such as Ponzi schemes were funds move between projects without any notice given to the investors? Although federal authorities may be giving more scrutiny to the integrity of the EB-5 program, our immigration law firm recommends that residents of foreign countries consult with an attorney before investing in a business investment opportunity in the United States.

Business-related immigration questions require the skills and experience of a law firm with a strong immigration law practice. Our attorneys provide such services. We can review applications for EB-5 investor visas on a one-to-one basis, ensuring that applicants have met all the criteria needed for submission of a strong application. In fact, we will be up front with clients whether the requirements are not realistic with their current circumstances.

As a result of our immigration law practice, we have also formed connections with various businesses throughout New York City. Many clients have turned to us for help with EB-5 visas for individuals involved in advanced research, EB-2 visas for individuals with advanced degrees, and EB-3 and EB-4 visas for workers with a variety of advanced or unique skills sets. Some examples of EB-4 applicants include doctors, medical professionals, translators, broadcast professionals, and even religious workers.

Source: Burlington Free Press, “Feds scrutinize Vermont’s EB-5 program,” Dan D’Ambrosio, Aug. 19, 2016