The Final 2015 Chapter for the EB-5 Extension

Posted on 01/01/2016 by Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation

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Senators Flake, Cornyn, and Schumer have introduced a bill, S. 2415, to improve transparency and integrity for EB-5 Regional Centers. This is basically part of the Grassley bill considered by Congress this fall. This bill does not address TEAs, job creation, the investment amount, or other key controversial issues.

One commentator described the bill as including provisions which will allow the USCIS to:

  • Conduct criminal background checks and obtain biometric information from individuals involved in the regional center program;
  • Debar individuals and suspend or terminate regional centers based on program non-compliance and other factors;
  • Deny or revoke immigrant investor petitions for reasons including fraud, misrepresentation, or national security concerns;
  • Establish an “EB-5 Integrity Fund” with fees imposed on applicants to pay for federal site visits that will further enable more rigorous program oversight;
  • Require thorough annual reporting and accounting requirements for regional center operators;
  • Collect evidence for assurances that an investor’s funds are derived from legitimate and lawful sources; and
  • Engage in improper and non-preferential ways with industry stakeholders to avoid favoritism in processing applications.

This bill will require investors to provide 7 years of their tax returns – which would be a problem for most.

The bill will have to go to the Senate Judicial Committee which is chaired by Senator Grassley. This bill may tip the hand of those supporting the extension of the Regional Center statute, so Grassley knows their baseline.

2016 will be an interesting year for the EB-5 program.

Have a good and healthy new year.

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About the Author

Mark Ivener is an experienced business and EB-5 immigration attorney who has written 5 books on Immigration Law as well as has written numerous articles and spoken at many events on EB-5 topics.