On February 3rd, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing focused on the future of the EB-5 program.
Nicholas Colucci of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Stephen Cohen of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) addressed lawmakers’ questions about the EB-5 program.
Led by Senator Charles Grassley, legislators continued to voice concerns about fraud, national security, and USCIS’ administration of the EB-5 program raised during this winter’s efforts to draft legislation to renew and reform the EB-5 program.
In response to senators’ concerns, Colucci outlined some of the changes USCIS plans to or has already made in their administration of the EB-5 program, including:
- Updates to form I-924, I-924A, and I-526 within fiscal year 2016
- Establishment of a Regional Center Audit program for increased oversight into Regional Center operations and compliance
- I-829 investor interviews
- Random site visits by the USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit
- Increased staff and training for EB-5 adjudications
- Continued regulatory clarification and policy guidance
These initiatives serve to address a number of concerns legislators have raised regarding program integrity.
However, Colucci reminded the committee that USCIS will require additional statutory authority to implement some of the compliance requirements proposed in draft legislation. As a result, continued efforts to draft effective reform legislation will likely be required.
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