Compliance EB-52019-08-22T15:43:25+00:00

COMPLIANCE EB-5

The success of an EB-5 endeavor is directly related to its focus on compliance. Yet fulfilling official requirements is challenging for even for the most fastidious EB-5 regional center. Why? Regulations are thin and broadly written. Several important policies are new and difficult to interpret. Yet there is no method to get advance clearance such as “no action” or “no objection” letters other federal agencies issue. In the meantime, legislation and proposed regulations would also increase oversight, but nothing has yet passed.

In this climate, EB-5 regional centers are asked to both intensify their compliance regime and simultaneously make decisions in the face of unclear and shifting guidance. Carolyn Lee PLLC helps clients conform to the current compliance climate with practical processes. These services include:

The annual certification is a relatively new USCIS tool that has evolved from no-reporting to self-reporting narrative to an official form with specific data fields and fee. Although not adjudicated as a matter of course, the I-924A is a significant part of a regional center’s record. Failure to timely file a Form I-924A is ground for regional center termination.

Regional centers and sponsored projects both have an interest in properly prepared Forms I-924A. Founder Carolyn Lee has studied and commented on the Form I-924A from its introduction and related recent rulemaking. Carolyn Lee PLLC is positioned to help clients build a solid annual certifications record for now and the future.

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Form I-924A preparation for the regional center with an “above and beyond” approach to compliance is a year-round endeavor. To support this approach, Carolyn Lee PLLC offers the I-924 360 service. This involves year-round oversight support and check-ins with supporting documentation.    

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USCIS announced in 2017 that it will begin regional center compliance reviews (originally called “audits”). The purpose is to enhance EB-5 program integrity and “verify information in regional center applications and annual certifications.” So far, they have been rare and voluntary. Regional centers are also given notice. Best practice is to be prepared now, set up records for ready update, and allow well-earned peace of mind.

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Before USCIS adjudicates a project’s first I-829 petition, a site visit to the project might be afoot. Importantly, unlike regional center compliance reviews, site visits take place at the project or job creating entity site and they may be unannounced. Because this is not a site that the regional center or the new commercial enterprise typically controls, the project sponsoring parties need to coordinate the preparation to include personnel at the project site. The nature of  the project site might also pose challenges, for example, if the entryway is not obvious or if the project site is geographically expansive. Carolyn Lee PLLC helps clients await site visits prepared.

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As discussed in Form I-829 Template Production and Counseling (Form I-829), presenting approvable Form I-829 project documentation is the ultimate goal of EB-5 compliance. With such documentation, the project shows it has met the goal of the EB-5 program – immigrant investment and job creation. Form I-829 approval requires all EB-5 compliance elements to come together. Enhanced Removal of Conditions Preparation offers a more holistic approach Form I-829 preparation to maximize approvability.

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Carolyn Lee PLLC Approach

EB-5 is a dynamic and challenging area of U.S. immigration. Carolyn Lee PLLC equips clients with counsel rooted in the law with clear views of both the current landscape and changes on the horizon.

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