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April 2024 USCIS EB-5 Regional Center Audits Update & Upcoming Webinar: What We Know and What We Don’t Know

by Carolyn Lee

Apr 12, 2024

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced significant updates regarding the auditing of EB-5 Regional Centers to enhance the integrity and oversight of the EB-5 Investor Program. Below is a summary of the key updates, which we’ll further discuss at our upcoming webinar:

  • Mandatory Audits: Following the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) of 2022, the USCIS is now required by law to conduct audits of each designated regional center at least once every five years. This measure aims to ensure compliance with applicable laws and authorities, and to assess whether a regional center can keep its designation. 
  • Adoption of GAGAS Standards: Starting on April 23, 2024, USCIS will use Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) to improve the planning and execution of audits, ensuring that enough evidence is gathered to support any findings and conclusions. Using GAGAS standards does not, however, limit the officer’s discretion in making decisions. Furthermore, these auditing standards do not create any substantive or procedural rights that are enforceable by any party against the United States, its agencies, officers, or individuals. 
  • Scope of Audits: Comprehensive review of any documentation regional centers must keep and of the flow of immigrant investor capital into projects. This may include checking information across government systems, commercial and public records, and data obtained through requests and site visits. 

Here is an overview of the process

USCIS Regional Center Audit Process April 2024

Source: USCIS, 9 Apr. 2024, https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fifth-preference-eb-5/eb-5-immigrant-investor-regional-centers/eb-5-regional-center-audits 

These updates emphasize the EB-5 Visa Investor Program’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and compliance. Understanding these changes is crucial for investors and regional centers to successfully navigate the program’s complexities. Register here for our webinar with Carolyn Lee next Wednesday, April 17, at 2 p.m. ET to explore this topic further.

20240412 Webinar resized

We look forward to welcoming you to our webinar. As always, please feel free to share your questions in advance by sending an email to contact@carolynleepllc.com

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