By: Kate Kalmykov

USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas invites stakeholders to review and comment on a draft policy memorandum (EB-5 AdjudicationsPolicy.pdf) on the EB-5 program. Greenberg Traurig, LLP will be submitting comments on behalf of our Regional Center clients and individual investors. GT attorneys attended the Director’s teleconference and will be forwarding an Alert assessing the proposed guidance shortly. This memorandum is proof of Director Mayorkas’ intensive focus to improve the EB-5 program is bearing fruit. Accordingly with improvements to the program we can expect more scrutiny and compliance monitoring on both the immigration and corporate securities side. Director Mayorkas stated that it is critical that the program ensures integrity and mentioned that any improprieties were already being referred to the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange commission.

It is more critical than ever for Regional Centers to ensure broad compliance and establish procedures for vetting proposed investment projects in light of current federal regulations and changing USCIS guidance. It seems to us that many Regional Centers do not understand the importance of correctly preparing a securities offering and structuring EB-5 investment projects. As the program expands we can undoubtedly expect increased scrutiny not just from USCIS but from the SEC as well. Likewise, in our representation of regional centers other common areas where even the most experienced find themselves stumbiling include job-creation or job-preservation projections, TEA designation, investor exit strategy, investment return and reinvestment issues. The proposed memoranda touches on many of these issues and those active in the EB-5 arena should be prepared for changes.