On Feb 19 2014 by Daniel B. Lundy

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Seeking Information from Approved Regional Centers

In an unprecedented move, U.S. Senator Tom A. Coburn (Oklahoma), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, has issued letters to a number of approved regional centers seeking information about each one’s participation in the EB-5 program.  The letter indicates that a similar letter will be sent to all USCIS approved regional centers.  Our regional center clients have begun receiving this letter in the last few days.  The letter is requesting the following information:

  • Any approval from USCIS to participate in the EB-5 program regarding the regional center and its business plan, including any subsequent recertification;
  • The total annual amount of investment and the number of individuals by country of origin making investments through the regional center since it has been in operation;
  • The name, address, and a description of each business in which the regional center has made an investment of funds and the number of jobs created by each investment;
  • Any fees charged to EB-5 applicants or received by the regional center, including amount and description;
  • A list of any current or former corporate officers of the regional center, including title, position, and dates of employment, and
  • The name and address of any individual or entity- either foreign or domestic- that the regional center has an agreement with to provide legal, accounting, recruiting or consulting services, as well as a description of the service provided.

 

The letters request a response via email by March 7, 2014.

 

While some of the questions asked in the letter reflect the information required in the Form I-924A required to be filed each year by every regional center, some of the questions far exceed the scope of the normal reporting requirements.  It is unclear at this point why Senator Coburn is seeking this information.  While we would like to think that this is an opportunity to show the positive impacts of the program by revealing the large number of projects that have been successfully completed with EB-5 funding, recent Congressional interest in the EB-5 program has appeared to be both negative and politically motivated.  In light of this, we advise our regional center clients to contact us upon receipt of the letter to formulate an appropriate response.