As the national trade association representing more than 280 EB-5 Regional Centers, IIUSA welcomes the GAO’s in-depth look at how USCIS is administering the program and recommendations to strengthen oversight.
The EB-5 Program has grown exponentially in the last few years, with a 72 percent increase in applications from investors seeking to participate in the program in the last year alone. Foreign direct investment (FDI) through EB-5 totaled $1.8 billion in the first two quarters of FY2015, putting the program on track to nearly double the FDI from FY2013.
Administering a program with this type of growth requires a significant dedication of resources and expertise. As the GAO report notes, USCIS has significantly improved program oversight with the creation of the Immigrant Investor Program Office, staffed by trained economists, experts in business and immigration law, as well as fraud and national security specialists.
We support continued and expanded resources for the IPO as well as other reform measures to ensure program integrity and consistent, timely adjudication of EB-5 petitions. Proper oversight, transparency, compliance with – and enforcement of – all applicable laws and regulations are essential to maintain the confidence of all stakeholders and ensure that the program continues bring capital and job creation to American communities.
IIUSA has a long history of working cooperatively with Members of Congress and federal agencies to improve and strengthen the EB-5 Program so it can continue making important and growing contributions to the U.S. economy. As Congress considers legislation to reauthorize and reform the program, we look forward to a productive dialogue on measures to further enhance program integrity.