TBT: CIS 2016 Ombudsman Report to Congress Highlights EB-5

On June 29, 2016, the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman released its Annual Report to Congress, which it must do by June 30 of each year. The Ombudsman’s Annual Report provides a summary of the most pervasive and serious problems encountered by individuals and employers applying for immigration benefits with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The 2016 report highlighted ongoing CIS concerns surrounding EB-5 Program not the least of which was Processing Times.

With regard to the EB- Program, the report stated:

“As reported in past years, processing times for EB-5 petitions continue to degrade. Stakeholders shared concerns regarding USCIS’ Investor Program Office’s (IPO) regulatory authority to administer the program; outdated regulatory requirements; program integrity in light of allegations and findings of fraud or noncompliance with other federal laws; the manipulation of Targeted Employment Areas through gerrymandering; and the inconsistent implementation of policy. The Ombudsman will monitor regulatory and statutory changes to the program initiated by IPO and Congress, and will continue to address stakeholders concerns with the quality, consistency, and timeliness of IPO’s adjudication of EB-5 applications and petitions”… Read More (Page 50-53)