Grassley & Leahy introduce EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act to increase security, curb fraud, and extend program 5 years

Posted by EB5Admin on September 27, 2019

    The two senators have introduced an EB-5 reform bill to increase Department of Homeland Security (DHS) control over EB-5. With fees from both regional centers and investors, it would give DHS authority to perform audits, make site inspections, and make background checks on regional center employees. The aim is to increase transparency from all involved in the program. The senators also believe it will decrease petition times.

    The two senators have reintroduced a bipartisan bill to increase Department of Homeland Security (DHS) control over EB-5. The aim is to increase transparency from all involved in the program. The senators also believe it will decrease petition times.

    The Reform and Integrity Act would grant DHS the power to perform audits, site inspections, and background checks on regional center employees. 

    Kurt Reuss, an investment banker working exclusively in EB-5, has this comment about the Act:

    “Regional centers will have to certify that the offering has been done in compliance with all securities laws. This bill will cause additional expenses and burden on regional centers but should significantly reduce fraud and other unlawful activities.” 

    With limited days left in this session of Congress, the bill is not likely to be passed until after November 21, 2019.

    Originally introduced in 2015, it is clear this bill is important to both Senators Grassley and Leahy. Grassley will not walk away from this issue until the program is properly reformed, given his history of arguing for more rigorous EB-5 integrity measures.

    Response to this EB-5 reform bill is already divided. Some feel it is unnecessary. There is also a concern about increasing costs in a program that is facing significant hikes in minimum investment amounts. Will higher costs mean more legitimate players leave the program?

    But the higher level of transparency will force more people to be diligent and pay attention to the details that sometimes get overlooked. USCIS itself would likely be more accountable as well, resulting in more efficient processing.

    Of note, Grassley’s and Leahy’s bill says nothing about the new investment amounts and new TEA rules. Many are convinced those numbers and new rules are here to stay.

    Some speculate that integrity reform could potentially be a prelude to visa number relief. 

    Read Senator Grassley’s news release

      
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