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Inspector General (IG) investigations and whistle-blower driven reviews by Congressional Oversight committees are not new and are commonplace in the federal bureaucracy of the U.S. The recent publicity surrounding Alejandro Mayorkas (the current Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and presidential nominee to assume the Deputy Secretary position at DHS) is just the policy and political process playing out. This is a high profile nomination that is being connected with a hotly contested gubernatorial race, the intensity of the media attention may be greater than other investigations, but the bottom line is the EB-5 program is alive, well and functioning.

As a reminder, there have been many IG investigations and some even involving Director Mayorkas and other political appointees at DHS and USCIS. This is part of the oversight process.

We believe that the key to a successful and smooth EB-5 process with USCIS is to have a solid case that meets the latest regulatory and advisory guidance. Don’t try to cut corners or do this without an experienced EB-5 team. Know if a case warrants expedited action, then submit it according to the criteria recognized by USCIS. Please see enclosed link for an article GT has published on expedite requests.

Anatomy of a Successful EB-5 Expedite Request

The shift in EB-5 adjudication leadership oversight and location as well as the new guidance in the May 30, 2013 policy memo and location also give us great hope for good things to come. Please see enclosed links for previous articles on the policy memo and shift in oversight to Washington D.C.

A Quick Overview of EB-5 Trends and Events: What Recent History Tells Us and Predictions for the Years to Come

USCIS Releases Long Awaited Draft EB-5 Policy Memorandum

Regardless of current policy and political motivations that may surround the investigations at USCIS and DHS, the EB-5 industry should just push forward. There is much work to be done for Regional Centers, projects involved with EB-5 investment and investors.

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.