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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh is an active member.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced new audit measures under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, affecting all designated regional centers. Under the 2022 law, USCIS must conduct audits at least once every five years for each regional center. These audits are comprehensive, including a review of necessary documentation maintained by the regional centers and the flow of immigrant investor capital into their projects. This initiative aims to reinforce the credibility and reliability of the EB-5 program by verifying the accuracy of information provided in the regional center applications, annual certifications and related investor petitions.

In terms of procedure, USCIS will implement audits based on the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standard, starting April 23. This will provide a standardized approach to assess the regional centers’ compliance with laws and their eligibility for continued designation. It is important for regional centers to understand that non-compliance during these audits, such as refusing a site visit or attempting to impede the audit process, may lead to termination of their designation. However, adverse findings from an audit do not automatically affect the status of EB-5 associated entities or petitioners unless they directly involve non-compliance or eligibility issues.

USCIS has created a website with additional resources for regional centers, including how to prepare for an audit, participating in an audit and more.

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