On Feb. 10, 2016, Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced H.R. 4530, the EB-5 Integrity Act of 2016. This bill is a companion bill to the EB-5 Integrity Act of 2015, S.2415, which we covered in December following its introduction by Sen. Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Cornyn (R-TX), and Sen. Schumer (D-NY).
At time of this publication, the text of the H.R. 4530 is not publically available. However, its provisions are expected to be virtually the same as S. 2415, and to include the following:
- Bestowing statutory authority for DHS to conduct criminal background checks and obtain biometric information from regional center-affiliated individuals, as well as to debar individuals and regional centers for non-compliance and other factors;
- Inaugurating an “EB-5 Integrity Fund,” to be paid by regional centers. Such funds will provide for increased DHS compliance operations and enhanced program oversight;
- Creating new attestation requirements ensuring regional center compliance with federal securities laws;
- Mandating thorough reporting and accounting requirements for regional center operators to be presented to USCIS annually;
- Establishing stricter requirements relating to third-party promoters or others affiliated with marketing or promoting regional center investment projects;
- Enhancing requirements aimed at ensuring that investor funds are derived from legitimate and lawful sources;
- Increasing adjudication transparency, by mandating that USCIS engage in a and non-preferential way with respect to people and entities involved in the EB-5 program;
- Requiring Government Accountability Office and Inspector General Reports.
The introduction of this bill comes shortly before the Feb. 11, 2016 House Judiciary Committee Hearing on the EB-5 program, scheduled for 2pm EST. We will keep our readers up-to-date with further developments from Capitol Hill.