This week, the Public Engagement Division of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued an alert to Stakeholders reminding them that EB-5 regional centers and any related commercial enterprises affiliated with the regional center should not contain the words "United States," "U.S.," "US," and "Federal" in their names. USCIS explained that such words may falsely imply a relationship between the entity and the U.S. government and, thus, using these names on website and promotional materials could be considered a deceptive act or practice or constitute false advertising in violation of federal unfair trade and false advertising laws.
USCIS also warned that any business operating in the financial services sector should not have advertisements containing the words "Federal" or United States," as such language could constitute false advertising or misuse of names to indicate a federal agency, both of which are violations of federal law.
In cases where the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) - the office that adjudicates EB-5 petitions nationwide - determines a regional center or related commercial enterprise has a questionable name or has employed questionable language in advertisements, it may refer the case to the Federal Trade Commission or Department of Justice, as appropriate, for further action.
EB-5 investors and practitioners should continue to review all regional center materials and advertisements closely and carefully to ensure that no questionable naming conventions or advertising language is used that could subject the regional center to federal investigation.