This week the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released Practice Pointers for individuals seeking to file for a green card under the EB-5 Program. The Practices Pointers come as a result of a recent Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) issued to an EB-5 investor, which confirms prior agency statements indicating that they will review data from other agencies, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of State (DOS), the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Department of Commerce (DOC), and other law enforcement agencies, to verify representations made in the I-526 and I-829 petitions.
The Practice Pointers emphasize the importance of providing consistent information on all applications and submissions to U.S. government agencies and note that, once cross-agency communication pipelines are fully operations, such communication and information sharing will be the norm for all immigration filings, not just EB-5 petitions. The Practice Pointers also note the importance of not assuming that the information underlying allegations of inconsistencies or misrepresentations is correct, and states that practitioners should be mindful that some inconsistencies may result from different contextual interpretations of two different questions on two different government applications.
In light of the increased information sharing and additional government focus on fraud, AILA urges practitioners to closely examine each client's background and diligently investigate any allegations of inconsistencies or misrepresentations in RFEs, NOIDs, and denials to ensure any inconsistencies are not the result of legitimate reasons for differences in information.
D&S will continue to monitor this developing government practice and provide updates as they become available.