There has been a tremendous increase in interest in obtaining lawful permanent residence through the Employment-based Fifth Preference (EB-5). This category provides a means for high net-worth individuals to obtain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. through a job-creating investment. Additional information about the program and the services offered by the Law Office of Matthew I. Hirsch for EB-5 investors can be found here.
Since its inception, the program has been fraught with unpredictability and irregularities in policy and adjudication. Also, because the program attracts high net-worth individuals, the program has also been beset by fraud–committed both by and against EB-5 investors. In an effort to protect EB-5 investors from unscrupulous persons and businesses seeking to lure investors into low quality investments or investment scams, the Securities and Exchange Commission has put out this warning:
“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) are aware of investment scams targeting foreign nationals who seek to become permanent lawful U.S. residents through the Immigrant Investor Program (“EB-5″). In close coordination with USCIS, which administers the EB-5 program, the SEC has taken emergency enforcement action to stop allegedly fraudulent securities offerings made through EB-5. … The fact that a business is designated as a regional center by USCIS does not mean that USCIS, the SEC, or any other government agency has approved the investments offered by the business, or has otherwise expressed a view on the quality of the investment. The SEC and USCIS are aware of attempts to misuse the EB-5 program as a means to carry out fraudulent securities offerings. … If your investment through EB-5 turns out to be in a fraudulent securities offering, you may lose both your money and your path to lawful permanent residency in the United States. Carefully vet any EB-5 offering before investing your money and your hope of becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.” – SEC, Oct. 1, 2013.
If you or someone you know is considering an EB-5 investment, please contact us at the Law Office of Matthew I. Hirsch for qualified advice and information.