In 1991 the U.S. The U.S. Congress created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category, and Regional Centers came about soon after in 1993. The initial development of the program resulted in frequent fraudulent investment ventures from those applying for the program.
Most of these companies did not meet the minimum $500,000 capital requirement or follow suit to the number of required employees. The program was put on hold from the years of 1999 to 2002 which resulted in various law suits from program contributors.
Congress decided in 2002 to set limitations which protect 1999 and prior participants, but from there forth new restrictions would apply. Satisfied with the outcome, USCIS started approving EB-5 applications again in 2003.
USCIS created the Investor and Regional Center Unit (IRCU) in January of 2005 to increase quality and efficiency of visa applications submitted to the EB-5 program through regional centers. The IRCU became the authority for Regional Center approval, rejection and Requests for Evidence (REFs) for the immigrant Investor Pilot Program. With a regulatory force overseeing EB-5 applicants, those companies which meet the program requirement of a $500,000 at-risk investment and void are a fraudulent nature will likely be approved.