How FDNS Impact the EB-5 Program

In May 2013, USCIS issued, for the first time, a policy memorandum for its internal officers, on the EB-5 Program and how to approach adjudication of EB-5 visas from foreign investors.  In that memo, USCIS indicated it would be working with the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate to ensure the EB-5 program’s integrity when it comes to cases relating to fraud, national security, and public safety.

It is critical to our mission to ensure that we administer the EB-5 program with utmost vigilance to program integrity. Our operational teams work in collaboration with the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate and cases presenting issues relating to fraud, national security, or public safety should be referred as appropriate to law enforcement and regulatory authorities. 

What exactly is the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS)? 

The directorate’s mission is to:

Enhance the integrity of the legal immigration system by identifying threats to national security and public safety, detecting and combating immigration benefit fraud, and removing systemic and other vulnerabilities.

The FDNS works similarly to an investigation unit in any large corporation by auditing petitions and applications, making site visits, and generally making sure that whatever factual information that has been submitted to USCIS is, in fact, correct and true.  When an investigation leads to contradictory information, FDNS can pass that information to USCIS to initiate a reopening of a previously approved case, for further review or potential revocation of a prior approval.

Officers within the FDNS also resolve background check information from foreign national applicants with law enforcement agencies using an internal database (FDNS-DS).

No Exceptions to a Detailed Background Check

In general, all EB-5 investors are subjected to a detailed background check when a petition is submitted to USCIS.  There are no exceptions.  For EB-5 investors who have a relatively stable and clean criminal record, there should be little to be concerned.  However, EB-5 Investors who have a long or complex political history, or have blemishes related to criminal conduct in the past should consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to committing any funds to an EB-5 project in the U.S.  Your past political or criminal history may subject you to a legal bar from getting approved for a green card.  While some legal bars allow for a waiver, others may not.  Therefore, it is critical that EB-5 investors inquire regarding their eligibility.

At the Jatoi & de Kirby, A.P.C., we know how important it is for you to get all the information necessary to qualify for an EB-5 visa.  Contact us today for more information.

Vaughan de Kirby
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San Francisco California EB-5 Investment Immigration Attorney