The office of the CIS Ombudsman Maria Odom announced plans to hold an EB-5 Stakeholders Meeting on March 5, 2013 from 1:30-4pm Eastern in Washington, DC. The CIS Ombudsman office works to help immigration applicants and businesses resolve problems caused in the administration of immigrant benefits by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The Ombudsman's office is also responsible for making recommendations to correct systematic processing issues as well as quality control issues provided by the USCIS. Because of its independent and impartial objectives, the CIS Ombudsman office is located under the Department of Homeland Security. Likewise, the Ombudsman's office must submit annual reports to Congress by June 30th which provides Congressional members with an overview of the work that the office has conducted over the past year in reviewing the systemic issues involved in the administration and delivery of services by USCIS.
The Ombudsman's office encourages the EB-5 community to submit written statements expressing concerns with USCIS administration of the EB-5 program in advance of the meeting. These submissions should be limited up to 5 pages and can be sent directly to Cisombudsman.PublicAffairs@hq.dhs.gov with the title "EB-5 statement" no later than February 15th. The engagement will be limited to 100 in-person attendees and RSVPs can also be sent to Cisombudsman.PublicAffairs@hq.dhs.gov with the title"EB-5 Meeting".
This EB-5 stakeholders meeting will focus on the progress that USCIS has made towards the establishment of their new EB-5 program office to be located in Washington, DC. Earlier this month, USCIS Director Mayorkas announced that former immigration attorney Robert Cox had been appointed to serve as the new, interim EB-5 Program Director. In the same announcement, Mayorkas has also promised stakeholders that a final comprehensive and binding EB-5 policy memorandum will be published. Stakeholders have been anxiously awaiting this guidance for over a year and many believe that it may just be another draft version.