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[HOT] Recent RFEs for Iranian EB-5 cases being issued by USCIS reg. using prohibited banks
It has come to our attention through other EB-5 practitioners that the USCIS has recently started issuing below RFEs for Iranian EB-5 I-526 petitions.
The documentation submitted with the petition indicates that (i) petitioner is located in Iran or is located outside Iran but is ordinarily resident in Iran, (ii) the source of funds from for the investment is from Iran, and/or (iii) a bank included on the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons maintained by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) was involved in transferring the funds.
In this situation, the U.S. person(s) facilitating or otherwise involved in the investment by the petitioner may be required to obtain a specific license from OFAC to ensure that the transactions contemplated in the petition are authorized under OFAC regulations, including the Iranian Transactions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 560. If OFAC grants a specific license along with the documents submitted to OFAC and any related documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the specific license covers the transactions covered in the petition. In the event that OFAC determines that no specific license is required to engage in the transactions contemplated in the petition, it will issue written guidance to that effect. Please submit a copy of such written guidance issued by OFAC along with the documents submitted to OFAC and any related documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the guidance applies to the transactions contemplated in your petition.
Applications for a specific license must be submitted to: Licensing Division, Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of Treasury, Treasury Annex, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20220.
Please see 31 C.F.R. 501.801(b) for detailed instructions on how to apply to OFAC for a specific license. If you have any questions regarding OFAC, you may refer to the website at: www.treas.gov/ofac or telephone OFAC Licensing at (202) 622-2480.
The above RFE language demonstrates that where the source of EB-5 funds is from Iran, one better make sure and check whether a bank included on the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons maintained by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) was involved in transferring the funds.