The state-run EB-5 Program in Vermont, the Vermont Regional Center (VRC), is in the process of winding down. At the request of the Governor's office, DFR Commissioner Michael Pieciak, in consultation with Michael Schirling, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, submitted a report that reviewed the EB-5 investor program and the Vermont Regional Center. The report concluded that the state would continue to oversee existing EB-5 projects, but would not take on new projects.
As the report details, the Scott Administration agreed that the VRC should ultimately be closed with a staggered approach to minimize any adverse economic impact and ensure investors in existing, viable projects are protected.
On August 18, prior to the scheduled release of the report, the state received notification from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), which administers the EB-5 program federally, of its intent to terminate the Center. USCIS’ concerns centered on the alleged fraud perpetrated by Jay Peak principals Ariel Quiros and Bill Stenger.
The state has appealed that determination. The VRC continues to operate pending the resolution of the appeal. The state continues to believe that the best course of action is to wind-down over time versus an an abrupt termination.
- Motion for Reopening and Reconsideration Administrative Appeals Office Decision
- Response from USCIS to Administrative Appeal
- DFR Appeal to USCIS
- USCIS Notice of Intent to Terminate, August 2017
- USCIS Notice to Terminate, July 2018
- Report - Review of the EB-5 Program in Vermont and the Vermont Regional Center, August 2017
- Press Releases:
- Press Release - Vermont Regional Center to Pursue a Motion for Reopening and Reconsideration Administrative Appeals Office Decision
- Joint Press Release - Vermont Regional Center Receives USCIS Decision on Administrative Appeal of Termination Notice
- Press Release - Update: Second Set of EB-5 Documents Released
- Press Release - The Department of Financial Regulation Releases First Set of EB-5 Documents as Part of Governor Phil Scott’s Disclosure Plan
- Press Release - Select Jay Peak Documents Released Following Settlement
- Press Release - Select Jay Peak EB-5 Documents to be Released Following Settlement Between State and VTDigger
- Press Release - Governor Phil Scott Releases Administration’s Review on The EB-5 Investor Program, Future of The Vermont Regional Center
- Press Release - State of Vermont Appeals EB-5 Regional Center Notice of Termination
- Press Release - Vermont Regional Center Receives Termination Decision; Plans to Appeal
- Press Release - Raymond James settles administrative enforcement matter with DFR
- Press Release - State Files Suit Alleging Investor Fraud at Jay Peak, Inc. EB-5 Projects
- Press Release - SEC Case Freezes Assets of Ski Resort Steeped in Fraudulent EB-5 Offerings
- Other Related Documents:
- Project List
- Anticipated Flow of Jay Peak EB-5 Investor Funds
- Actual Flow of Funds
- Timeline of Alleged Activity Involving Jay Peak EB-5 Projects
History of the EB-5 Program
The EB-5 program is a federal program giving legal, permanent residency (a Green Card) to foreign nationals in exchange for an investment in a U.S. business that creates a certain number of jobs. Vermont was unique because its EB-5 regional center administered by state government. More specifically, Vermont’s EB-5 program was administered by the Vermont Regional Center, which is comprised of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Department of Financial Regulation (DFR). ACCD markets and promotes EB-5 opportunities in Vermont while DFR provides ongoing oversight of Vermont’s EB-5 projects.