EB-5 News Archive for October, 2011
SAN ANTONIO, TX – October 20-21, 2011 the Exclusive Visas team attended the Fall EB-5 Investors & Regional Centers Conference hosted by American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in San Antonio, Texas. The seminars provided immigration attorneys, regional centers and other attendees the opportunity to hear from EB-5 experts, immigration attorneys and economists pertaining to navigating through new challenges of the EB-5 Investor Pilot Program and building a sound practice.
The EB-5 program allows qualified foreigners the opportunity to obtain a permanent U.S. green card by investing at least $500,000 into an approved EB-5 project, particularly a Regional Center. The EB-5 immigrant visa category was created to attract job-creating immigrant investors to the United States to help stimulate the economy. The EB-5 visa may be the option for foreign nationals who lack other choices due to the limits of the US immigration system. Investment in the EB-5 project allows the investor, the investor’s spouse and their unmarried children (under the age of 21) to receive an EB-5 visa green card.
The Fall EB-5 Investors & Regional Centers Conference provided a comprehensive training for all attendee’s with the renowned EB-5 experts covering various issues of concern related to the EB-5 visa. Michael Gibson from the US Advisors and the business valuation expert Beth Hurst emphasized the importance of getting a better understanding of the deal and financial risks involved in the EB-5 process, as well as who can advise on which aspects in the world of EB-5. They emphasized the importance for both clients and immigration attorneys to use services provided by experienced independent EB-5 consultants.
Among other speakers you could find Tammy Fox-Isicoff, Linda W.Lau, Lincoln Stone, Carolyn Lee, David Morris and Edward Carroll from the EB-5 Investor Committee as well as some of the AILA Past Presidents: Ronald Klasko, Ira Kurzban, Robert Juceam. Alongside with sessions held by the immigration attorneys, there were presentations given by Christopher Clement, a Global Business Attraction Manager from U.S. Department of Commerce and experience economist Paul Sommers, Ph.D.
The Thursday evening sessions laid the groundwork for the EB-5 practitioner. The first panel provided an overview of EB-5 law and was devoted to determining whether or not EB-5 is the best immigration strategy. The second panel highlighted the significant financial risks related to EB-5 practice, and offers pointers on how best to equip the client with the right team for dealing with these financial risks.
The full-day program on Friday presented an advanced forum on a broad range of EB-5 practice issues, beginning with practice tips and documentation for preparing the initial the successful EB-5 case filing with USCIS. Other panels featured EB-5 practice experts who shared insights on complying with professional responsibility rules and securities law, managing “material change” in the new commercial enterprise, navigating the removal of conditions (I-829 petition), challenging denied cases, establishing and operating EB-5 regional centers, understanding job-creation strategies and methodologies, and overcoming country-specific challenges such as OFAC licensing.
If you are an immigration attorney approached by an EB-5 client or a foreign national seeking to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program, it is vital for you to work with those who have expertise in the EB-5 industry and stay updated on all the changes happening within the industry. Attending conferences and seminars devoted to the EB-5 visa is the essential duty of any company claiming to provide expert EB-5 consulting services. If you are considering the EB-5 Investor Pilot Program, for more information, please contact Fred Burgess or Joe Sloboda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 001+1-954-727-9800.
The types of requests we started to receive from our clients make it clear that there exists a certain extent of confusion in the EB-5 market regarding the availability of Premium Processing. Foreign investors are now demanding only the EB-5 Projects that qualify for the Premium Processing of their I-526 Petitions.
Those, who were present during the latest EB-5 Stakeholder Conference, know that the premium processing does not yet exist. While some EB-5 consulting companies and Regional Centers are trying to clarify the situation to their EB-5 clients, others are making it even more confusing by dispensing misinformation.
We recently came across an article about one EB-5 project where the project’s representative was stating that in the near future their project will be able to provide prospective investors with 15-day premium processing. However, the statement is not true and only causes more confusion in the EB-5 investor’s mind.
At the recent EB-5 Stakeholder Conference that took place in Washington DC in September, it was very clear that unfortunately the availability of the premium processing for I-526 petition is something that is still yet to be finalized and will not be available in the near future. Furthermore, when premium processing does become available, it will be available to all EB-5 applicants. Not just to applicants of a few particular Regional Centers.
Moreover, the USCIS Director Mayorkas indicated that the primary focus of USCIS now is to implement premium processing for petitions to create new Regional Centers (I-924 petitions). That will take time because the USCIS is yet to create new forms and hire more EB-5 adjudicators.
Therefore, we believe that the I-526 petitions premium processing is months away not only from becoming reality but also from becoming a primary focus of the USCIS. And even after USCIS shifts attention to premium processing for individual I-526 petitions the department will still need to implement the streamline process.