EB-5 News Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The USCIS Ombudsman’s Office met with Stakeholders of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program met on March 5, 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to address issues ranging from competitive immigration programs from other countries to problematic adjudication delays.
Ombudsman Maria Odom noted in the meeting’s report that the EB-5 program can be an engine of economic growth and spur job creation. Ms. Odom reported that:
As of March 5th, there were over 243 approved EB-5 Regional Centers in 40 states and two territories, compared to just 25 EB-5 Regional Centers in 2006;
Investor interest in the program is spreading not just in Asia, but from all corners of the globe;
EB-5 filings have surged year after year for the past three years; and
In FY 2012, over 7,400 EB-5 visas were issued.
Panelists from government and the private sector made recommendations for improving and expanding the EB-5 program:
The EB-5 program facing stiff competition from countries with more predictable and speedy immigrant entrepreneur programs needs stability and predictability allowing for reasonable commercial risk taking by petitioners.
To compete, hallmarks of the EB-5 program should be fairness, due process, increased transparency in policy formation, and predictability in adjudications.
One participant stated that the current administration of the EB-5 process is hurting “Brand USA,” and foreign investors are taking advantage of immigrant investor programs offered by other countries. Another pointed out that many individuals who obtain EB-5 visas make significant investments over time in the U.S. economy and culture; the initial investment made under the EB-5 program is just the start.
Stakeholders also expressed issues that need USCIS attention. According to the Ombudsman’s report because there is not meaningful dialogue; useful email responses; and case status tracking between petitioners, regional center representatives, and adjudicators many stakeholders (and petitioners) are in the dark with no other utility to inform them of a pending result.
Stakeholders emphasized how the program’s lack of reliable adjudication standards and accurate processing times undercuts the legal and business interests of petitioners. Since current processing times can be as long as two years and accurate information about adjudication timelines cannot be obtained, prospective investors are also discouraged by the lack of dependability. According to the report these shortcomings are causing potential EB-5 petitioners to consider similar programs in Australia and Canada because they are easier to navigate and more transparent.
Finally, stakeholders voiced concerns over the effects of moving EB-5 processing operations from the California Service Center to DC headquarters expressing concerns over the likelihood of additional costs and delays during the transition period.
For the latest information on the EB-5 program including recent and expected (future) changes contact an Exclusive Visas EB-5 expert NOW.
“The EB-5 program is not an area anyone should attempt to navigate without an experienced expert at their side,” said Joe Sloboda, Vice President of Exclusive Visas, a Weston, FL-based Immigration consultancy. “While the key features of EB-5 are easily stated the EB-5 process is dynamic and can be arduous and confusing,” said Mr. Sloboda.
An Exclusive Visas Expert EB-5 Consultant will cut through the confusion for the investor by explaining how the program works generally and specifically for the candidate and what can be expected from newly (and future) proposed reforms. Exclusive Visas brings together all the elements of the program, manages timelines, and gives the client the broadest likelihood of success.
From petitioning the USCIS to choosing a credible project to invest in, Exclusive Visas will see to it that the investor has all the information necessary to give them peace-of-mind while making the best of the EB-5 opportunity.
Don’t wait another day. Click here to contact an Exclusive Visas EB-5 consultant now.
IIUSA has released today the comments it submitted to USCIS in response to the first draft of the EB—5 Adjudications Policy Memorandum.
Among other recommendations, IIUSA made recommendations related to key issues in the EB-5 landscape as of today, such as:
Tenant-occupancy and rationale behind previous interpretation of the matter
Rationale behind USCIS’s process on crediting construction jobs and/or the resulting indirect/induced economic impact to EB-5 investors
Limitation on number of Requests for Further Evidence (RFEs)
Bar on foreign ownership of Regional Centers, among others.
The comments can be read in full here.
IIUSA is a national membership-based non-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center program.
According to a post on The Globalist website, if U.S. immigration policies allowed it, 97% of Chinese people would probably want to move to the United States.
While many may disagree with the actual statistic there is no doubt that the huge number of Chinese applying for U.S. visas through the EB-5 program indicates a huge demand from people in China to move to the U.S.
In fact, there is so much demand to come to the U.S., the Chinese have become the world’s largest group of EB-5 petitioners accounting for nearly 80 percent of the visa program’s volume. And while the EB-5 process can be challenging in and of itself, transferring money to a U.S. investment from China can pose its own set of challenges.
Chinese currency laws generally restrict exchanges for U.S. dollars to $50,000 per person per year, making it very difficult for Chinese investors to legally transfer sufficient funds to their EB-5 investments on their own.
The method most commonly used for Chinese investors to transfer money to their investment is using a trusted third party via an offshore bank account in Hong Kong. In this method an investor makes a payment to (a third party’s) mainland China account and the third party transfers its own Hong Kong-based funds to the investor’s account in the U.S. Investors electing this route must provide evidence of each deposit and transfer including an affidavit from the third party in order to trace of funds adequately.
Chinese investors also commonly use what has become known as the “friends and family” method for transferring their capital to a U.S. based EB-5 investment. Here an investor transfers $50,000 to each of ten friends who convert the funds to U.S. Dollars (the annual limit) and then transfer the money to the investor’s U.S. account.
The Investor must then trace every transfer from the investor to intermediaries, each transfer from the intermediaries back to the investor, and the transfer from the investor to the new commercial enterprise. Failure to trace every transfer along the way usually results in a red flag from the USCIS.
This is exactly where an EB-5 consultant’s advice (and management) can be crucial to the successful transfer of funds. The EB-5 consultant will guide the Chinese investor toward the transfer method most appropriate to their situation. Additionally, the consultant will manage the transfer and documentation of the myriad of transfers involved in getting the capital from China to its U.S. destination.
EB-5 consultants bring together all the elements of the program and the investment, and manage timelines to give the client the broadest probability of success. An Exclusive Visas Expert EB-5 Consultant can help to cut through the confusion for the investor by explaining how the program works generally and specifically for the Chinese candidate.
From petitioning the USCIS to helping to review a credible project, Exclusive Visas will see to it that the investor has all the trustworthy information necessary to give them piece-of-mind while making the best of the EB-5 opportunity.
The EB-5 visa program provides a door for Chinese investors to permanent US residency and citizenship. However, federal guidance, USCIS guidelines, and capital transfer issues can be vague and inconsistent due to the significant complexities associated with both investment and immigration. Having an experienced consultant navigating the process is a major advantage for EB-5 candidates.
Don’t wait another day. Click here to contact an Exclusive Visas EB-5 consultant now
Title: USCIS Seeks Stakeholder Feedback in Consolidating New Policies
Description: The public is invited to comment on the draft memorandum (PM-602-XXXX) at www.uscis.gov. Please send all comments to email@example.com. The final date for comments and feedback is Monday, April 1, 2013.
Start Date: 2013-02-15
End Date: 2013-04-01
Title: CIS Ombudsman, Dept. of Homeland Security, Announces EB-5 Stakeholder Meeting, DC
Location: Washington, DC
Link out: Click here
Description: Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman Maria Odom will convene an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program stakeholder meeting in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm (EST). USCIS has been working to reform the EB-5 program and plans to soon establish a new EB-5 adjudication unit in Washington, D.C. As the Ombudsman’s Office continues to track progress with the EB-5 program, this is an ideal time for stakeholders to discuss ongoing issues with policies, procedures, and other matters.
Start Time: 13:30