EB-5 News Archive for the ‘US Immigration News’ Category
By Renata Castro
Chinese influence is no stranger to several areas of the United States such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle, but recently more areas are putting their best foot forward to attract Chinese visitors, and most importantly, Chinese EB-5 investors.
Florida has become an up and coming destination for Chinese visitors looking for some fun in the sun, theme park action at places such as Disney World and Universal Studios parks in Orlando. Aside from the expected activities of any Florida tourists, Chinese visitors have their eyes on a different prize – casinos.
In one of the latest moves toward attracting Chinese visitors to Florida, Seminole casinos have introduced Asia’s hottest slot machines to their casino locations. Fa-Fa-Fa, which means Richer, Richer, Richer in mandarin, is a wildly popular slot machine featuring Asian symbols of prosperity. Turtles, gongs, fish and phoenix illustrate this slot machine that is one of the most prevalent ones in Macau. With jackpots of US$ 150,000 minimum, Seminole gaming executive hope to attract to Florida what EB-5 projects have been doing for a while now – Chinese wealth.
The EB-5 program, which allows foreign investors to become US permanent residents through a passive investment of US$ 500,000 that fulfills certain USCIS requirements, has been China’s ultimate indulgence, allowing the nouveau riche of the growing economy to provide their offspring with an expedited path towards the American dream.
The EB-5 program benefits the investor, his or her spouse and any children under the age of 21 at the time the EB-5 petition is filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The program is open to citizens of any nation, but Chinese nationals filed over 60% of I-526 petitions in recent reports issued by USCIS.
Given current currency restrictions imposed by the Chinese government, EB-5 investors using funds from China are particularly concerned over the proper procedures to be followed in the EB-5 process, as source of funds is one of the most important prongs of the eligibility test performed by USCIS when granting green cards.
Exclusive Visas has successfully worked with several EB-5 investors from China in obtaining their green card. Contact Exclusive Visas for more information on the EB-5 program.
28 new RCs in October
USCIS approved another 28 new regional centers in October bringing the total regional center approvals for 2013 to 177 (for a total of 405 RCs). EB-5 opportunities continue to increase as a result of the program’s growing popularity.
The new centers are located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington.
Please contact Exclusive Visas for more information on these or any other EB-5 Regional Centers.
America West Regional Center, LLC
California International Regional Center LLC
Sierra Air Center Development, LLC
MCIG Regional Center MCIG Regional Center
Miami Metropolitan Regional Center
Palm Beach Raceway LLC
- Delaware/New Jersey/Pennsylvania
Pacific Northwest EB-5 Regional Center
Southwest Kansas Regional Center
Encore Louisiana Regional Center
US EB5 Nevada Regional Center, LLC
- New Hampshire
Invest New Hampshire Regional Center, LLC
- New York
Greater New York Regional Center
NYC Mayflower Regional Center, Inc.
Tri-State USA Regional Center
U.S. Business Regional Center Inc.
- Rhode Island
Greater Houston Investment Center, LLC
Greater Houston Regional Center, LLC
US Freedom Capital-Texas, LLC
EB-5 Blaine Tomorrow Regional Center, LLC
WWUV Woodinville Regional Center
Wisconsin-Illinois EB-5 Regional Center, Inc
USCIS approval of an EB-5 Regional Center application does not in any way: Constitute USCIS endorsement of the activities of that Regional Center; Guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws; or Minimize or eliminate risk to the investor. The complete list of Regional Centers is available at the USCIS site.
An Exclusive Visas expert EB-5 consultant will supply the investor with trustworthy information on the EB-5 program and its Regional Centers. Exclusive Visas handles all issues associted with the program and brings together all its elements giving 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 piece-of-mind while making the best of the EB-5 opportunity.
Contact Exclusive Visas for EB-5 Regional Center Information Today!
“Minor violations regarding broker/dealer relationships that are overlooked or ignored can feed bigger ones, and perhaps more importantly, can foster a culture where laws are increasingly treated as toothless guidelines,” according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White.
In a recent speech addressing SEC enforcement issues Ms. White explained her plan to apply the Broken Windows theory to broker/dealer violations in the same manner as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani applied it to reducing crime in New York City. The theory states that repairing, maintaining, and monitoring the (good) condition of city neighborhoods may stop further vandalism and escalation into more serious crime. After Mayor Giuliani repaired windows, removed trash and cleaned graffiti, New York City neighborhoods saw a reduction in crime.
“We are looking for the ‘broken windows’ in our market (broker/dealers) and not overlooking the small violations to avoid breeding an environment of indifference to our rules,” Ms. White stated.
Two recent SEC actions show how seriously the SEC is in actively enforcing minor violations. In March 2013, the SEC found that Ranieri Partners LLC, a private equity firm, violated the broker-dealer registration requirements by paying transaction-based compensation to a consultant for soliciting potential investors in mortgage opportunity funds sponsored by the firm (a common industry-wide violation). And in June 2013, the SEC filed injunctive action alleging that through its online trading platform, Banc de Binary was effecting securities transactions for its customers’ accounts without being registered as a broker-dealer.
And the SEC is not stopping there. Under recently confirmed FINRA rules broker/dealers have obligations to investors based on reasonableness and customer-specific suitability for the EB-5 projects or a type of privately offered securities.
According to Ms. White, a broker-dealer is violating the rules if it fails to: perform reasonable diligence to understand the nature of a recommended security; provide an investment strategy and analysis as to whether the strategy is suitable for (at least some) investors; advise of the investment’s potential risks and rewards; and determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe the claims made by the proprietors of a recommended security. Rules also state that broker/dealers should reasonably investigate the issuer and its management as well as:
- the business prospects of the issuer;
- the assets held by or to be acquired by the issuer;
- the claims being made; and
- the intended use of proceeds of the offering.
The new rules are to make the program safer but they may also make the program more complicated. Because practices are ingrained many broker/dealers have no idea if they are in violation of the new rules or not, according to many industry insiders. “As EB-5 becomes more widely known, it will also become more complex and ramping up securities-related enforcement will be no small feat for the SEC,” according to Fred Burgess, President of Exclusive Visas, a Florida-based EB-5 consultancy. “The latest rules just re-validate how important expert advice is when entering the fluid EB-5 universe,” adds Fred Burgess.
However, Mr. Burgess is quick to remind investors that even with growing enforcement EB-5 investors must still take responsibility for their own investment decisions. “It’s great to have these agencies policing the program. But the decision assistance from knowledgeable and practiced EB-5 professionals cannot be overstated.
An Exclusive Visas Expert Consultant provides trustworthy information on how the program works generally and specifically for the individual EB-5 client. From petitioning the USCIS to assisting the client in choosing a credible project to invest in, Exclusive Visas sees 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.
Contact Exclusive Visas Today for more Information on the EB-5 Program
United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) recently announced the rollout of its new verification tool requiring visa petitioners (including those in the EB-5 category) to submit biometric data – fingerprints and photographs – when appearing at an appointment at a USCIS domestic field office.
Fingerprints and photographs of Visa applicants will now be required through the Customer Identity Verification (CIV) system when appearing at USCIS offices. The tool will be phased in between September 9 and October 21, 2013.
The purpose of the new system is to enhance the integrity of the US immigration system and combat identity fraud through biometric technology, according to a USCIS release. After clearing security at the entrance of a USCIS field office, petitioners must submit to the CIV system which electronically scans two fingerprints and takes their picture to verify their identity. After USCIS verifies a petitioners’ identity, they are allowed to attend their interviews or receive their documents. In addition to making the field offices more secure it is believed the new measure will actually save time as well.
Current rules already require applicants and petitioners to provide biometric data along with a government issued documentation. This data is used by USCIS to help determine the eligibility of the applicants. This process will not change. CIV’s purpose is to utilize biometric information for security purposes and has nothing to do with the biometric data submitted for consideration of a USCIS issued visa.
According to Fred Burgess, President of Exclusive Visas, a Florida-based EB -5 consultancy, “any measure to increase security in our field offices is welcomed. And who can argue with a measure designed to increase safety and save both the USCIS and the petitioner time.”
Saving the client time is but one goal of an EB-5 consultant. Federal guidance and USCIS guidelines 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.
An Exclusive Visas EB-5 consultant will cut through the confusion for the investor by assisting the investor in distinguishing EB-5 projects likely to achieve their goals from the run of the mill. Additionally, EB-5 consultants bring together all the elements of the program and investment and manage timelines to give the client the broadest probability of success.
Click Here to discuss the new system with an Exclusive Visas EB-5 Expert
South Florida’s relationship to Latin America for investment is changing. Miami is now on most Asian Investors’ radar. And those same Asians are on Miami’s radar. Interest in Miami in general has elevated in Asia, and the awareness of Miami as an international gateway has grown.
According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors in cooperation with Florida Realtors, a growing number of Asians are joining the mass of foreign investors buying Florida real estate.
China has joined Latin American nations like Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina in becoming a growing source of foreign-national buyers in the state while European investment is figuring less prominently each year, the survey found. Over the past years Asians accounted for 11 percent of foreign purchases in the Fort Lauderdale area; 10 percent in the Orlando area; and 5 percent in Miami, the survey said.
Among all foreign sales for fiscal 2013, the Miami area accounted for 21.1 percent, followed by the Orlando-Kissimmee at 13.5 percent and Fort Lauderdale at 8.5 percent.
The widening of the Panama Canal and the deepening of Miami’s harbor to accommodate bigger ships are being credited by South Florida development professionals for the recent focus on the region by Asian investors.
And the Miami Association of Realtors is also getting in on the action. The group has joined a number of U.S./Asian trade missions to promote Asians investing and living in South Florida. The Realtor group also plans to host a Chinese TV program promoting the Miami market to more than 40 million viewers in the province of Guangdong.
Many well-to-do Asian investors are entering the U.S. via EB-5 and they are purchasing expensive homes in S. Florida, according to the report.
The EB-5 immigrant investor visa qualifies foreign nationals to become permanent U.S. residents by investing at least $500,000 in a U.S. business that creates at least ten jobs. There are other types of visa programs available to Asians for emigrating to the U.S. However, there is no faster, no more direct way to become a permanent resident than thorough the EB-5 immigrant investor program.
The EB-5 visa is attractive for Asian immigrant/investors because it does not require having a close relative or a U.S. company willing to sponsor the immigrant, as required by other immigrant visas. While the key features of EB-5 are easily stated the EB-5 process can be arduous and confusing. It is a vast combination of timelines, deadlines, tax returns, supporting documentation, and due diligence involving, immigration attorneys, the USCIS and the SEC. It is not a world anyone should attempt to navigate without an experienced expert at their side.
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 Asian candidate. 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.
Click here to contact an Exclusive Visas EB-5 consultant now.