Experts Recommend Regulating Chinese Entry and Exit Agents
Those in China wishing to utilize the EB-5 Foreign Investor Visa (on any other U.S. visa for that matter) usually begin by contacting a private immigration agent in China. While these agents (also known as entry-and-exit-agents) are neither attorneys nor experts in the U.S. immigration system, they have become integral in the process of Chinese immigration to the U.S. through the EB-5 visa.
But when asked exactly what services they perform in the immigration process many private immigration agents can’t (or won’t) give a clear answer, according to Liu Guofu, an immigration law professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, in a recent report.
The apparent lack of understanding by private Chinese immigration agents, especially when it comes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program, has already caused serious harm to many Chinese EB-5 petitioners.
According to EB-5 industry insiders, many Chinese agents have strongly recommend bad projects (e.g. the fraud laden Chicago Metro Regional Center and North Dakota Wind Farm projects) not as a result of any real due diligence and research; not based on their likelihood of fulfilling the EB-5 requirements for a permanent green card; not based on a potentially successful return on investment but rather the promise of high commissions for the agents themselves.
As a result hundreds of investors have been denied an EB-5 green card (and potentially lost their investment) and have been relegated to the back of the line if they even choose to go back into the EB-5 program.
According to Professor Liu’s report, clear parameters and policies need to be developed so that the agencies can fall under the supervision of the government.
The new regulations recommended are intended to simplify the immigration process for both foreigners and Chinese. The regulations allow for Private Immigration Agents to be hired to help with documentation involving visas or residential permits, according to Chinese immigration experts.
But, Professor Liu says the expert recommendations don’t go far enough and says even more specific rules are needed to define what activities are legal for these agencies. He suggests that China’s public security and foreign affairs ministries, as well as related government departments, work out a regulation on the management of entry-and-exit agents.
Since they are not regulated there are many underground agents participating in the process according to Professor Liu. He suggests the best way to manage them is to bring them under government supervision.
“By giving these agents a legitimate status, it can improve the efficiency of public security authorities and foreign affairs authorities,” Professor Liu said.
There is support for the recommendations. “These agencies only process documents. They have no other rights or duties and are often unclear about what actions they can take on behalf of their clients,” said Qi Lixin, chairman of the Beijing Entry and Exit Service Association. “The lack of specific rights and duties for these agencies has resulted in a massive legal gray area,” he said.
According to Joe Sloboda, Vice President and co-founder of Exclusive visas, a Florida-based EB-5 consulting firm, the call for regulating Immigration brokers just illustrates how much lies in the balance for those in China wanting to come to the U.S. via EB-5. “It also reinforces how important it is to work with competent and trustworthy experts when pursuing an EB-5 visa. Following bad advice can be devastating to both the EB-5 petition and investment,” said Mr. Sloboda.
Exclusive Visas brings together all the elements of the EB-5 program, manages timelines, and gives the client the broadest likelihood of success. 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.
“Simply put, the importance of accurate advice from knowledgeable experts cannot be overstated in providing EB-5 investors with the best environment for making informed choices,” Mr. Sloboda added.
Contact Exclusive Visas Today for more Information on the EB-5 Program