Posts Tagged ‘EB-5 program’
The office of The Inspector General released a memo addressed to Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, on the IG’s general inquiry into the EB-5 program.
The report contains four recommendations aimed at improving the EB-5 Regional Center program.
To read the document, click here.
Exclusive Visas assists client in successfully becoming an EB-5 Regional Center
Weston, September 3, 2013: San Francisco EB-5 Regional Center, LLC, had its I-924 petition approved by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) on August 27th, 2013.
The San Francisco EB-5 Regional Center was initially approved in the state of California, with geographic coverage of San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties. Industry codes included in the EB-5 Regional Center designation are Commercial and Institutional Building Construction, Lessors of Real Estate, and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Merchant Wholesalers.
The Exclusive Visas’ team was led by its president, Fred Burgess, Esq., who worked with different key players in structuring the I-924 – Regional Center Designation Application, in such a way as to comply with USCIS’ strict standards of approval.
“We are excited that the San Francisco EB-5 Regional Center is now able to pursue EB-5 capital as an effective funding tool for its projects, while promoting sustainable job creation in the designated counties and industries in the state of California”, said Fred Burgess in response to the approval.
In addition to making the EB-5 program permanent Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has proposed a list of improvements to the immigrant Investor program including stronger oversight; better reporting and streamlined reviews of business plans and applications; and redefining full time employment as it relates to the EB-5 job requirement.
Currently Each EB-5 petitioner’s investment must result in at least 10 permanent full time jobs for American workers in order to qualify for a Green Card.
Full-time employment is currently defined as 35 total hours a week, per year, per employee (approximately 1,750 hours per year). Sen. Leahy’s proposal would count 1,750 hours worked as a full-time position towards the EB-5 job requirement regardless if the work is done by a single person or multiple individuals.
The proposed calculation is particularly important when counting construction employment where, under the Senator’s plan, four (full-time) 3-month deployments over 12 months would be counted as a single full-time equivalent (FTE) position.
According to a sectional summary of Senator Leahy’s amendment the redefinition of full-time would apply to both direct and indirect job creation. Since the proposed change is comprehensive it could affect not only short-term construction jobs, but also long-term so called permanent positions allowing multiple part-time positions to count as full-time job creation as well.
EB-5 insiders seem to favor the Senator’s proposals indicating that smaller projects would benefit from the new full-time definition because they commonly struggle with job creation.
According to Renata Castro, a project manager with Exclusive Visas, a Florida-based EB-5 consultancy, utilizing a total hours to calculate total full time jobs is much more accurate and fair than trying to make cases (to USCIS) for what positions count toward the EB-5 job requirement for Regional Center projects. “As a working policy it makes sense because it makes the calculation objective. The current calculation is dependent on the subjectivity of the USCIS examiner,” said Ms. Castro.
Even with the proposed improvements it is every investor’s responsibility to understand the nature of the EB-5 investment offering including: background, experience and track record of the regional center and as well as job counting methodology and projections.
Therefore, the importance of credible advice from experienced experts who have fully researched proposed regional center programs (and their economic modeling methodologies) cannot be overstated.
Exclusive Visas Expert EB-5 consultants provide trustworthy information on all aspects of the EB-5 program. From petitioning the USCIS to assisting the client in choosing a credible project to invest in, Exclusive Visas sees to it investors have 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
112 EB -5 Regional Centers Approved So Far This Year
USCIS approved another 31 new EB-5 regional centers in July bringing the Total EB-5 regional center approvals for 2013 to 112 (for a total of 340 RCs). “EB-5 funding continues to grow in popularity as a result of the program’s growing credibility. That’s good for EB-5 petitioners who are given more and better choices as a result. But all those choices also underscore the importance of reliable and trustworthy guidance throughout the complexities of the EB-5 process,” said Fred Burgess, President of Exclusive Visas, a South-Florida based EB-5 consultancy.
The new centers are located in Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ney York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
- Alabama EB-5 Regional Center, LLC
- U.S. Federal Investment Immigration Fund, LLC
- American Alliance Regional Center
- American Development and Investment Regional Center
- Build America Capital Partners Regional Center LLC
- California Future Partners
- California State Regional Center
- California Sunshine Regional Center, LLC Mebo Property Development, LLC
- Pacific Coast Regional Center
- EB-5 Regional Center Florida, LLC
- EB-5 Ameri-Holdings, LLC
- U.S. Prosperity Regional Center
- Gateway Georgia Regional Center
- Green Card Gateway Regional Center
- New Fortune Global LLC
Louisiana / Mississippi
- Gulf Coast Renewables & Redevelopment, LLC
- Michigan-Indiana EB-5 Regional Center
Rhode Island / Massachusetts
- New England Regional Center for Economic Development, Inc.
- Atlantic City Regional Center East Coast Renewable Regional Center, LLC
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut
- Empire State Regional Center
- Oklahoma Regional Center, LLC
- Iconic Caribbean EB-5, LLC
- Frisco Texas International Development Center
- Hidalgo McAllen Reynosa Regional Center, LLC
- RGV EB-5 Regional Center
- Texas EB-5 Regional Center
- Pacific Northwest Regional Center
- Seattle Metro Regional Center LLC
- Wisconsin EB5 Regional Center LLC
Please contact Exclusive Visas for more information on these or any other EB-5 Regional Centers.
The complete list of Regional Centers, is available at the USCIS site.
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.
Click here to contact an Exclusive Visas EB-5 consultant now
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