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Our team of professionals is sought after for their knowledge and ability to deliver research and advice on the EB-5 Investor Visa Program! # 2013/04/11
Posts Tagged ‘investor visa’
When applying for an EB-5 Visa, many focus on the initial approval of the I-526 petition. And while the approval of the I-526 is critical, it is not the final part of the process before immigrating to the United States. After the I-526 Petition is approved, the next step in the process is the consular interview.
The consular interview takes place at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction (typically where the citizenship of the applicant lies) over the beneficiary. The purpose of the interview is to make sure the petitioner is not subject to any grounds of exclusion. Upon establishment of admissibility by the consular post, an immigrant visa to the investor is issued. The consular post will also determine if the spouse and the qualifying children of the investor are admissible. If the investor is denied an immigrant visa, applications by the spouse and children of the investor for such a visa will also be denied.
Immigrant visas are usually issued shortly after the interview, unless the consul detects problems in the visa application, the underlying I-526 petition, or during the interview process. Visa applicants should allow six to twelve months after the I-526 is approved to complete consular processing, although times for processing vary greatly among consular posts.
Upon Consular approval, travel documentation and conditional green cards are issued to investors and their family members. Investors are required to enter the US within six months of the date of the Embassy approval. After two years, the I-829 petition may be filed to remove conditions and change green card status from conditional to permanent. Removal of conditions petitions are not conducted by the consular post, but by USCIS.
Immigration officers carrying out the immigration interviews are given great deference in using discretion when questioning applicants. However, there are basic approaches for preparing efficiently for the Consular interview.
Be on time for the scheduled immigration interview. Simply securing an immigration interview appointment can be difficult. With caseloads at record volume, being only minutes late after the slated time in a hectic United States consulate or at U.S.C.I.S. office, can throw the interview off its schedule and possibly endanger the entire case. Therefore, it is a good idea to arrive at least 30 minutes before the reserved immigration interview.
Pay attention to every single question the officer asks and then respond appropriately and truthfully. Listen closely to each thing the interviewer asks. Answer each question specifically. Do not offer less or more information. Not responding to a question or giving the official a great deal more information than requested can confuse and often aggravate the interviewer. The goal is to keep the official as comfortable as possible, increasing the likelihood of an expedited approval. Therefore, it is okay to not remember or not know the reply to a query (rather than risk not being accurate).
Bring a copy of your I-526 petition to the Interview. Even if documents were sent together with the application, access to them could be limited. Therefore, it is a good idea to bring copies of all legal documentation to the interview to insure easy access should the immigration officer request a document.
Under the EB-5 program the investor is issued a conditional Green Card providing Permanent Residency for themselves, their spouse and children (under the age of 21) on an investment of at least $500,000. The investment must result in the development of at least 10 permanent jobs.
While key features of EB-5 are easily stated, the EB-5 process can be arduous and confusing. Besides the Consular interview, the entire process is a vast combination of timelines, deadlines, tax returns, supporting documentation, and due diligence involving, immigration attorneys, the USCIS and the SEC.
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. 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.
The Chinese Government’s recently issued risk warning notice to Chinese EB-5 investors and emigration intermediaries, underscores the need for exhaustive Due Diligence when making an EB-5 (or any other) investment.
The warning is the official Chinese response to last month’s historic SEC Complaint charging the Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago with defrauding 250 Chinese EB-5 investors of $145 million in securities and $11 million in administrative costs.
For most industry insiders the charges were a welcomed sign of the SEC’s and USCIS’ combined commitment to preserving and strengthening the integrity of the EB-5 program.
In reaction to the complaint the Chinese government’s statement calls for better screening and due diligence and directs Chinese EB-5 agents and intermediaries to pay attention to prevent fraud. The statement also encourages Chinese citizens to be cautious when considering EB-5 investment.
The Chinese government’s statement has been received positively by industry insiders as well. “It reminds its citizens petitioning for an EB-5 visa to take more responsibility, especially with due diligence. That’s a really good thing, said Fred Burgess, president and founder of Exclusive Visas, a Weston, Florida-based EB-5 consultancy.
The importance of due diligence cannot be overstated. “Comprehensive due diligence would certainly have put many of the representations made in the Intercontinental project’s documentation to the test and raised numerous red flags. In this case a lot of loss could probably have been avoided,” Mr. Burgess added.
Making any investment carries risk whether a stock on Wall Street or an EB-5 investment. Therefore, 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 project principals; job counting projections and methodology; and any factors that could possibly impact the visa process.
Effective due diligence – especially within EB-5 – typically requires hiring experienced professionals. Advice from experts who have fully researched proposed regional center programs is imperative if the applicant is to have the best chance of identifying probable successes and avoiding possible failures.
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
After only being open for 2 months, VooDoo BBQ & Grill placed FIRST in the WPLG Local 10 Top 10 Best BBQ in South Florida! “To take first means so much to us. Thank you to all our customers who helped spread the word,” said Jack Flechner, President of VooDoo BBQ’s Florida Franchise group.
In addition to winning first place in the contest, the first eight weeks of business have far exceeded all expectations for VooDoo BBQ’s first Florida Location in Pembroke Pines. “Our EB-5 Investors are receiving their approvals in as little as four months. Our sales volume is Fifty percent above our projections. Jobs are already being created. And Construction is already underway on two additional locations with construction on a fourth location scheduled to begin in a few months,” Mr. Flechner added.
And as a result of being named best BBQ restaurant in South Florida by Channel 10 TV, VooDoo BBQ was recently highlighted on a major television news broadcast.
VooDoo BBQ’s success and rapid expansion is credited to its unique concept rooted in New Orleans culture – a culture known for its creative and delicious food. VooDoo BBQ & Grill is ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 and is a recipient of Franchise Business Review’s Top 50 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards.
While VooDoo BBQ & Grill has already sold out all its Phase-I EB-5 positions, opportunities remain to invest in Phase-II, which is offered by the Palm Beach Regional Center and the Florida Restaurant Franchise Group.
Contact Exclusive Visas to Discuss VooDoo BBQ Investment Opportunities
Since last year (2012) the collective EB-5 industry: from agents to clients; from attorneys to consultants have been nervously transfixed on the inevitable Chinese Quota Retrogression (suspension of Chinese EB-5) slated to go into effect sometime this year (2013) when Chinese petitions were expected to reach their maximum limit.
This week everyone’s anxiety was relieved a bit when Charles Oppenheim, head of the Department of State’s Visa Office updated Stakeholders that he no longer expects retrogression or a cutoff date to be implemented for Chinese EB-5 applicants.
“A lot of Chinese petitioners are breathing easier today along with a lot of EB-5 practitioners,” said Fred Burgess, President of Exclusive Visas, a Weston, Florida based EB-5 consultancy. Even though we planned for the quota retrogression and counseled our clients accordingly, we are relieved that we – including our clients – do not have to actually face the closure of Chinese EB-5,” Mr. Burgess added.
The DOS turnaround is due to a slowing down of applications received by the USCIS so far this fiscal year, according to Mr. Oppenheim. The USCIS had previously predicted that the EB-5 numbers for China would be used up prior to year’s end. Even with the slowdown in applications, EB-5 visa usage has risen 75 percent over last year, noted Mr. Oppenheim.
The EB-5 quota for investors has remained at approximately 10,000 since the program became law in 1990. It has been more than enough to satisfy demand which has never exceeded 50 percent.
EB-5 visa usage reached its highest level in 2012 resulting in the DOS predicting that the quota usage could be so high in 2013 that a limit may need to be imposed on China since it makes up approximately 80 percent of the world’s EB-5 investors.
USCIS approved another three new regional centers last week bringing the total regional center approvals for 2013 to six and the general total of regional centers to two hundred sixty one. “That’s a record pace,” said Fred Burgess, president of Exclusive Visas. “Last year there were only 19 Regional Center approvals for the entire year. This year we are on pace to triple that number and it’s only February,” Mr. Burgess added.”
The new centers are located in the Washington D.C. area of Maryland, Montana, and New York City and are listed below. Please contact Exclusive Visas for more information.
Washington Center for Foreign Investment, LLC
Geographic Scope: Frederick, Montgomery, Carroll and Washington Counties.
Target Industry Categories: Multifamily Housing Construction, Commercial and Institutional Building Construction, Architectural, Engineering and Related Services, Lessors of Real Estate.
Yellowstone Montana Regional Center, LLC
Geographic Scope: Missoula and Ravalli Counties.
Economic Activity: Loans to 3rd party enterprises.
Target Industry Categories: Traveler Accommodation, Commercial and Institutional Building Construction.
Lam NYC EB-5 Fund Regional Center, LLC
Geographic Scope: New York City
Target Industry Categories: Traveler Accommodation, Commercial and Institutional Building Construction, Hotel Construction and Management.
The complete list of Regional Centers is available at the USCIS site.