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EB-5 Insights

Where Government Policies and Business Realities Converge

Posted in Regional Center, USCIS

On Jan. 13, 2015, USCIS established a webpage which lists the EB-5 regional centers which have had their designations terminated. The full webpage can be accessed here. This is a strong and important step from USCIS to help eradicate fraud and abuse in the EB-5 regional center program, as well as to terminate regional centers that are not active. A snapshot of the list dated Jan. 13, 2015 is below.

List of EB-5 Terminated Regional Centers

Regional Center Name Termination Date

State(s)

Invest US Regional Center 9/29/2014 Wyoming
Gateway Georgia Regional Center 9/29/2014 Georgia
South West Bio Fuel RC LLC 9/29/2014 Texas
South Florida EB-5 Regional Center 8/15/2014 Florida
Michigan Renaissance Regional Center 8/15/2014 Michigan
Kansas BioFuel Regional Center LLC 8/15/2014 Kansas
Ecorntech Regional Center 8/15/2014 Wisconsin
Michigan Renaissance Regional Center 8/15/2014 Michigan
Lake Buena Vista RC 7/2/2014 Florida
USA Now Regional Center 3/28/2014 Texas
North Carolina Center for Foreign Investments, LLC 12/3/2013 North Carolina
Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago 3/23/2013 Illinois
Mamtek Regional Center 4/11/2012 Missouri
El Monte Regional Center 9/19/2011 California
Victorville RC 10/20/2010 California
Unibex Global Corporation 5/30/2008 Texas

Posted in Securities Law

Written by Rebecca G. DiStefano

On Dec. 18, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to current rules under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act) that would implement provisions of Titles V and VI of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act). In this GT Alert, the author reviews the proposed amendments to the Exchange Act rules and what the implications are for clients.

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Posted in Events

Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorneys, Kate Kalmykov and Laura Reiff, were moderators at the second annual Las Vegas EB-5 Conference, hosted by EB-5 Investors Magazine at the Wynn Encore Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., this past weekend. The event provided valuable information on various EB-5 topics such as regional center issues, using EB-5 for financing or immigration purposes, and current legal trends. The conference featured keynote speaker Congressman Jared Polis, chair of the NewDem Coalition’s Immigration Task Force and sponsor of The American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act which would reform and make permanent the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program.

EB-5 Raises & SEC Regulations Panel Moderated by Kate Kalmykov

EB-5 Raises & SEC Regulations with panelists Tom Rosenfeld, CanAm Enterprises, LLC, Michael Homeier, Homeier & Law, P.C., and C.J. Arrigo, American Regional Center Group, LLC, and moderator Kate Kalmykov, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

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Posted in Securities Law

Written by Richard M. Cutshall and Arthur Don

On Jan. 13, 2015, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations released its annual list of examination priorities for 2015. This GT Alert provides an overview of the examination priorities, and highlights how most securities industry participants – registered investment advisers, broker-dealers, registered investment companies and transfer agents – are impacted.

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Posted in Securities Law

Written by Richard M. Cutshall and Steven M. Felsenstein

The role of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regarding payments to unlicensed persons for securities-related and capital-raising activities has expanded. This GT Alert gives an overview of the FINRA Rule 2040 (approved by the SEC on Dec. 30, 2014) which governs when and how registered broker-dealers can provide compensation to unregistered persons. Approval of Rule 2040 signals the SEC’s continuing interest regarding concerns about unlicensed persons fulfilling any but the most limited functions, and the increased impact on international capital-raising functions across borders.

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Posted in Events, General

Greenberg Traurig’s EB-5 team will sponsor the 2015 Invest in America Summit and Exhibition, the largest USA-themed investment conference and exhibition in China, with attorney Kate Kalmykov serving as Summit Co-Chair. In celebration of the event’s fifth anniversary, the Summit will travel to three Chinese cities. Event dates and locations are:

  • March 14 – 15th, 2015 | Shanghai, China | Main Event
  • March 18, 2015 | Shenzhen, China
  • March 21, 2015 | Beijing, China

Invest in America welcomes U.S. investment projects, regional centers, real estate brokerage firms, franchises, private equity and venture capital companies, financial services, attorneys, CPAs, international trade agencies, government officials, and colleges to participate in exhibitions and presentations. The summit also promises investors and business executives who are eager to learn more about investment and business opportunities in the United States.

The two-day conference in Shanghai will include an EB-5 trade show featuring more than 80 exhibition booths, and comprehensive breakout sessions lead by EB-5 industry leaders. As in previous years, the Invest in America planning committee anticipates strong attendance from China and around the world.

The Shenzhen and Beijing events are designed as one-day conferences exclusively for exhibitors that participated in the Shanghai event. Each location will include a full-day exhibition, migration agent roundtable, exhibitor presentations, networking luncheon with migration agents, and panel discussions.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to register, please visit http://www.top-eb5.com/.

Posted in Securities Law

Written by Richard M. Cutshall, Steven M. Felsenstein, and Carl A. Fornaris

On Dec. 30, 2014, the SEC approved a proposed rule change pursuant to which FINRA is adopting a revised version of NASD Rule 3010(e) concerning background investigations of proposed registered representatives and adding a new obligation for member firms’ written supervisory procedures to require a national background check on such individuals. This GT Alert gives an overview of the new rule that becomes effective July 1, 2015. FINRA member firms should start taking the time now to amend their written supervisory procedures to specifically address their new background check obligations and begin discussing with vendors how background searches will be effected and documented.

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Posted in Immigrant Visa

The following is a ranking of the top EB-5 countries ranked according to the number of EB-5 visas issued in the 2014 fiscal year. Inclusion in the list below was determined by countries which had double digits during the 2013 or 2014 fiscal years. For comparison, the number of EB-5 visas issued in the 2013 and 2012 fiscal years has also been included below. The full report can be found here, and the main page for the report is located here. Continue Reading

Posted in General

International law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP announced this week the opening of a new office in Tokyo, Japan. The Tokyo office is the firm’s third in the Asia region and will work collaboratively with existing teams in Shanghai, China and Seoul, Korea. As Greenberg Traurig’s 37th office worldwide, Greenberg Traurig Tokyo Law Offices will be operated by Greenberg Traurig Horitsu Jimusho, an affiliate of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

The Tokyo office will be led by an award-winning team of English-speaking Japanese lawyers. Shareholder Koji Ishikawa, managing shareholder of the new office, joins from DLA Piper, and shareholders Yuji Ogiwara and Koichiro Ohashi, co-chairs of the firmwide Japan Practice, join from White & Case.

The office opening is responsive to client needs and the global business community’s growing interest in Japan. Against the backdrop of the questionable viability and time horizons of various so-called “emerging markets” and major investments therein, the long-term strength and stability of the Japanese economy, government, and culture paint a compelling picture for Greenberg Traurig and its client base.

The attorneys opening this office are experienced practitioners in their fields and licensed in both Tokyo and New York. Ishikawa advises clients on corporate finance and capital markets transactions. Ogiwara focuses on Japanese employment litigation, labor negotiations, and compliance matters. Ohashi is an expert in the world of investment funds and also specializes in advising financial institutions, both Japanese and international, on a variety of financial matters, particularly M&A transactions.

While the team will pay particular attention to helping clients navigate their needs outside Japan by utilizing the firm’s expansive resources and platform elsewhere in Asia and in the United States, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, they will also help clients navigate Japanese opportunities, with a particular focus on corporate & securities, capital markets, fund & invest management, dispute resolution, labor & employmentintellectual propertyenergy and infrastructure.

Posted in I-526, USCIS

Earlier this month, USCIS released updated processing times for EB-5 related petitions.  The following chart provides the average processing times for cases being adjudicated by the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) as of October 31, 2014: 

Form Processing Timeframe as of December 11, 2014
I-526 14.7 months
I-829 8.6 months
I-924 9 months

 

Based on previously released processing time data issued in July 2014, the current processing time for all three petitions has unfortunately increased.  During the December 5, 2014 EB-5 Public Engagement, Nicholas Colucci, Chief of the Immigrant Investor Program Office, explained the IPO’s operational plan for FY 2015 includes streamlining I-526  petition adjudications on a first-in first-out basis.

USCIS reminds I-526 applicants that tools are available for checking the status of a filing online at www.uscis.gov  or through an email to USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov for cases which are pending beyond the above referenced processing times.