Ali Brodie is pictured speaking about using the EB-5 program as a tool for franchise network expansion.
Last week, Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorney Ali Brodie and Franchise attorney David Oppenheimspoke at the West Coast Franchise Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
Ali provided a seminar on EB-5 as a tool for franchise network expansion. She discussed how the EB-5 program affords unique opportunities for franchise companies to raise capital and expand their franchise networks by working with EB-5 investors.
David provided a seminar on structuring for franchise network expansion. He explored common expansion models used for both domestic and international growth, with a discussion on the legal considerations for choosing one structure over another.
The Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State, Charles Oppenheim, reported that the EB-5 immigrant visa category would likely retrogress in July 2015. However, this does contradict his prediction provided to AILA earlier last week of retrogression occurring in May 2015. What is striking about Oppenheim’s announcement was that retrogression of the EB-5 immigrant visa category would cause him to establish a cut-off date of July 2013. A cut-off date has the effect of establishing an orderly line for the issuance of EB-5 immigrant visas. The cut-off date is determined based on the date an I-526 Petition was filed and is the date included on each I-526 Petition approval notice in the “Priority Date” box. For example, if a cut-off date of July 2013 is established in July 2015, during the month of July 2015, only those EB-5 investors (and their derivative beneficiaries) with a Priority Date in July 2013 or earlier (i.e. June 2013, May 2013, etc.) may apply for an EB-5 immigrant visa.
As part of an ongoing series of monthly updates provided to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State, Charles Oppenheim, reported that the EB-5 immigrant visa category could retrogress as early as May 2015. It appears retrogression of the EB-5 immigrant visa category will happen during the U.S. government’s 2014-2015 fiscal year, the only questions are when such retrogression will occur and what impact it will have. This is consistent with our prior information.
As we have stated previously, EB-5 investors should continue to file I-526 Petitions in the regular course of business because retrogression will have no effect on the adjudication of I-526 Petitions by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Furthermore, if the EB-5 immigrant visa category retrogresses for mainland-Chinese born EB-5 investors, the State Department will create a waiting list based on the date an I-526 Petition was filed. Accordingly, EB-5 investors who have filed their I-526 Petitions prior to other EB-5 investors will be closer to the front of the EB-5 immigrant visa line.
Effective September 12, 2014, the Department of State has decreased the Immigrant Visa Application Processing fees to $345 based on an approved I-526 petition. Therefore, applicants who received a fee invoice prior to September 12, 2014, will be eligible to pay the listed fee on the fee bill invoice.
From left are Greenberg Traurig Attorney Kate Kalmykov, Bank of China Chairman Tian Guoli and Greenberg Traurig Attorney Laura Reiff.
Last week, Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorneys Kate Kalmykov and Laura Reiff attended the China-U.S. Economic and Investment 2014 Annual Gala Dialogue hosted by the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC). CGCC is one of the largest nonprofit organizations representing Chinese enterprises in the United States. The gala served as a platform to enhance economic and business cooperation for both Chinese and U.S. enterprises through the exploration of the new collaborative model of Chinese-U.S. relations. Guests included business executives and elected officials from both China and the United States. Continue Reading
Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorneys Christian Triantaphyllis and Catharine Yen recently co-authored an article in the American Bar Association’s International Law News journal entitled “Immigrant Investor Visas: Emergent Trends Around the World.” This article outlines the immigrant investor programs in the United States, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. The piece discusses the U.S. EB-5 investor program in light of world trends and how and why each government has changed their respective program in their own markets. Read the full article here.
The October 2014 Visa Bulletin reflects that EB-5 visas are now available for Chinese EB-5 investors. In August, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced that the EB-5 visa category for Chinese nationals would be unavailable for the remainder of fiscal year 2014. Fiscal year 2015 began October 1, 2014, and so the EB-5 visa category for Chinese nationals is now current and, therefore, immediately available again. Accordingly, Chinese nationals with an approved I-526 petition may immediately apply for their EB-5 immigrant visas at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China.
According to visa usage trends, it is speculated that EB-5 visas for Chinese nationals will retrogress at some point during the fiscal year 2015. If EB-5 visa retrogression does occur, Chinese EB-5 investors may continue to file I-526 petitions, but will not be able to apply for an EB-5 visa to become a conditional lawful permanent resident in the United States until their priority date listed on their I-526 petition is current in the Visa Bulletin.
Greenberg Traurig’s EB-5 team has partnered with a migration agent to host a EB-5 seminar series in key Latin American markets. The seminar series is structured to provide ample opportunity for regional centers to network, meet and promote projects to investors through migration agents. Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorneys will present on the legal process involved in the I-526 process as well as international tax considerations. The seminar dates and locations are:
Mexico City, Mexico
Greenberg Traurig Mexico City Office
Monday, November 10th | 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Meetings will be in a pre-arranged, round robin fashion.
São Paulo, Brazil
Intercontinental Hotel São Paulo
Thursday, November 13th – Friday, November 14th | 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The São Paulo event includes an opportunity for presentations to investors.
Greenberg Traurig Miami Office
Tuesday, December 9th | 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Meetings will be in a pre-arranged, round robin fashion.
For more information regarding registration and pricing, please contact August Trammell at email@example.com.
Greenberg Traurig EB-5 attorneys Kate Kalmykov and Laura Reiff were recently featured in the first edition of Immigration Times magazine*. The magazine is published in China and features industry expert articles, immigration Q & A, regional center success stories and more. The magazine exists to provide key updates on EB-5 regulations and policies, educate investors abroad about the EB-5 Program and provide a one-stop resource for investors to learn the new projects currently on the market.
*Note: This publication is in Chinese.
On September 9, 2014 the U.S. State Department (the State Department) issued the October 2014 Visa Bulletin which reflected the EB-5 visa category as “current” for mainland-born Chinese EB-5 investors. However, there is speculation and anticipation that the EB-5 visa for mainland-born Chinese EB-5 investors will become unavailable during the U.S. government’s 2014-2015 fiscal year (the U.S. government’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30). If this occurs, there will be impacts felt throughout the EB-5 industry.