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EB-5 Insights Where Government Policies and Business Realities Converge

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Posted in EB-5 Program, Regional Center

With the looming September 30, 2015 expiration date fast approaching, leading EB-5 stakeholders including The Real Estate Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the EB-5 Investment Coalition drafted a letter outlining the key principles for EB-5 reform and reauthorization of the EB-5 regional center investment program to Congressional Leaders.  To view the letter, please… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program

The Bipartisan Policy Center will be hosting a panel discussion on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at its office in Washington, D.C. to discuss the EB-5 Regional Center Program, which, without congressional action, will sunset on September 30, 2015.  The panel discussion will review the successes and challenges the EB-5 program has faced as it has… Continue Reading

Posted in Administrative Appeals Office

This article examines how Administrative Appeals Office handles a range of petition denial appeals, from applications to sponsor a foreign fiance to bids to bring over a temporary worker on an H-1B visa. However, according to statistics from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, approval rates at the office are strikingly low, particularly when it comes… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program

Yesterday, new FINRA Rule 2040 became effective.  The rule was approved by the SEC earlier this year.  Rule 2040(c) requires a broker-dealer who sells EB-5 securities disclose to investors the amount of fees paid to foreign finders.  In addition, a broker-dealer must receive written acknowledgement from an investor which shows that the investor is aware… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a civil fraud suit on August 24, 2015 against a Seattle developer, who had raised $125 million under the EB-5 program.  The developer is also the Chief Executive Director of an approved Regional Center under the EB-5 program.  The Regional Center targets investments into real estate development… Continue Reading

Posted in Immigrant Visa

After months of online system accessibility issues that left potential visa applicants around the globe unable to submit their visa applications, make online payment, or even access their case status, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and National Visa Center (NVC) has restored much of the functionality to the Consular Electronic Application Center. Nonetheless, applicants… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program, Government Accountability Office (GAO), USCIS

In its report published on Aug. 12, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified three areas for improvement and provided recommendations to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in relation to its administration of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. We summarized the GAO’s report here. This article will examine the way in which three pending… Continue Reading

Posted in Immigrant Visa

Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) have reported several new or additional problems with information received from The National Visa Center (“NVC”). AILA members report receiving letters in error from the NVC. Some letters indicate that proceedings to terminate the immigrant visa application have commenced. Others state that the application is being terminated… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program, USCIS

On Aug. 13, 2015, USCIS held a stakeholder engagement for individuals interested in the EB-5 program in Los Angeles and via conference call. Our detailed summary of the engagement will be available on our partner site. The engagement was attended by several leaders of the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) of USCIS (including its Chief,… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program, Regional Center, USCIS

As previously reported, since January 2015 USCIS has maintained a webpage listing the EB-5 Regional Centers that have had their designations terminated. As of June 4, 2015, USCIS has terminated 34 Regional Centers. A Regional Center’s participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program can be terminated by USCIS for several reasons under the regulations found… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Investment

The People’s Bank of China—the country’s central bank—devalued its notoriously tightly controlled currency (Chinese Renminbi) by 1.9 percent against the U.S. dollar between Monday night and Tuesday morning, Aug. 11, 2015. Such devaluation represents the greatest single-day markdown since 1994, following years of international political rhetoric concerning China’s exchange rate control.

Posted in EB-5 Program, Government Accountability Office (GAO), USCIS

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reviewed the risks and economic benefits of the EB-5 program. The report addresses several challenges related to the EB-5 program that have been highlighted in recent years, and which are addressed in legislation currently pending in Congress. The congressional requesters asked the GAO to examine the following: The extent to which… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program, USCIS

Earlier this week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memo providing clarity on what has become a long waiting period between an EB-5 project completion and an investor receiving his or her green card. This gap is partially caused by an increase of investors from China – who take roughly 80… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Investment, EB-5 Program

The EB-5 Investment Coalition, co-chaired by Managing Shareholder Laura Foote Reiff, joined forces with key members of the EB-5 industry to advocate the reauthorization of the program before the September 30, 2015 expiration date. On August 5, 2015, an EB-5 Stakeholder Letter was hand-delivered to key Members of Congress of the Senate and House leadership… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program, USCIS

Representative Zoe Lofgren, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and Representative Luis Gutiérrez introduced H.R. 3370, the Entrepreneurial Business Creating Jobs Act of 2015.  This is the third bill introduced in 114th Congress that focuses on reauthorizing the EB-5 program. In January 2015, Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV) and… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Investment, EB-5 Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is scheduled to expire September 30, and with Congress on recess, many attorneys want to be sure when they return it is a priority on their “to-do list.” According to Law 360, the program is popular amongst Chinese investors and real estate developers as it provides green cards to foreign… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program, Immigrant Investor

EB-5 Investors magazine hosted a conference earlier this week focusing on keeping the  EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program a priority for lawmakers before it expires on September 30. Laura Reiff, co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Business Immigration & Compliance Practice, is the executive director for the EB-5 Investment Coalition and was a panelist at the event. In… Continue Reading

Posted in EB-5 Program

Following is the Chinese translation of a previously published blog post: 我们曾经报道,美国移民局(USCIS)最近改变了其允许以借款作为投资人合法投资的政策。许多相关人士都提到,投资人以并非完全拥有的房产做抵押贷款的I-526申请被拒。美国移民局指出,借款可以作为投资人的资金,如果:(1)投资人对借款负有首要的和个人的偿还义务,并且(2)投资人实际拥有的抵押资产达到或超过借款的价值。

Posted in EB-5 Investment

Use of EB-5 as part of the capital stack for an EB-5 project is a highly complicated prospect. Identifying the right Regional Center or forming a Regional Center and structuring the project so that it is compliant with the myriad of USCIS/DHS rules is a daunting endeavor. The other very real concern for these projects is… Continue Reading

Posted in General

Greenberg Traurig expands their immigration and EB-5 practices with the addition of four new attorneys in the New York, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. offices. Joining Greenberg Traurig’s growing immigration team are Shaoul Aslan, Jordi Bayer, Lauren Tetenbaum, and Matthew Virkstis. Virkstis, Bayer, and Tetenbaum will work with our broad-based EB-5 team serving our EB-5… Continue Reading