Serving EB-5 investors in USA and Asia, with empathy and specialized skills gained through years of experience, our office focuses on quality rather than quantity.


[HOT] Good practical ideas that will improve the EB-5 Program if implemented

In this article to be updated and revised continuously, we are going to list some good, practical ideas which, if implemented by USCIS, will truly improve the EB-5 Program. However, we are not under an illusion that USCIS will implement any of the below ideas.

  • Even when USCIS approves I-526 immigrant petitions, USCIS should notify the Regional Center if they believe the RC should change some aspect of the project in future, or if USCIS has some concerns. This is called a pro active communication which will prevent unintentional mistakes and save time and efforts for everyone.

[HOT] Another I-829 approval notice received in August 2012

Our client and family received I-829 approval notice in 2 years from the time they acquired CPR status. This means CSC approved the I-829 in less than 3 months. Link to the I-829 approval notice below.

http://eb-5center.com/files/I-829_approval_Aug_2012.pdf

For more sample I-829 approval notices, go to:

http://eb-5center.com/sample_I-829_approvals

Note we rarely post any I-526 approval notices because CPR acquisition is not the ultimate goal of EB-5 investors: It's the acquisition of "permanent" green cards and the recouping of their investments.

Business plan and Matter of Ho factors

Even though some of the factors for a business plan listed in the Matter of Ho appear to be hyper-technical and impractical -- especially where the investment model is for a NCE to make a commercial loan to a JCE -- a business plan should try to include the factors set forth in the Matter of Ho as closely as possible. What is unreasonable and also against the holding of Matter of Ho case, however, is the extent to which USCIS goes to try to fit in every real-life project into the square peg of this case. The case is actually applicable to an EB-5 case involving a stand-alone, small business enterprise which truly needed a comprehensive business plan to meet the preponderance of evidence standard.

[Q] May unsecured personal loan be used as EB-5 money for I-526?

Our position is that regs seem to say "no", and as a result, we have advised clients accordingly. However, we did hear from other attorneys that they managed to get their I-526s approved even when unsecured personal loans were used. We must caution you that we also heard of RFEs on this very issue, with the RFE stating that the regs require only loans secured with personal assets. So, if you want to be a hero, go ahead.

[HOT] EB-5 Issues Still Unresolved

In this article to be continuously updated and edited, our goal is to list all arguably still-unresolved EB-5 issues. I say "arguably" because no one knows for sure if certain issues have been clarified sufficiently by USCIS to be relied upon without hesitation. Often, some of the below questions have been submitted as agenda questions in advance of various USCIS EB-5 teleconferences, but for some reasons, we have not observed USCIS answer them in a clear manner. Hopefully, USCIS will answer some of them in future.

Feel free to comment if you feel that soem of the issues have been answered adequately by USCIS, because I am not certain of any of the following issues.

[HOT] Senate Passes Extension of Expiring EB-5 RC Program . . . House expected to follow.

CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS – IMMIGRATION
Aug. 2, 2012 – 10:40 p.m.
Senate Passes Extension of Expiring Visa Programs
By Elham Khatami and David Harrison, CQ Staff
The Senate on Thursday passed a three-year renewal of a program that grants green cards to foreign investors and the government’s electronic workplace verification program, which are due to expire in September.

The amended version of the bill (S 3245), sponsored by Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and Republican Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, was advanced by unanimous consent. The bill also would reauthorize two temporary visa programs for religious workers and medical graduates until Sept. 30, 2015.

2012/07/26 -- EB-5 Stakeholders Teleconference

This teleconference had a USCIS attorney present, so USCIS was able to answer more substantive questions than the usual.

Summary:

Job announcement has been announced for a new EB-5 Program Office Head.

USCIS kept on referring to another updated policy draft memo by Director Mayorkas coming out soon, but they were saying it would come out soon several months ago, so it's hard to say when it will be coming out.

USCIS also stated that any applicant who was denied on I-924 applications will be given a chance to show up personally in front of a Review Board composed of two supervisory USCIS officers and one economist. This implies that many I-924 applications will be denied. 209 approved regional centers currently.

[HOT] USCIS intends to create a dedicated EB-5 Program Office

But that will provide any review procedure for I-526 and/or I-829 denials. Director Mayorkas must pass the finalized version of the Policy Guidance Memo as soon as possible

Dear Stakeholder,

I am pleased to announce that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be creating a new office to oversee our administration of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program.

[HOT] Can EB-5 funds be used for land or building acquisition costs?

The June 22, 2012 Engagement with the USCIS Chief Economist, John F. Rodgers (not "Rogers") has brought up another issue: May EB-5 project use a portion of the EB-5 funds received for land or building acquisition costs?

2012/06/22 -- Waltzing with USCIS economists on a hot summer day

Q&A Update dated July 3, 2012 from USCIS which clarifies or supplements certain unclear portions of the teleconference:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176...

The above link contains content regarding hotel or resort development and the effect of "visitor spending" and how to calculate jobs for a hotel project and acquiring real estate and its impact on jobs creation.

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[Q] Can I work for another employer after I invest? When can I get back my EB-5 money?

[Q] I would like to invest $ 500,000 and get the conditional green card. I have 2 questions I didn't find in any Faqs:

1- when I got the conditional green card for my investment, could I get hired by a US employer and do another kind of job? Example: I invest in a *** Resort project, I get my conditional green card and my SSN, after that can I be an employee of Wells Fargo and work for them?

2- when is my investment "due"? When can I get my money back? After i got my unconditional green card?

Answers:

1. Being an EB-5 investor does not prohibit you from working for another US employer or staring another business.

2. The EB-5 project may have its own requirement, but generally speaking, there is no prohibition against an EB-5 investor getting his or her money back after getting I-829 approved. However, most EB-5 project requires a loan of at least 5 years for various reasons.

[HOT] CA's new policy on issuing TEA certification letters for EB-5 projects

We listened in on the teleconference, and basically, their new policy is as follows:

Links where you can find info on this new policy being implemented immediately:

http://business.ca.gov/Programs/EB5Program.aspx

http://www.business.ca.gov/Portals/0/AdditionalResources/Reports/2011%20...

Our take/analysis:

[Q] How is the phrase "sought to acquire" in context of CSPA interpreted by USCIS or DOS?

See below from a recent BIA decision regarding aged-out children under CSPA.

In summary, we conclude that an alien may satisfy the “sought to acquire”
provision of section 203(h)(1)(A) of the Act by properly filing the application
for adjustment of status with the DHS. Additionally, the alien may meet the
requirement by establishing, through persuasive evidence, that an application
he or she submitted to the appropriate agency was rejected for a procedural
or technical reason or that there were other extraordinary circumstances,
particularly those where the failure to timely file was due to circumstances
beyond the alien’s control.

DOS interprets it as a payment of IV Fee bill within one year. See:

[HOT] Why a thorough review of Jobs Impact Study is crucial for a RC-based EB-5 Project?

This is no hype. Our experience in this field convinces us that it's very important for a RC-based EB-5 Project principals to get the Jobs Impact Study reviewed by a knowledgeable EB-5 attorney who has a decent working knowledge of the EB-5 law. In our opinion, it's not enough to just have a competent economist review the Jobs Impact Study because often the economist does not have a good working knowledge of the subtle different requirements USCIS imposes on the Jobs Impact Study based on their interpretations of the EB-5 requirements. This is a not a knock against economists because the way USCIS views the job-creation requirement under EB-5 law differs from the normal way economists calculates jobs.