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Starting EB-5 case -- what potential EB-5 investor should know & do


What potential EB-5 investor should know & do to begin your EB-5 case

[Q] Should my family and I adjust in the U.S. or process immigrant visas through American Embassy after I-526 approval?

It all depends in your individual needs and situation, but generally, if you and your family members are in your home country, you should do consular processing (apply and obtain immigrant visas at the American Embassy), but if you and your family members are already physically and lawfully residing in the U.S., then you and your family should obtain conditional green cards through I-485 adjustmen

[HOT] [Q] How long does it take until we obtain conditional green cards to enter the U.S.?

It's very difficult to estimate how long it takes for I-526 to be adjudicated. As of October 21st 2011, CSC Processing Times Report indicates 8 months time frame for I-526 adjudication. If there is a RFE, the time can get longer substantially.

[Q] Has investors in any Regional Center projects managed to recoup their investments?

First, most regional centers have not yet been in operation long enough for the initial project to have been completed and participating investors to be able to recoup their investments.

Having said this however, as far as we can tell, one regional center appears to have a good track record of investors who have been able to recoup their investments at the completion of their investment period.

[Q] Does the fact that an immigration attorney is located in Southern CA have any advantages?

Generally, where the immigration attorney is located should not matter. However, if the immigration is based near the project into which you are investing, the attorney could potentially visit the premises.

[Q] Which percentage of all filed EB-5 cases is regional center based EB-5 cases?

According to CSC during the March 16, 2010 EB-5 Forum, around 95% of all filed EB-5 cases are regional center based cases! For better or worse, there must be certain reasons why overwhelming percentage of all filed EB-5 cases are regional center based cases. It appears that EB-5 investors prefer regional center based EB-5 cases to meet the EB-5 requirements.

[Q] Should I go visit the regional center's operator/general partner and the specific project site?

By all means, if you have the time. Go and compare as much as you can. From our experiences, it definitely doesn't hurt if you can go see things personally. Although choosing a particular EB-5 project is a lot more important than choosing a car, we think it's similar: if you go and take a look at a car you are considering, you will have a lot better "feel" for the product. But if you are going to take a look at a hybrid car, you shouldn't go there expecting the car to drive like a BMW; in other words, you should have good ideas on what the product is designed to deliver before you view and take a test drive.

I would say evaluating the people who run the EB-5 project and the track record is more important than evaluating the project itself.

[Q] What should I look for in attorney-client retainer agreement for an EB-5 case?

Before you start to compare attorney fees, first look at the scope of services described in the retainer agreement.

[Q] What does being a USCIS designated regional center mean?

Basically, it means USCIS reviewed the regional center designation application and gave its approval that the regional center operator can set up EB-5 projects within the approved area pursuant to the investment structure and industries described in its regional center application, using the job calculation methodology described therein.

[Q] How many USCIS designated regional centers are there currently?

As of May 28, 2010, there are nearly 100 USCIS designated regional center programs in the United States, with approximately 50 more designation applications pending. This, in our opinion, is too many regional centers for the existing demand.

[Q] Does EB-5 case help with overcoming unlawful presence bars or criminal record?

No, you shouldn't be pursuing an EB-5 case, mistakenly thinking that an EB-5 case is a "cure-all" for ineligibilities related to unlawful presence bars or criminal records. If you or your family member has out of status, unlawful presence or criminal issues, you should get a thorough consultation with an experienced immigration attorney.

[Q] What kinds of documents should I be preparing to begin my EB-5 case?

Each EB-5 case requires different documents, but generally speaking, you should start to make copies of following documents:

1. Identification documents such as biographic pages and visa pages of your passports, birth certificates.

2. Lawful source documents.

3. Bank wire documents.

4. Immigration status documents such as I-94.

[Q] Can an immigration attorney licensed in any 50 states practice U.S. immigration law?

Yes, U.S. immigration law, like U..S. bankruptcy law and U.S. maritime law, is a federal law; therefore, as long as an attorney is licensed in one of the 50 U.S. states, he or she can practice U.S. immigration law.

[Q] How do we tell if a particular immigration attorney is experienced in EB-5 law?

Very simple. Talk to the immigration attorney and ask questions. An experienced EB-5 practitioner should be able to give you answers quickly and succinctly, or tell you those particular issues where the EB-5 law is unclear. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you talk personally with the immigration attorney to consult with him or her before you decide to retain the attorney as your EB-5 processing lawyer. In addition, an experienced EB-5 should have some track record in I-829 approvals, not just I-526 approvals.

[Q] What is involved procedurally in an EB-5 case?

Whether you decide to pursue a direct EB-5 or a regional center EB-5 case, you should realize that there are several procedural components to your EB-5 case.

You can find out details on all the steps involved in an EB-5 case at: http://eb-5center.com/process.

[Q] Do I have to use an immigration attorney to handle my EB-5 case?

As with any legal case, you can represent yourself, but that's same with all kinds of services, such as repairing car, computer, doing your tax returns, defending a lawsuit, etc. Having said this, EB-5 case is more difficult to prepare than I-130 family petition case, for sure. It isn't a rocket science . . . but sometimes it can feel like it.