End Of Year

End Of Year

EB-5 Visa, EB5 Visa, EB-5 Investment

Dear Family and Friends,

It is now near the end of the year and many things have happened in the last quarter to report. Below is our final report for 2016:

EXTENSION OF EB 5 PROGRAM: some miracles do come early. Not only was the EB 5 program officially (and finally) extended through April 28, 2017, it was left in tact which means that investors can still avail themselves of residency at the $500,000 level. Further, while we had predicted the extension would happen, Congress granted an additional month from our initial expectations. This means that all cases which are being processed now will be filed on a timely basis and that we are accepting cases for the winter season.
FUTURE MODIFICATIONS TO EB 5 PROGRAM: We DO however expect an increase to $800,000 some time in the Spring as there is pressure on Congress to adjust the investment amount for the cost of living since 1990 when the program began. Time will tell but regional centers, EB 5 developers and investors can expect more government oversight and potential spot site inspections (i.e. no notice). Employers need to ensure that all workers complete and document their I 9 forms demonstrating eligibility to work lawfully in the US. Lea Dimitri of our office has generated a short but valuable memo on this specific important subject which we are happy to circulate at your request. Please contact Jennifer at our office.
USCIS BACKLOG: while this government agency, and its EB 5 unit have increased the officers reviewing cases, the pace of hiring and training has been far too slow and not kept up with the demand from the marketplace. There are now over 22,000 cases in the pipeline with barely 190 officers qualified to adjudicate. What is even more enraging, is that the head of the agency believes that they are doing a fine job and while they regret not being able to keep up with estimated turnaround times, they are not taking any concrete actions. Our opinion is that the files provide opportunity to have line officers review basic information and then bring in the experts as needed to expedite the process. A similar situation had occurred in Canada a few years ago with their investment program which caused it to be suspended on the national level and restructured on the provincial level.
LITIGATION: many of you are aware of the SEC litigation in the Jay Peak project. It is sad to say but the indifference of EB 5 USCIS management makes only litigation an alternative in Federal Court a viable alternative, especially if there is a denial of an I 829 lifting of conditional status. There are many arguments which can be made such as circumstantial changes and equity issues.
U.S. CITIZENSHIP: many of our clients are awaiting their I 829 approvals but have attained the magic 57 months after issuance of their conditional residency, which, under normal circumstances, should allow the applicant to file and receive US citizenship. While this is logical, we are concerned that while USCIS will accept and process this application, an officer charged with this case, may suspend a final decision until such time as the I 829 is approved. You will have to decide if it is worth the risk and cost.
ELECTIONS: many (read: 'all'!) of our clients are concerned about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. We believe that the president-elect will be pragmatic. In essence, while this is only a prediction, he will most likely continue the legacy of deportation of out of status 'criminals' of Barack Obama who has quietly deported more individuals than any other president in the history of the United States. Of note is the definition of the word 'criminal' as it has a very broad definition and we are unsure just how and to what extent it will be interpreted. It is clear however that while most Americans want to secure the borders, mass deportations at this time seems logistically and morally impossible. There will need to be a compromise at some point and a recognition that those who arrived and stayed unlawfully were admitted to some extent by agreement with agri-business in the US. We do not expect any alterations to the EB 5 program, however the H 1 b professional worker program may be trimmed.
E 2 INVESTORS:  many investors who either are awaiting the long delays in the EB 5 program or prefer a short term stay in the US are opting for a small financial commitment in the US through the E 2 investor program. With a base of about $150,000 infused in a new or existing commercial enterprise, the investor and his immediate family can aspire to a five year renewable visa obtained from the embassy or consulate of the home country. Specialized employees and/or officers of the new company can equally apply so long as the ownership of the entity remains in the majority control of qualified foreign nationals. Contact us to assess your qualification requirements.
MINORS AS INVESTORS: while fragile in its application, USCIS has accepted minor (i.e. 18-21 years old) applicants who file due to the long delay, particularly with applicants from China. These investors will need to have consent and acknowledgement of the parents/guardians and financial advisors to so qualify. Prohibited countries will not qualify. Special banks and accounts will need to be open.

SPECIAL PURPOSE ACCOUNTS: we encourage our EB 5 investor clients to immediately open Special Purpose Accounts (SPA) for the principal investor only in a US bank to facilitate wire transfers and source of funds analysis conducted by the qualified accountants. There is usually no cost associated with this new account however it will define the investment amount and clarify the process for the out going and in coming  banks and professionals to expedite the review process.
QUEBEC IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM: while most of our clients desire to immigrate to the US, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program should not be overlooked. At approximately the same cost and conditions of the EB 5 program, individuals, especially those who are fluent in the French language, will benefit from expedited service and landed immigrant status. Some conditions: a. hold $1.6 mln cdn in total assets; b. 2 years of management experience; c. investment for five years of $800,000 cdn (no interest) or finance entire amount for $220,000 cdn. (equivalent to interest/costs which would have been paid to set up a loan); d. medical exam; e. dependents are considered if under age 22. While Canada does have a harsh winter climate, it is still considered one of the top five countries in the world to live for quality of life, education, healthcare and freedom.
As we enter our final month of 2016, our staff and families extend to all our friends a healthy and successful 2017. You are the essence of our work and joy.




  • Florida

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