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Finding a Reliable EB-5 Agency

Finding a Reliable EB-5 Agency

As a group, immigration Agencies in China suffer from what
Immigration Daily calls “a notorious reputation.” Many
investors, most of whom do not speak English, have been
defrauded by unscrupulous Chinese businessmen. Some
businessmen have opened migration Agencies and have
misrepresented various and sundry details about the EB-5
process and individual EB-5 projects. This has already
damaged their credibility among the Chinese people.

Chinese law requires that every Agency be licensed by the

Bureau of Entry and Exit Administration under the Ministry of

Public Security. However, sorry to say, not all Agencies have

legitimate licenses. So, the best place to search for a reputable

Agency is not by contacting or visiting Agencies, it is by

contacting both the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the

U.S. embassy in China. Consult the ministry for a list of dulylicensed

Agencies. Don’t accept a document from an Agency

that they claim is their license. People can create incredibly

realistic-looking documents thanks to digital technology. If you

have already begun a search by contacting Agencies directly,

you have already made a major mistake. Back away and start

over again.

After obtaining all the pertinent information regarding EB-5

Agencies from the Ministry, the next step is to visit the U.S.

embassy or consulate. The purpose of this visit is to ascertain

any issues that the U.S. government may have had with any

Agency, or, conversely, which ones have, to their knowledge,

operated ethically and legally, and have truly provided the

intended services to their clients without bilking or

defrauding anyone. Before accepting to market a given

project, an EB-5 Agency is supposed to use a given set criteria

to find the best business partner. In the same way, an EB-5

developer needs to have some specified set of criteria to help

him/her find a reliable EB-5 Agency.

Once you have begun the third step, actually making contact

with Agency heads, you will need to carefully observe their

interactions with you. Especially note their apparent level of

interest in your EB-5 projects. This is vastly different than

observing a glad-handed welcome. It is even different than

expressing their desire to see your presentation material.

There is a paradigm in American culture that paying a visit to

a potential client and leaving a brochure is a successful sales

call. All you have done is leave material that is an expense

against your company’s advertising budget. If this is the

extent of your visit with an Agency, you may have gained

nothing at all. You must expect to invest some time creating

a real relationship.

CAUTION: It has been the practice of some Agencies to

extend you the courtesy of taking your portfolio of

information and using it for nothing but evidence of their

association with your Regional Center or EB-5 projects so

that they have an easier time renewing their license with the

Chinese government. A method worthy of consideration

might be to invite the Agency executives to visit the U.S. and

become familiar with your project first-hand. The trip, of

course, would be at their expense. Leave little more than a

business card with them. If they are interested in coming,

then you are probably on to something. Once they are in the

States, you then have the liberty to show them the project

and, providing you still feel comfortable, share the greater

details.

Established EB-5 Agencies usually have associate Agencies in

other cities. If you have done the work of establishing the

credibility of a major Agency, you may be able to extend your

reach by utilizing that network to expose your project to

more potential clients.

It is not uncommon for many Agencies to claim that they are

the best. Keep in mind that U.S. Federal Trade Commission

laws, which require proof of that claim, do not apply in China.

Note, however, that such claims will be made off the record,

because Chinese advertising law forbids comparatives and

superlatives. A wise place to begin your search is not to look

for “the best.” Obviously, all but one of them have to be

prevaricating. It would be wise to seek Agencies that exhibit

integrity. It may also wise to forget the idea that “bigger is

better.” The fact is, that “bigger” is only “bigger.”

CAUTION: The reason that an Agency is bigger, other than

that it is located in a densely populated area, may be that is

has a “good relationship” with the Chinese government.

EB-5 Agencies tend to do their homework in order to stay on

top of their game and improve their image, in the sense that

they can “speak the EB-5 language.” In fact, Chinese Agency

personnel can typically be expected to know the intricacies of

the EB-5 program much better than their American

counterparts.


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