This chapter is about the standards of excellence for an EB-5 Agency. It ought to
be the shortest chapter in the book, because there are none. Zip. Zero. Nada.
The good news is that, better late than never, help may be on the way.
Currently the Chinese government specifies that EB-5 opportunities may be
handled only by an Agency currently licensed by the provincial Entry-Exit
Administration Bureau. Beyond that, the Agency must have established a
written working agreement with duly-qualified U.S. immigration attorneys
who have a minimum of three years of EB-5 experience and EB-5 projects
that have been approved by a local Entry-Exit Administration entity. It boils
down to this: the Agency must be licensed, and it must have an established
relationship with a bona fide U.S. EB-5 immigration attorney with at least
one Chinese-government approved project.
Beyond that, there is almost nothing in the way of regulations, standards or
other criteria by which Agencies’ operational ethics and success can be
adequately measured or adjudicated. In fact, according to Professor Liu
Guofo at the Beijing Institute of Technology,
“The apparent lack of understanding by private Chinese
immigration agents, especially when it comes to the EB-
5 Immigrant Investor Program, has already caused
serious harm to many Chinese petitioners.
According to EB-5 industry insiders, many Chinese agents
have strongly recommended bad projects . . . , not as a
result of any real due diligence and research based on
their likelihood of fulfilling the EB-5 requirements for a
permanent Green Cards; not based on a potentially
successful return on investment, but rather on the
promise of high commissions for the agents themselves.”
There is currently somewhat of a move afoot to get some kind of regulatory
structure into place. In fact, the Chairman of the Beijing Entry and Exit
Service Association has more or less underscored Professor Guofo’s
comments, saying that “These Agencies only process documents. They have
no other rights or duties and are often unclear about what actions they can
take on behalf of their clients. The lack of specific rights and duties for these
Agencies has resulted in a massive legal gray area.”
At this time, about the only way you can measure an Agency’s excellence is to create
your own standards. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here are a few idea starters.
Ideas for measuring excellence:
What is the Agency’s track record of success with EB-5 projects?
o How many EB-projects have they participated in?
o How many of those projects have been deemed successful?
What is the Agency’s track record of success with EB-5 investors?
o How many investors have they assisted in EB-5 projects?
o How many of those failed to get their Green Cards?
What is the Agency’s track record of success financially?
o What is the total amount of client money invested compared
to the return on investment?
o How many of their clients have lost money either directly or
indirectly through EB-5 projects the Agency has introduced to
What is the Agency’s track record with the government?
o Local, provincial, and central
What is the Agency’s reputation among U.S. immigration
How do they fare in the opinion of the USCIS office in Beijing or
Maintain high standards and expect high standards in return. As you can see,
there are no guarantees in the “gray waters” of the EB-5 industry. Your
integrity may be the best standard of excellence that you can have.
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