If you're an attorney who counsels clients on the selection of an EB-5 visa investment, here's an article that's definitely worth a look. Well-known and respected Miami immigration attorney Roger Bernstein has published the article Tips on Selecting an EB-5 Regional Center, which illustrates the dramatic changes in the EB-5 visa program that we have all witnessed over the past few years.
Here's a little info about Roger:
In the article, he outlines the tremendous growth that the program has experienced and the large number of Regional Centers which have come emerged recently. He also goes over recent efforts by USCIS and the California Service Center to streamline and improve their operations and provide more transparency and uniformity in adjudications.
Roger then offers his advice for potential EB-5 visa investors and their attorneys when evaluating an EB-5 Regional Center project offering. Here is a brief summation of his points:
- Choose experience: A substantial record of I-526 and I-829 approvals is one of the best indications of success.
- Velocity: Be wary of overly ambitious projects if there is no track record of raising funds expeditiously.
- Management team: Ensure that the regional center has a familiarity with the EB-5 program and understands its responsibility to complete the project and create the requisite jobs.
- Job creation: The central focus needs to be on whether the economic methodology used to make these job forecasts is reasonable.
- Is the Regional Center invested?: Does the developer have skin in the game? Is the regional center?s success tied to the investor and the performance of the asset? They often aren't, but they should be. If you're looking at a loan-based model, ensure that the project is sufficiently collateralized and that the investor?s interest is not subordinated to a massive bank loan. Above all, seek qualified help to evaluate the investment.
This is good advice for both seasoned practitioners as well as attorneys just entering the EB-5 field, and we encourage everyone to read his informative article.