I often get calls from people who are new to EB-5 trying to understand the process and the details of starting an EB-5 regional center or project.
by Phil Cohen
While the idea of calling around to industry experts appears to be commonplace, it may answer your first questions but there are so many details and subtleties to the program that inevitably, these new EB-5-ers end up with more questions than when they started.
This is common and it speaks to the complexity of the program and how the rules shift for every specific situation. People often think they can save some money by trying to call as many experts as they can before getting started and maybe they can, but what you end up with is a hodgepodge of information, combined with a lot of opinions from experts (and not-so experts).
It is for this reason that I always suggest to EB-5 newbies that they consider speaking to all-in-one service providers, who can bring the right set of seasoned experts to the table and spearhead the process of managing all the moving parts. Ultimately, while the initial price tag may seem higher, the all-in-one shops can identify problems and questions to be addressed, sooner rather than later. They are also familiar with what is not available to most: the basis of various RFEs (requests for further evidence) from USCIS, from a long experience and history of researching what has occurred with other regional centers.
The cost to your overall development of getting an RFE or not getting it right the first time can far outweigh the cost savings one might get from trying to manage the project yourself. A good, all-in-one shop will save most people considerable time and money in the long run, and will help put together an EB-5 project that not only has strongly reduced chances of getting an RFE, but which can often avoid errors and subtle issues that can hold up an entire project.
The other key benefit of using an all-in-one shop is that they have a good view into the investor side of things as well, so not only will they help to devise a project with the strongest likelihood of approval, but they can also ensure that it is structured in such a way as to be easily 'sellable' to investors. The fringe benefit is about 1,000 less headaches as well.