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  1. Do Not Attempt This at Home – EB-5 Visa By Gregory Finkelson

    It may be as dangerous to attempt to completely understand the EB-5 process without an immigration attorney as it is to fly across the Grand Canyon a la Evel Knievel. Here are a couple of examples why:

    1. When investors funds are pooled, an I-829 Petition must show the exact path of each investor’s funds as they are deposited and subsequently distributed from the New Commercial Entity to the Job Creation Entity and, ultimately for the appropriate intended purposes. You’ll probably need a good accountant as well.
    2. USCIS rules state that EB-5 investor funds may not be held in reserve. On the other hand, it has also indicated the some escrow holdbacks might be permissible. A question naturally arises regarding how any monies held in reserve or in escrow can be considered at risk. Interpretation of issues like this may also require the wisdom of Solomon.

    No one ever said that EB-5 was simple. It is, in fact, not only complex, but fluid. And it requires a team of experienced experts.
    To learn more about how to put the EB-5 investment visa program to work for you, contact Dr. Gregory Finkelson at American Corporate Services or call 415-682-2550. To order my book, How to Find Chinese Investors, Agents & Clients for Your EB-5 Projects & Services - A Practical Guide for Regional Centers, Attorneys, Developers and Businessmen, click here.
  2. A Voice Crying in the South Dakota Wilderness for EB-5 By Gregory Finkelson

    A Voice Crying in the South Dakota Wilderness for EB-5

    The four candidates vying for the U.S. Senate seat in South Dakota vacated by retiring Senator Tim Johnson have made the EB-5 Investment Visa Program a campaign issue. Former Governor Mike Rounds is an advocate of the program. The other three are against it. One candidate has promised, if elected, to support legislation to eliminate the program altogether.

    Rounds is apparently the only one of the candidates who understands how the program works as he became well-versed in EB-5 through several projects funded and developed during his administration, including several dairies, The Dakota Provisions turkey processing plant and the Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel, Casino and Event Center. The other three are focused on a single failed investment – one that, for one reason or another – did not have adequate operating capital.

    The three candidates focusing on the failure are ignorantly and erroneously blaming the EB-5 program itself. One of the candidates displayed his ignorance by claiming that the program “interferes with the free-market system.” Another says that he doesn’t think that people with money to invest should be given priority immigration status. These men clearly do not understand how the free market (a misappropriate use of the term) or the free enterprise system works. Nor do they understand the economic benefits of the infusion of capital to fund approved projects or the fact that EB-5 is designed to put Americans to work by creating or sustaining jobs.

    It is more and more important that our senators and congressmen understand the intent, purpose and potential impact of the EB-5 program.

    To learn more about the EB-5 investment visa program, contact Dr. Gregory Finkelson at American Corporate Services or call 415-682-2550.
  3. Seven Ways to Expedite EB-5 Investor Immigration By Gregory Finkelson

    Seven Ways to Expedite EB-5 Investor Immigration

    The USCIS has designated seven valid conditions upon which they will consider expediting an EB-5 visa request. Those reasons include:

    • A provable emergent situation
    • A severe potential or real financial loss to a company or an individual
    • A humanitarian situation
    • A project being developed by a non-profit organization that will further the cultural and social interests of the United States
    • A project that is compellingly in the interest of the USCIS
    • A situation that, if delayed, would be detrimental to the interest of the Department of Defense
    • A USCIS error

    Discounting the last item, which is not predictable, any Regional Center wishing to offer expedited EB-5 processing should look for projects and investors that fit one or more of the listed scenarios. Advance preparation and due diligence that take these situations into consideration up front can give a Regional Center a competitive advantage in processing time.

    To learn more, contact us online at American Corporate Services or call us at 415-682-2550.
  4. IIUSA Adopts New Standards for EB-5 Regional Centers By Gregory Finkelson

    IIUSA Adopts New Standards for EB-5 Regional Centers

    The Association to Invest in the USA, better known as IIUSA, recently adopted a new “Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct” for its member affiliates. IIUSA is the trade association for EB-5 Regional Centers. As such, it promotes “responsible, professional and ethical behavior and reinforce[s] confidence in the EB-5 Program and EB-5 Regional Center industry among all stakeholders.”

    Along with the four-page ethics and standards document, the association also approved a six-page document that outlines the enforcement procedures it will follow to ensure compliance. Peter Joseph, Director of IIUSA, described the purpose of the documents, saying, “Proper oversight, transparency, compliance with – and enforcement of – all applicable laws and regulations are essential to maintain the confidence of all stakeholders and ensure that the program continues bring capital and job creation to American communities.”

    The Code of Ethics outlines the expectations that Regional Centers shall act with and promote competence, diligence, respect and the kind of integrity that places the interests of their clients above their own. The main document also includes “Standards of Professional Conduct” that cover topics such as compliance, objectivity, prudence, diligence, thoroughness, and professionalism.

    To learn more about the EB-5 investment visa program, contact Dr. Gregory Finkelson at American Corporate Services or call 415-682-2550.
  5. ICIC Recognizes the Economic Power of EB-5 By Gregory Finkelson

    The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) published a new report in June 2014 entitled, “Increasing Economic Opportunity in Distressed Urban Communities.” The ICIC was founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter and is considered the leading authority on inner-city economic development. Its mission is to “promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector engagement” to create jobs, income and wealth-creation opportunities for inner city residents.

    The 50-page report not only reveals the EB-5 Investment Visa program as the powerful tool that it is, but it also acknowledges that the EB-5 program has been misunderstood, misrepresented and under-promoted, lost in “the bureaucratic labyrinth” typical of many government programs. Combined with suffering from some high-profile publicity from a few instances of fraud, the ICIC believes that the EB-5 program has not been allowed to reach its full potential. In fact, the report “recognizes the significant potential of the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program to drive more resources into America’s distressed urban cores.”

    The business of the ICIC is not merely research and reporting. It is well known as an action-oriented organization. To wit, it has, via the report, issued three major recommendations to help bring EB-5 to the attention of philanthropic organizations, city leaders, financial institutions, and economic and community development professionals. Those recommendations are 1) developing an educational campaign to raise awareness, 2) building a nexus of EB-5 experts to provide technical assistance, and 3) identifying and investing in EB-5 appropriate projects in distressed urban areas.
    To learn more about the ICIC report and the EB-5 investment visa program, contact Dr. Gregory Finkelson at American Corporate Services or call 415-682-2550.
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