What Is The Proposed New Legislation On EB-5?


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There is no final bill yet but we do know a couple of things. The first thing is that the minimum investment amount would definitely go from $500,000 to a minimum of $800,000. Right now, there are two levels of documents regarding the investment amount. It is a million if it is not in the high unemployment area or rural area, whereas it would be $500,000 if it is. They are talking about three different levels, $800,000 if in a TEA, a million and requiring 15 jobs instead of 10, and $1.2 million.

One of the issues is that people want to know how to determine the area where there would be high unemployment. This is done a little differently in each state, but it would generally be done through census tracts. This has happened in New York and LA and other big cities for big hotels or big projects. In Manhattan, for example, where you would say this census tract certainly is not high unemployment area. They are now able to gerrymander to have 5, 6 or more adjacent census tracts combined and do an average of those and part of that gerrymandering census tract adds to a high unemployment area, that makes the whole project or the 5, 6 or whatever number of combined census tracts qualify.

The Congress wants to do away with that, which is why I think we are going to see big hotel projects at big cities requiring $1.2 million as opposed to even the $800,000 and that would be more for smaller city projects that are in true high unemployment areas. There would also be other changes relating to documenting the source of funds and grandfathering of filed application before the dates of enactment.

What Is Your Experience And Success In Helping Your Clients In These Situations?

On the source of funds side, I have a 100 percent approval rate so even though I have to tell every client that past accomplishments not a guarantee for the future as a regional center should say, even if they got a 100 percent approval. We really push people to get all the best evidence and every once in a while, we get a request for evidence. This is actually very rare and if we do get this request, the investor would have to be able to come up with the supplementary evidence that Immigration was looking for.

On the investment side, which is really the client’s issue, there have been a couple of clients whose projects had been denied, even though their source of funds was approved, and thank goodness, the regional center appealed and won, so everything worked out. We had a couple of cases at the I-829 level, meaning going from the 2-year green card to the permanent where initially, Immigration said the regional center did not have enough jobs to cover their application, meaning the documentation of jobs at the I-829 level. There, the project has to prove they still had jobs available, and if we must show that there were in fact jobs available. In one of the cases, the regional center just leased another office space or two so we were able to show the additional jobs. We are batting a 100 percent there as well.

What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling The EB-5 Source of Funds Cases?

A couple of things set my firm apart, and one thing is that currently, we only have lawyers who work on EB-5 cases whereas most firms have paralegals. We are also noted for our service, meaning we give a client all the time they need. As a matter of fact, we would go over the source of funds in detail for no charge, before we even accept the case. We may spend an hour or two before we even accept the case just to make sure it was a doable case.

This does not mean that once we started getting evidence, if some things were not documented in the way we wanted, then we would have to ask for more documentation than we thought. We also do not represent agents because they tend to do a lot of their source of funds themselves and then the attorney would have to review what the agent had done, so we would lose direct contact with the actual investor. We handle a lot of handholding, and we go over a lot of options as far as types of documents and paths of obtaining the money. If we see that one way might result in an extremely difficult situation, we would look for another way. Assuming there was another way we would choose that, which would be better for the client and better for the case.

For more information on New EB-5 Legislation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (310) 477-3000 today.

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