First, Qualify the Client
Our firm has had clients who looked like good matches for the EB-5 program, but once we dug deep into their personal and business circumstances, we realized that an L-1A or E-2 visa was a better visa for the client. We urge anyone considering an EB-5 visa to first review their suitability for the visa with an experienced U.S. immigration attorney before moving to the selection of a Regional Center.
Integrated Legal and Financial Insight
Financial insight is not enough to evaluate a regional center. The legal issues are just as important as the financial issues. I don’t think you would be too happy to get your money back someday from a regional center project but find out that the center hadn’t properly managed the job creation requirements of the EB-5 visa or the prohibition against “material change” (two of the most complex and vexing issues in immigration law, even for top EB-5 attorneys), and, so, we’re terribly sorry, but you and your family have 120 days to depart the U.S.
The EB-5 visa is widely regarded as one of the most complex areas in all of U.S. immigration law. Many issues are unsettled and require the judgment of an experienced immigration attorney. The law is evolving, too, and so requires acute attention to the latest trends in USCIS adjudication standards. What’s more, the legal and financial issues are inextricably intertwined, so over-reliance on outside sources or second-hand legal opinions can lead to incomplete or outdated judgments about the centers. That’s why John Roth has dedicated his EB-5 practice to the mastery of both the legal and financial issues so as to give our firm’s clients the best possible real-time advice when evaluating the centers.
Center Selection through Education
EB-5 investors are typically sophisticated, experienced and successful businessmen, with capable and effective advisors. Their main difficulty when confronting the EB-5 Regional Centers is the sheer number of centers, the newness of the subject matter, and lack of an analytical framework for evaluating the centers. We have found that our EB-5 clients do not need us to decide which is the best center to achieve their financial and immigration needs. Rather, they need a counselor to act as an educator and information manager to help them develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the centers and the legal environment in which they operate.
We have no special relationship with any regional center. We don’t accept any incentive designed to encourage us to pick one center over another. We don’t get too familiar with the Centers or their personnel, either. Our job is to get the facts, not to listen to sales pitches.
Services for Investors
Our firm will interview you to evaluate:
- Your eligibility for the EB-5 visa
- Possible U.S. immigrant visa inadmissibility
- Accredited investor status
- Ability to prove lawful source of funds and clear path of funds
- Other visa types that may be better suited to your needs and goals, what those visa types are, and how they might better suit your needs
- Your investment selection criteria, including review of your personal and professional background, financial situation, risk-tolerance, industry preferences, and other pertinent characteristics to better understand your preferences and requirements in choosing among regional centers
Initial Evaluation of Regional Centers
We will assist you in narrowing the choices of regional centers to the three best suited to your objectives. We will:
- Share with you all information we have concerning the history, performance, financial and management features of the various regional centers
- Provide you with a up to ten (10) “Executive Summary”-type 3 to 5 page summaries of the main business, financial, historical and organizational features of various regional centers, all having a common analytical structure to allow for easy center-to-center comparisons
- Provide you with a due diligence analysis of selected regional centers’ conformance with legal requirements for the application for the EB-5 Pilot Program visa
- Provide you with a due diligence analysis of the selected regional centers’ conformance with legal requirements for the removal of the conditional nature of the initial permanent residence status (permanent green card)
- Conduct up to twenty (20) hours of research on your behalf wherein our firm interacts with selected regional centers as your attorney/financial advisor to develop additional information needed to evaluate the regional centers
Review of Offering Documents
With regard to the three regional centers of greatest interest to you, we will review:
- The subscription agreement
- Partnership agreement
- Other documents proffered by the selected regional centers in advance of making the final selection of regional center
Review of Financial Statements
We will obtain and review the following financial documents from the selected regional centers:
- Cash flow statements
- Net worth statements
- Other available financial documents in order to assess the financial strengths and weaknesses of the selected regional centers
Interview of Principals of Selected Centers
We will join you in a three-way telephone conference to interview center principals to:
- Discuss/clarify ambiguous issues
- Challenge marketing assertions
- Assess principal’s knowledge and character
Everyone can rely on John Roth to be completely familiar with the legal and financial nuances of the EB-5 visa, as well as with the subtle intersections between the two fields. All of our EB-5 clients can contact our firm without difficulty. E-mails to our firm are answered promptly. The case moves forward without interruption or delay.
We accept no more than five investor clients per month to make sure that we have enough time to give superb service to all of our clients.
Services for Immigration Attorneys
The vast majority of immigration attorneys avoid counseling their clients about the strengths and weaknesses of the various regional centers, and with good reason. The attorneys’ code of professional responsibility requires that attorneys provide advice only in areas where they are competent to provide such advice. Few attorneys have the training, experience or time to review the intricate financial issues present in regional center selection.
Nor do they wish to violate U.S. or state securities rules prohibiting anyone except licensed broker-dealers or their registered representatives from advising clients about investments in securities such as those offered by the regional centers. Nonetheless, the clients often request such advice and the attorney is reluctant to give the client no choice but to 1) rely on either self-help in an unfamiliar and complex field, or 2) to rely on unlicensed and unregulated business consultants, who themselves are difficult to evaluate for their competence or fealty to the client’s best interests. Our office can assist the immigration attorney when his/her client requests assistance with regional center selection by accepting a referral from the attorney for regional center due diligence with the following conditions:
We accept the case with the explicit, written understanding with the client that our firm will be providing solely due-diligence investment advice and will not act as the client’s immigration attorney either now or at any time in the future.
When the regional center has been selected by the client, we send the case back to the referring attorney for preparation of the I-526, and we remain a resource for both the investor and referring attorney for any questions regarding the selected regional center’s ongoing conformance with legal and financial requirements.