EB-5 Immigration Attorneys
An experienced EB-5 attorney is essential to a successful EB-5 application, which is a multi-year process that involves numerous, often complex, requirements and a myriad of important but confusing paperwork. An attorney can help ensure the necessary requirements are met and the paperwork submitted in a timely manner, helping to avoid potential missteps that may set your application back months or even years.
Finding the right attorney, however, can prove difficult as there are now immigration attorneys without EB-5 experience who are taking on the work. Through its operation of 15 USCIS-authorized EB-5 regional centers sponsoring more than 2,000 EB-5 investors, EB5AN has worked with many EB-5 immigration attorneys. To request a list of experienced EB-5 immigration attorneys we have direct experience with and whose services we are pleased to endorse, please contact the EB5AN team. You can also reach us via phone, text, or WhatsApp at +1 (561) 386-5356 or by email.
Before you hire an attorney to assist you with obtaining your EB-5 visa, make sure to ask and carefully vet their answers to these questions.
1. How many I-526 and I-829 petitions have you facilitated, and what are your approval rates?
The I-526 and I-829 petitions are the cornerstones of gaining U.S. permanent residency through the EB-5 program. The I-526 petition to grant an investor immigrant status is the very first form submitted in the EB-5 visa process. The I-829 is the petition to remove conditions on an investor’s permanent resident status and allow an extension on the conditional permanent resident status.
An attorney’s success at getting these two petitions approved will provide insight into their ability to help you achieve your desired outcome—an EB-5 visa and all of the investor benefits that accompany being a U.S. permanent resident. While past performance is no guarantee of future results, past success does increase the likelihood of future success.
If the attorney you are speaking with cannot provide you with their approval rates, find someone who will. There is no good reason for them to not have that information available.
Also pay attention to the number of petitions the attorney has facilitated to gauge their level of experience. If an attorney has a 100% success rate but has worked on only three sets of documents, the success rate becomes far less impressive.
2. Do you have a strategy for proving source of funds?
Regardless of which EB-5 visa investment project you select, you will need to make sure your chosen attorney has a clear and detailed plan for addressing the source of funds documentation requirements with you. Documentation of the source of the investment funds is one of the key components of the EB-5 application.
Given that the documentation needs to prove that the funds were both obtained and transferred lawfully, a substantial amount of time and effort will need to be devoted to ensuring that everything is documented accurately. Any mistakes will result in the application being denied.
Generally, tracing the source of funds for an EB-5 investment involves providing detailed financial records, which often need to be translated. For example, if your funds are from the sale of property, you will need to show not only the documentation for the sale but also documentation clarifying the source of funds for the initial purchase. If you used an inheritance for the initial purchase, you will need to provide evidence of where those funds originated. In some cases, you will need to show how the person who you inherited the funds from earned the money.
Make sure that you have confidence that the attorney you hire will do the work needed to ensure that this part of the process goes as smoothly as possible.
3. How long does it take for you to respond to clients’ questions, and will I be able to contact you directly?
Because of the complexity of most EB-5 visa applications, effective communication with your immigration attorney is crucial. In the example above, creating a clear path that shows the sources of all the funds used for the investment will require a good working relationship with an attorney who has experience handling similar scenarios. The attorney will also need to be available to provide guidance throughout the document gathering process.
When interviewing attorneys, tell them about your specific needs, and confirm whether they have the necessary experience to help you. Make sure they are available to answer your questions in a timely manner to avoid delays.
4. Have you worked with applicants from my country?
No two EB-5 applicants or applications are the same. That said, there are generalizations that can be made based on the applicant’s country of origin that may affect the attorney’s approach to an EB-5 application. To use a simple example, some documents may not be available in the format required by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In these cases, applicants can submit documents unique to their home countries. Working with an attorney who understands these country specific requirements can greatly simplify document gathering.
An EB-5 immigration attorney who has successfully processed other applications from your country can help you avoid any pitfalls specific to applications from your county. If you find yourself talking to an attorney who has never worked with an applicant from your country, consider finding someone else.
5. Can you provide me with any client references?
Like any other service provider, an immigration attorney will have clients who previously used their services and who would be happy to provide a reference. Check the attorney’s website for client testimonials and references, and look for online reviews. This will help you to develop an overview of what to expect.
Find the right EB-5 immigration attorney for your unique case
Given the complex and multi-year nature of the EB-5 application process, it is important to do your due diligence before selecting an attorney to assist you through the process. Take the time to ask your questions, listen to the responses, and clarify when and if an attorney’s response leaves you with doubts or further questions. Talk to as many attorneys as you need to find the one with the knowledge and experience to ensure that your EB-5 application is successful. It will all be worth it when your EB-5 application is approved.
Contact EB5AN today to request a list of experienced EB-5 immigration attorneys we endorse.