How much of the EB-5 process can an immigration attorney advise on?

An immigration attorney with EB-5 experience can advise on all relevant immigration issues and the project’s compliance with EB5 regulations. The EB5 investment process can be difficult to navigate on one’s own, and the petitions that investors must file along the way can be complex and require a wide variety of documentation. EB5 immigration attorneys can help ensure an investor’s petitions meet all the applicable criteria.

Except as they relate directly to immigration and EB5 compliance, an immigration attorney should not advise on the financial and business aspects of the project; separate securities counsel and a financial adviser should be retained to assist in these areas.

Investors who choose regional center investment must also consider the importance of retaining separate representation from the regional center associated with their project. If the legal representative of an EB5 investor is the same as that of the regional center, conflicts of interest are likely to arise and create problems with the investment.

Minimizing Immigration Risk

Immigration risk involves anything that might prevent an investor from obtaining a permanent green card and becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States. One of the most critical steps in reducing immigration risk is choosing the right project. This involves conducting thorough due diligence on the project or regional center to gauge the level of immigration risk.

Reducing immigration risk also involves the EB5 application itself, otherwise known as the I-526 petition. EB5 investors face individual risk based on their petition’s accuracy and their personal history. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will deny petitions for fraud, misrepresentations, unlawful sources of EB-5 investment funds, and other similar deficiencies. While, in most cases, I-526 petition denial won’t bar a foreign national from applying for the EB5 program again, it can cost time, money, and energy. Thus, having an experienced EB5 immigration attorney to ensure petition compliance is invaluable for EB5 investors.

In addition to the above, EB5 immigration attorneys can provide the following services to investors:

  • Assist investors in evaluating how much capital they can afford and which project is ideal for their situation.
  • Ensure that fees are paid in full and on time.
  • Ensure that the EB 5 petitions are filed to the appropriate entities.
  • Keep all documents complete, accurate, and transparent.
  • Compile adequate source-of-funds documentation.
  • Preparation and filing of the I-526 petition.
  • Guidance through the adjustment of status process, if applicable.
  • Preparation and filing of the I-829 petition.
  • Coordinate with other EB5 professionals such as economists, securities law attorneys, and business planners to evaluate the EB5 project’s progress.
  • Address problems and resubmit forms in the event of petition denial.
  • Determining whether the EB-5 business is in a targeted employment area.