Immigration attorneys advise clients regarding immigration issues, offering related due diligence and ensuring compliance. Generally speaking, immigration attorneys do not give investment advice to clients—though they may help a client find a qualified investment adviser. If an immigration attorney offers investment advice, it would be prudent for the investor to inquire about any financial interest the attorney may have in the regional center or project in question.
In simple terms, an immigration attorney specializes in law relating to immigration. An EB-5 immigration attorney narrows the focus to the specifics of the EB-5 program. Because of the complexity of certain aspects of the EB-5 visa application and the EB-5 investment process, EB-5 experience and knowledge are crucial when choosing an immigration attorney. Having worked with clients from the EB-5 applicant’s home country is equally important, as this means the attorney is aware of factors such as local documentation and laws governing overseas investment.
While the services offered by EB-5 immigration attorneys vary, services typically include counsel on sources of funds; project due diligence, with the attorney focusing on immigration risk and a financial professional on financial risk; and the filing of petitions and applications. An immigration attorney will be able to assist with filing everything from the I-526 petition to the I-829 petition.
Some firms work with local attorneys in clients’ countries of origin to streamline the application process. Additionally, attorneys often either work with preferred professionals on aspects of the EB-5 process that fall outside their professional scope or refer clients to trusted professionals who can assist them. Before engaging the services of an EB-5 immigration attorney, investors should ask who will be involved in the preparation of petitions and in the rest of the process. If anything seems unusual or a cause for concern, the investor should ask for clarification to avoid potential conflicts of interest.