Generally, regional centers do not provide investors with the professionals needed to conduct proper due diligence and to prepare the documentation needed for an EB-5 investment. The regional center and the investor have different goals, so they should be represented by separate professionals to make sure their interests are protected. In fact, under certain circumstances, the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may impose sanctions on attorneys who represent both parties.
If a conflict of interest arises where there is dual representation, both parties have to seek out new counsel. This can cause significant delays, adding months or years to an already slow process. To avoid additional delays and easily avoided problems, an investor should hire an immigration attorney who specializes in the EB-5 program to represent their interests. Additionally, they should consider hiring a tax advisor and financial analyst, and their attorney might recommend that they hire additional professionals. A good immigration attorney will be able to recommend which professionals an EB-5 investor should hire.
Sometimes, a regional center may provide a list of EB-5 attorneys it recommends. These attorneys usually do not work with or for the regional center. It simply means the attorneys specialize in the EB-5 program—an area of immigration law not all immigration attorneys know. If a regional center has worked with an EB-5 attorney who has the experience needed to successfully navigate the program, it might add the attorney to a list that it makes available to potential investors to help them find an attorney. If an investor is concerned about a potential conflict of interest, they should simply ask the attorney whether they have any ties to the regional center, developer, or other parties.
While a regional center might provide lists of professionals it has worked with in the past and found competent, a regional center will seldom appoint or provide professionals investors must work with.