Monday, May 25, 2015

Wanted: EB-5 Regional Center participants for training event

Artisan Business Group will host an EB-5 executive training program to a group of 40 migration agency CEOs and owners from China in late July.  The five day extensive course will feature guest instructors and professionals from areas of banking, construction, government, securities law, immigration law, hospitality and senior living industry, and so on. 

The event is seeking a few EB-5 regional center participants for the group's discussion during the last day of the program.  Contact us at artisanbusiness@yahoo.com for participation details.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

ABG to host executive training for Chinese migration agents

Artisan Business Group will host an EB-5 executive training program to a group of 40 migration agency CEOs and owners from China in late July.  The five day extensive course will feature guest instructors and professionals from areas of banking, construction, government, securities law, immigration law, hospitality and senior living industry, and so on.  To learn more information about Chinese immigration industry, attend our seminar program July 16, 2015.

Monday, May 18, 2015

EB-5 China Market Roundtable: What's Next

 July 16, 2015  Chicago
Host: Artisan Business Group, Inc.
EB-5 China Market Roundtable: What's Next is a one-day fast-paced hands-on workshop presented by Artisan Business Group and elite guest speakers. As you are fully aware that more than 85% EB-5 investors have been from China in last few years, and China is the only source country of EB-5 funding for large scale EB-5 projects in the US.  As EB-5 visa retrogression is in place, market conditions and investor demands in China are changing fast!  To successfully operate regional center and advance your EB-5 capital raising activities in China, you must act effectively.  The China-focused workshop offers you up-to-date education, networking and business solutions to ever-changing environment in Chinese market.

We at Artisan Business Group have put together a program that will position you to secure a stronger role in the dynamic marketplace:
  • Learn from EB-5 capital market experts and business consultants
  • Get ahead of the curve from the latest market research and update
  • Sharpen your knowledge through active dialogues and thoughtful discussions
  • Develop effective capital structures and marketing strategies
  • Discover new tools to make your EB-5 capital raise more efficient

    Register online today!

EB-5 regional center update

 A number of newly approved EB-5 regional centers have been added to the USCIS regional center list.
 They are
  • Golden State Economic Development Fund, LLC (CA)
  • Encore Midwest Regional Center, LLC (IL, MO)
  • White Lotus Group Regional Center (IA, NE)
  • Liberty Minnesota Regional Center (MN, WI): 
  • American Regional Center Opportunity Fund, LLC (NJ, NY, PA)
  • Vistar’s EB-5 Business Alliance of Texas LLC (TX)
 Three new RCs were recently added to the USCIS termination list:
  • LaSalle County Business Development Center (IL)
  • US HITEC Regional Center (IL)
  • Tennessee Regional Center, LLC (TN)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Vanuatu's Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) enters Chinese market


Over 120 migraiton agents gathered in Shenzhen along with officials from the Republic of Vanuatu to launch Vanuatu's Capital Investment Immigration Plan (CIIP) in China May 16, 2015. To qualify for the program, the applicant must invest $260,000 and has to pay $20,000 marketing fee to the Vanuatu Registry Services Ltd, and has to pay also $5,000 for the Vanuatu residence permit.

The former president of Vanuatu, Ati Georges Sokomanu, has warned the government on its Capital Investment Immigration Plan to make Chinese nationals Vanuatu citizens.
Mr Sokomanu says he is surprised the government did not check the laws of China, which does not recognize dual citizenship, before it approved the CIIP Act last year.
  
The Republic of Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation with over 252,000 residents, made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Report from China: pay or not to pay

After extensive travels and meetings with EB-5 placement agents throughout China, it is obvious that the market has changed quite a bit. To many project developers and EB-5 regional centers, it is noticeable that migration agents has changed their way of collecting finder fees. Many agents expect to collect half of finder fees when the investor's wire is confirmed, and the majority of balance is to be paid upon I-526 filings. It is somewhat risky to EB-5 project developers and regional centers to pay upfront. Therefore it is very important to select the right partner in China.  To learn more about Chinese EB-5 investor market, join us in Chicago on July 16, 2015.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ABG team visits Houston

Artisan Business Group team is visiting clients' new EB-5 real estate development project in Houston Texas. To learn more about EB-5 alternative finance, contact us at artisanbusiness@gmail.com.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cut-off date stays May 1, 2013

(Source: Bernie Wolfsdorf) The Department of State has indicated informally that the establishment of a China EB-5 cut-off date appears to have stabilized number use and it is likely the June Visa number will hold at May 1, 2013. This is good news as it appears they do not have to retrogress the cut-off date by making it longer. In October when the new 10,000 visa quota is announced, there might even be improvement. This is extremely good news for the EB-5 program.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ABG team visits CA and TX

Artisan Business Group team is visiting clients' new EB-5 projects including luxury apartment development and franchise expansion in Southern California and Texas. To learn more about EB-5 alternative finance, contact us at artisanbusiness@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Retrogression FAQs for Chinese EB-5 Based Green Card Applicants Retrogression FAQs for Chinese EB-5 Based Green Card Applicants



As you may know, the EB-5 immigrant visa category will retrogress beginning May 2015. Below is a guide to the frequently asked questions we have been receiving since the announcement of retrogression.

1.      What if I have a child who may age-out but my I-526 Petition has been approved? How can I preserve my child’s age for purposes of immigration?
The DOS has issued guidance that the following can freeze a child’s age for the purposes of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA):
  •  Submission of the DS-260;
  • Payment of the visa fee; OR
  • Submission of a DS-230 to the NVC;
It is important to remember each of those activities listed above will freeze a child’s age for CSPA purposes. Thus, the most cost effective and less timely method is payment of the visa fee bill by cashier’s check as soon as an I-526 Petition approval notice is received. As noted immediately below, all applicants who have received approval of their I-526 Petitions before May 1, 2015, will be issued a fee bill (even past the May 1 cut-off date), thereby enabling those applicants with age-out children to freeze their children’s age for purposes of immigration.


2.      What do I do if I haven’t received a fee bill from the National Visa Center (NVC) but my I-526 Petition was been approved on or before April 30th? 
Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State Charles Oppenheim stated at the IIUSA Conference that fee bills will be sent out for I-526 Petitions approved during the month of April 2015. However, if you have a dependent child who may potentially age-out (those children over the age of 17 at the time of I-526 Petition approval) you should contact us immediately and we will take steps to preserve the dependent child’s age for immigration purposes.

3.      What do I do if my I-526 Petition was approved after April 30th?
You will be subject to retrogression. Accordingly, once your I-526 Petition is approved you must continually check the Department of State’s (DOS) visa bulletin each month to find out if your priority date is current. You can learn all about how to check your priority date here.

4.      What do I do if I received a fee bill from the NVC but my dependents have not?
We will make payment for you and your dependents by sending a cashier’s check via certified mail to the NVC using the case number of the principal application (the investor).

5.      If I have filed my DS-260 and paid my fee bill what action can I expect?
UPDATED (4/22/15) You will likely not be scheduled for an immigrant visa. You will have to continually check the Department of State’s (DOS) visa bulletin each month to find out if your priority date is current.

6.      If I reside in the U.S. in lawful status and have not yet filed my adjustment of status based on my approved I-526 Petition, can I file my adjustment of status after May 1, 2015?
No. You will have to continually check the Department of State’s (DOS) visa bulletin each month to find out if your priority date is current.

7.      I reside in the U.S. in lawful status and have filed my adjustment of status based on my approved I-526 Petition prior to May 1, 2015, what is my status? Can I remain in the U.S. and work and travel? Do I have to renew my advance parole and employment authorization?
Yes, you can remain in the U.S. and continually renew your advance parole (travel permission) and employment authorization so long as your adjustment of status remains pending. USCIS will hold off on adjudicating the adjustment of status application until your priority date is current.

8.      Where can I check my priority date after May 1, 2015?
The DOS announces it in each month’s visa bulletin on this website. You can learn all about how to check your priority date here. Additionally the DOS maintains a “Priority Date Checker” which is an interactive form that will automatically populate the cut-off date applicable for you.

9.      What is the estimated wait time due to retrogression?
As of May 1, 2015, the cut-off date established is May 1, 2013. This equates to a wait time of approximately two years assuming an individual received approval of his or her I-526 Petition on May 1, 2015. Based on DOS announcements, we expect the wait time to progressively increase up to three years or more.

10.  How long do you expect the wait time due to retrogression to be at the start of the U.S. government’s 2016 fiscal year on October 1, 2015?
We expect it to still be approximately two years. However, it may continue to progressively increase up to three years or more.

11.  If I am eligible for cross-chargeability based on my spouse’s non-PRC nationality, are my children also eligible?
Yes.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Greenberg Traurig and the EB-5 Investment Coalition Help Lead a Capitol Hill Briefing on H.R. 616, the American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act

(Source: Greenberg Traurig) Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV) and Jared Polis (D-CO), sponsors of H.R. 616, the American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act, held a legislative briefing April 23, 2015, with the support of the EB-5 Investment Coalition, discussing the importance of the EB-5 program, focusing on the job growth and economic development it brings to the United States.  Laura Foote Reiff, Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, along with Jeff Campion, CEO of Pathways EB-5, Inc.; David Cohen, Shareholder of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; Reid Thomas, Executive Vice President of NES Financial; and Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable, addressed concerns regarding job creation, national security, economic development, and the variety of projects generated by the program.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

New EB-5 Regional Centers

Three more new EB-5 regional centers have recently been approved.
  • Hana Financial Regional Center (CA)
  • Pan-Pacific Regional Center (CA)
  • West Coast Regional Center, Inc. (CA, NV)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Report from China: massive dispute with 30 migration agencies reported

According to Chinese media reports, a massive dispute with over 3000 Chinese customers has caused attention throughout the Chinese Exit Entry Service Industry. It is reported that over 30 licensed migration agencies (affiliated with a HK registered company) around the country are encountering financial disputes with Chinese clients who have been applying for overseas job opportunities.  Each Chinese client has paid nearly $5000 to migration agents who claim to place them with employers in foreign countries.  The Chinese authority is now interviewing all migration agencies who are involved with the disputes.  Some of the agencies also represent and promote EB-5 projects to their Chinese clients. To learn more about Chinese market, please register our July 16, 2015 event in Chicago at http://eb5chinaroundtable.eventbrite.com.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

EB-5 China Market Roundtable: What's Next

July 16, 2015  Chicago
Host: Brian Su, CEO
Artisan Business Group, Inc.

EB-5 China Market Roundtable: What's Next is a one-day fast-paced hands-on workshop presented by Artisan Business Group and elite guest speakers. As you are fully aware that more than 85% EB-5 investors have been from China in last few years, and China is the only source country of EB-5 funding for large scale EB-5 projects in the US.  As EB-5 visa retrogression is in place, market conditions and investor demands in China are changing fast!  To successfully operate regional center and advance your EB-5 capital raising activities in China, you must act effectively.  The China-focused workshop offers you up-to-date education, networking and business solutions to ever-changing environment in Chinese market.



We at Artisan Business Group have put together a program that will position you to secure a stronger role in the dynamic marketplace:

  • Learn from EB-5 capital market experts and business consultants
  • Get ahead of the curve from the latest market research and update
  • Sharpen your knowledge through active dialogues and thoughtful discussions
  • Develop effective capital structures and marketing strategies
  • Discover new tools to make your EB-5 capital raise more efficient
Registration
please contact us at artisanbusiness@yahoo.com for off-line registration or register online at http://eb5chinaroundtable.eventbrite.com.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Does the Derivative Child Beneficiary Have to take steps before May 1, 2015 to freeze the child’s age?

(Source: Bernard Wolfsdorf) After speaking to many other experienced immigration lawyers, there appears to be no clear guidance on what to do if the I-526 petition is approved prior to May 1, 2015, before the China EB-5 cut-off date is established. This blog purports to advise what the options are, but each case must be evaluated by an expert in immigration law. The State Department has published a “White Paper” that appears to give comfort to many. It indicates that the child derivative can take the necessary steps after May 1, 2015 when the cut-off for Chinese applicants starts, even if the EB-5 visa number is not current, or is not available and that taking such steps within the designated time will effectively freeze the child’s age and allow the child to immigrate together with his or her parents.

The USCIS Adjudicators Field Manual that incorporates a recent policy memorandum, and appears to be the most comprehensive guidance on the topic, provides guidance to Immigration Officers adjudicating applications to adjust status in the U.S. The memo also appears to say that by taking the designated action (such as paying the fee bill or filing forms DS 230 or DS 260) within the requisite time period freezes the child’s age, even though the visa number isn’t current or available. The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) which is guidance to consular officers, appears to say no, a visa number must be available to freeze the age, whereas the Department of State’s White Paper says yes, it does freeze the child’s age. There are also rumors the FAM will be revised to say yes, taking the requisite action will freeze the child’s age even though a visa is not available at that time.

I have communicated with another EB-5 expert Ron Klasko with whom I have done speaking panels on the topic, and he points out that, “The government is not bound by anything other than statute, regulations and precedent decisions.  Specifically, the government is not bound by AFM, FAM or cables/memoranda.” His view is the statute is consistent with the “white paper” and there is no limitation to filing while the visa is still available.  The FAM provision that appears to add that limitation is arguably unenforceable as being ultra vires the statute.  The AFM appears to be more consistent with the statute and more consistent with the position taken in the “white paper”.  It has reportedly been stated that the FAM will be amended to be consistent with the new position as stated in the “white paper”. 

Therefore, the White Paper is arguably as good or better “law” than the FAM.  In any event, it is difficult or impossible to believe that the government would try to reverse the White Paper position to the detriment of investors and defend a position in court that it is not bound by the advice that everyone relied upon. With all of that said, different lawyers are still advising Migration Agents and clients, differently. Some are saying it’s not necessary to take action by May 1, 2015, and that children approved before or after the establishment of the cut-off date, can still take steps to seek to acquire permanent residence after May 1, 2015 as implied in the White Paper. Our firm is taking the more conservative position that every effort should be taken before May 1, 2015 to protect potential age-out children. If the White Paper is incorporated in the FAM, great, we will have rushed and taken steps that need to be taken anyway so our clients can still sleep better. I do hope the FAM is updated soon so everyone is clear.

What Steps Can be Taken to “Seek to Acquire Permanent Residence Status” Before or After May 1, 2015?
  • If the NVC Fee Bill has been issued pay it. If the NVC fee bill erroneously left out the child derivative, as many of them have recently, one can consider paying via cashier’s checks as explained on the State Department’s website. If the fee bill has been issued, one can also file forms DS 260 but it is not necessary to file the forms to freeze the child’s age.
  • If no fee bill has been issued by NVC, then consider filing the old form DS 230 with the NVC.
  • Finally, while there is a $405 filing fee, consider filing form I-824 with the USCIS.
  • If the principal applicant is in the U.S. in valid status, together with the beneficiary, and is eligible to adjust status, the best option is usually to file an I-485 adjustment of status application.

Friday, April 24, 2015

New EB-5 Regional Center approvals and termination

Recent approved EB-5 regional centers include:
  • EB5 Affiliate Network State of California Regional Center, LLC (California): 
  • Alexico New York Regional Center, LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York)
  • BA Regional Center, LLC (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia)
  • Greystone Capital Investments Regional Center, LLC (Illinois) 
  • Ohio International Investment Center (Ohio)
  • US EB5 Association (Texas)
The following regional center has been terminated by USCIS

  • Ariel International Regional Center (Texas)

    If you have an EB-5 regional center covering Houston, TX and want to transfer ownership, please contact us at artisanbusiness@yahoo.com, interested buyer is seeking a RC in Texas. If your Regional Center has not had any economic activities, it is wise to sell now prior to possible termination by USCIS.