Sunday, August 12, 2018

7 New Things about EB-5 Waiting Lines

(Source: Wolfsdorf Rosenthal) On April 23, 2018, Mr. Charlie Oppenheim, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting, Department of State (“DOS”) spoke at an EB-5 Industry Conference regarding visa waiting lines for EB-5 investors.  He indicated that applicants chargeable to mainland China and Vietnam now face visa backlogs for the foreseeable future, and that visa backlogs for nationals of India, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan are expected by the summer of 2019.

Mr. Oppenheim’s estimates, as he always carefully indicates, are based on the “best available information.”  He also bases his estimates on “known facts” and not what could happen in the future.  When predicting beyond what is clearly visible, Mr. Oppenheim cannot and does not speculate based on legislative, administrative, or other factors and variables which often impact the waiting lines. For this reason, Mr. Oppenheim must frequently revise these estimates. Therefore, this information, while helpful for some planning, cannot be quoted as fact unless published in the Visa Bulletin.  Additionally, these estimates do not consider other factors such as the big four “D’s” – denial, dropout, death and divorce –  which affect waiting lines.

Confusion over the detailed aspects of this technical area of U.S. immigration law is common.  Numerous variables influence the length of EB-5 visa waiting lines, and attorneys should be sure the investor client understands that many variables are involved making predictions impossible. Nevertheless, it is important immigration attorneys attempt to keep themselves up-to-date in this highly complex area.   It is also critical to plan ahead regarding the interaction between non-immigrant visa status and the EB-5 application to ensure complications do not occur.

Here are seven new things to know about EB-5 visa waiting lines:

1. Mainland China. Oppenheim stated that cases filed in April 2018 could take “about 15 years” before a visa would become available for a mainland Chinese born applicant. The USCIS Ombudsman estimated in its 2017 Annual Report that an EB-5 investor from China may need to wait 10 years to obtain a visa to enter the U.S., though reform to the EB-5 program can and hopefully will modify this. Mr. Oppenheim explained, “that if a China applicant were to file a new EB-5 petition that day [i.e. April 23, 2018] the applicant would have a 15 year wait before their priority date would be reached for visa issuance.” Mr. Oppenheim indicated, however, that there “might [be] a different way to calculate the wait time for a newly filed petition.” Furthermore, he emphasized, “[t]he important thing for applicants to remember is that if they already have an approved/filed petition, their wait time could be much less than either of our estimates.”

Accordingly, the fuller context of Mr. Oppenheim’s remarks shows that the referenced 15-year wait might apply to cases filed in April 2018 but not apply to cases filed before that time.  Indeed, the wait time could be much less for approved cases. Furthermore, Mr. Oppenheim indicated that his estimate assumes that only 2,000 EB-5 visas would be issued to Chinese nationals in a fiscal year. Data for the first three quarters of FY2018 (October 2017-June 2018) shows over 4,049 EB-5 visas were issued to Mainland Chinese nationals this year, taking a bigger bite out of the visa wait line for Chinese applicants than estimated. Nevertheless, as demand for EB-5 visas from outside China – the rest of the world (“ROW”) – grows, every visa issued to a ROW applicant (excluding those nationals with their own EB-5 visa backlogs, like Vietnam right now) is one less visa that can be issued to a Chinese applicant.  Mr. Oppenheim estimates that the number of visas issued to Chinese applicants will gradually decrease to a maximum of 3,500 EB-5 visas in FY 2019, and 3,000 EB-5 visas in FY2020.  It’s possible that Mr. Oppenheim’s estimates regarding the Mainland Chinese EB-5 waiting line will increase as additional data about ROW EB-5 applicants comes to light. As a result, the anticipated China EB-5 Final Action Date in October 2018 will be, “August 8 or 15, 2014.”

2. Vietnam. Oppenheim confirmed that the EB-5 Final Action Date for Vietnam will advance to January 1, 2016 when FY 2019 begins on October 1, 2018.  However, Mr. Oppenheim anticipates that the entire 7% of EB-5 visas allocated to Vietnamese nationals will be allocated by the spring of 2019, likely earlier in the year than May, when the cap was reached in 2018.  At this point, the Final Action Date for Vietnam EB-5 applicants will match that of Mainland China EB-5 applicants, as occurred in May 2018.  Industry data suggests that Q2 of FY 2018 is the first time in which Vietnamese EB-5 investment outpaced Chinese EB-5 investment, and the industry will likely continue to see high demand from Vietnam.

3. India. 375 EB-5 visas have been issued to Indian nationals from October 2017 to June 2018. Yet industry data and anecdotal evidence confirms that Indian EB-5 investment has increased significantly over the past year. Moreover, demand from Indian nationals in EB-5 remains high because of the extremely long visa backlogs for other employment-based categories like EB-2 and EB-3. Oppenheim anticipates a final action date for India EB-5 “no later than June 2019” and likely earlier.

4. South Korea. 423 EB-5 visas have been issued to South Korean nationals from October 2017 to June 2018. As a result, “[a]t some point during the summer of 2019” it may be necessary to establish a Final Action Date and that will likely be the same as the China Final Action Date.

5. Taiwan. 335 EB-5 visas have been issued to Taiwanese nationals from October 2017 to June 2018. Mr. Oppenheim predicts that “possibly” Taiwan may have a Final Action Date, “[a]t some point during the summer of 2019.”

6. Brazil. In addition to the above-mentioned countries, currently Brazil “is the only other one where number use raises availability concerns for FY-2019” and may also see a Final Action Date at some point during the summer of 2019.  Although Hong Kong was previously on the list of countries to possibly have a backlog, it appears there is no imminent danger of a Final Action Date being established. All other countries are expected to remain current.

7. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? Oppenheim predicted a China Final Action Date “during the summer of 2015” which became reality in May 2015.  For Vietnam he predicted a Final Action Date starting in April 2018, which became reality in May 2018.  Because Mr. Oppenheim has pointed out that his public comments are “likely to guarantee that they will occur, and most likely earlier than expected,” countries with high EB-5 demand should expect a Final Action Date sooner rather than later.  Additionally, EB-5 investors and their legal counsel must now factor in both long adjudication and visa waiting lines. These factors increase the risk of the investment term being much longer than anticipated, and the possibility of age-out and family separation become real.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Los Angeles to host the 2018 US China Blockchain and Digital Currency Conference


The 2018 US China Blockchain and Digital Currency Conference at LAX Marriott Hotel on August 22, 2018 is organized by Blockchain China Connect, Artisan Business Group, Inc., and partnered with FundingPost.com. Event sponsors include WONO, a reliable decentralized peer-to-peer platform for exchanging property and services and LIQNET, an exchange with unique liquidity aggregation technology. The conference is the only Sino-US investment and funding focused event for blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Hundreds of blockchain entrepreneurs, investors, bitcoin mine operators, traders, and legal taxation experts are expected to attend, and it will provide a great platform for peer-to-peer networking and exploring investment, finance, business and collaboration opportunities between the U.S., China, Russia and other countries.

More than 25 expert speakers from both countries will cover a variety of hot topics such as blockchain technology, startup investment, capital raising, ICOs, bitcoin mining, virtual currency trading, SEC compliance, legal and taxation, etc. Expert speakers and panelists include Joe Rubin, Co-Founder and Managing Director of FundingPost.com; Xiahong Lin, Founder of Bodhi; Dr. Ann Shin, Founding Partner of UltraFund Capital;  Han Liguang, Founder of RedCoin Global Public Digital Currency Exchange; Richard B. Levin, Shareholder of Polsinelli; Jeffrey Levinson, CEO of Securitech Blockchain Industries; Jor Law, Co-Founder of Verify Investor; Graeme Moore, VP of Marketing at Polymath; Matt Miles, Founder & Co-CEO of Property Coin; David W. Klasing, Founder & Managing Attorney of The Law Offices of David W. Klasing; Brian Su, CEO of Artisan Business Group; Andrew Zapotochnyi, North America Representative at CoinTraffic; Steve Anapoell, US Securities Attorney; Tyler McKay, President of Blockchain China Connect; Rob Tiv, President & COO of SonicMessenger; Gan Zhang, Partner at RTF; Harley Dou, Managing Director at Tang Wealth; Ralph Liu, Founder & CEO of MuleChain and Advanced e-Financial Technologies, Inc.; Jonathan C. Dunsmoor, Of Counsel Reid & Wise; Alexander Esaulov, Founder & CEO of WONO; Andrey Chepelev, COO of WONO; Colin Wu, CEO of Hong Kong Intellectual Property Exchange; Roc Wang, Founder & CEO of DeepChain; Pavel Cherkashin, Co-founder of Mindrock and Managing Partner of GVA Capital; Ludger Hemesath CSO of SonicMessenger; Paul Dong, Founder of SunetX; Andy Wang, Founder of FutureChain Technologies.

Industry media partners from China and the US will cover the event such as FundingPost.com, Fintech Finance, ShenlianCaijing, Bitcoin Chaser, ICO Buffer, SnipersTube, Bitcoin.com, 5Bite.com, 55HuDong.com, ICO Holder, Coin Delite, Blockchain Daily News, CoinMarketPlus, Belink Communications, Jgy.com, BTC Manager, CoinPedia, Bitcoin86.com, BraveNewCoin, TheCryptoCoinCenter, The Daily Hodl, Wanlianzhijia, Chaintiao, Blockchain Business Index, Dayqkl.com, JCNNewswire.com, Adglink.com, ACNNewswire.com, CoinPoint, Smartereum, US China Business Association, NewsyPR, ICO link, Altcoin Alerts, ICO Goals, Crypto Reporter  and Casino Bitcoins.

There will be lively discussions about the future of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin including conversation about the most popular coins in China such as NEO, VeChain, Wanchain, EOS and more. Other topics include how to attract Chinese investors for your project, marketing ICO worldwide, real estate Investing through ICOs, bitcoin trading and mining tax laws, updates on Chinese cryptocurrency regulations, and US securities & regulations impacting ICO such as Reg D., Reg S. Reg A+, KYC and AML. ICO pitch, exhibitors and sponsors are welcome. Contact us at info@BlockchainChinaConnect.com for details.

Log on http://www.BlockchainChinaConnect.com for registration and event information.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Meet Paul Dong of Sunex at US China blockchain and crypto conference




Mr. Paul Dong,  Founder & CEO of Sunex, Blockchain Global Real Estate Investment Platform. Founder of Chemmerce,who has won venture capital investment from Morgan Stanley and AsiaCommerce. He is President of Sunet Group, and partner of Century 21 real estate company Realogy, a Fortune 500 company. 16 years of real estate overseas investment and overseas real estate asset management experience, and is PropTech expert. Dual Masters of Finance and Information Technology from the University of Texas, USA。Mr. Dong travels frequently to Asia and Europe to discuss blockchain investment and business opportunities.

Meet with Mr. Dong at the 2018 US China Blockchain and Digital Currency Conference in Los Angeles on August 22, book your ticket now at http://www.BlockchainChinaConnect.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I-829 Petition Receipt Notices Valid for 18 Months as Proof of Status

(Source: EB-5 Insights) On June 11, 2018, USCIS announced that Petitioners who file Form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, will receive a Form I-797 receipt notice that can be presented with their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on their conditional Permanent Resident Card. Previously, USCIS only issued receipt notices that would be valid for 12 months past the expiration date on the conditional Permanent Resident Card. USCIS made the change from 12 to 18 months to reflect the current processing times for Form I-829, which have increased over the past year.

In addition, USCIS also will issue new Form I-797 receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents whose Form I-829 was still pending as of June 11, 2018. Those Form I-797 receipt notices will also serve as evidence of continued status for 18 months past the expiration date on petitioner’s Permanent Resident Card.

This is an important change, as the Form I-797 receipt notices evidence a conditional permanent residents’ status in the United States, including proof of ongoing employment eligibility, and also serves as the official document international travel when the conditional green card has expired.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Artisan Buisness team travel to China

Artisan Business Group team will be traveling to China this weekend for a one month long fact finding and business trip.  Multiple meetings and business events will be held  with family offices, wealth managers and migration agencies in Beijing, Shanghai, Wenzhou and Shenzhen. 

The team will also explore business and investment opportunities within blockchain technology industry which has gained major exposure and worldwide attention after Chinese government banned Bitcoin exchanges and virtual currency tradings in China early this year. Artisan Business Group is hosting 2018 US China Blockchain and Digital Currency Conference in Los Angeles on August 22.

To learn more about new business and investment market in China, contact us today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

Quick US green cards are available to Indians — but they're not cheap


(Source: CNBC) Indians are discovering a quick — though super-expensive — way around the long wait for an American permanent residency. Read a good report at https://www.cnbc.com/

Palm Beach attorney accused of EB-5 fraud sells mixed-use property

(Source: The Real Deal) A Palm Beach attorney who federal prosecutors allege was involved in $50 million EB-5 fraud scheme just sold a three-building mixed-use property in Palm Beach for about $4 million. See the story at https://therealdeal.com/

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Chinese EB-5 investors lose patience

Chinese EB-5 investors are losing patience due to long waiting line, a result of retrogression.  The Chinese market has reflected such impatience. The market is very slow, even the large immigration agencies have difficulties of recruiting investors, the rumor is one of the top five leading agencies have decided not to promote EB-5 projects, instead real estate sales will be the key revenue generator.  In some cases, investors demand refund of investment capital, their hired gangsters show up at migration agency's offices to scare company owners and make threats to employees. In some cases, senior executives at migration agencies either flee or hide, and a few people got beaten up. Investors also know how to use Chinese social media such as Wechat groups, weibo mini blogs to attack migration agency and project developers as well as regional centers.  It is also common some investors would hire US attorneys to file lawsuit against regional centers or project developers.

When things get worse, Chinese investor groups would show up at the doorsteps of regional center offices and developers. It may get ugly or even violent. Regional centers should not be surprised if Chinese investors show up at your office or even house one day.

To learn more about Chinese investors market and its trends, contact us today. 

http://www.blockchainchinaconnect.com

Friday, May 18, 2018

China update: are investors abandoning EB-5 program?


In recent months, Chinese immigration agencies are calling upon their clients to file a petition with the  White House, it is reported over 10,000 investors and stakeholders are signing the online petition.  Obviously EB-5 market in China is extremely slow and pretty much dead. Families with older children are less willing to consider EB-5 program. A few families with minor children are still in favor of EB-5 program. However, retrogression is a key concern.

Many immigration agencies around China are replacing their core business from EB-5 promotions to real estate sales in Thailand and Cambodia. Even some of the largest leading immigration agencies are devoting their efforts in promoting real estate deals in Asia and Europe. For the US market, some Chinese clients are exploring EB-1C or NIW type of visas though many of them are not qualified. Due to long time retrogression, more investors from China have been demanding for refund. 

The lack of legislative actions in the US congress is a major road block for many potential EB-5 investors, we are not expecting anything to be done soon this year.  It is pretty soon that Vietnamese and Indian investors would be facing the same retrogression issues. The majority of Regional Centers will be forced out of business as large projects will never see sufficient EB-5 funding if the US Congress continue to be inaction with EB-5 program. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Chinese EB-5 investors might be jumping ship for private equity

(Source: The Real Deal) The EB-5 gravy train has left the station, however a new generation of private equity firms could be poised to step into the gap for Chinese investors interested in U.S. real estate, though a green card may not be part of the equation. See the story at https://therealdeal.com/

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

US developers feel pinch as Chinese investors pull back from EB-5 programme that offers green card as a reward

(Source: South China Morning Post) A big drop in Chinese applications for a US investor immigration programme is causing pain in sizeable American real estate projects as a source of affordable funding dries up. Read report at http://www.scmp.com/news/

Monday, April 16, 2018

Young Chinese families show interest in EB-5 investor program

 
ABG host Real Estate Training Program in Shanghai
For last five years, Chinese investors have overwhelmed the EB-5 program and have resulted in tens of thousands of petitions. However, since last year there is a sharp decline of investors from China due to retrogression and tighter control of foreign exchange by Chinese government. It has been quite difficult for Chinese citizens to sign up EB-5 program as many investors would not be able to get their funds or path of fund verified as USCIS required. Instead of coming to the US, many investors have discovered their new interest in investing in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and other European countries.

Despite uncertainties around the EB-5 immigration investor program, some Chinese families with young children are still interested in investing in the program and setting up their children's education plan.  Families with teenager are encouraging their teens to file EB-5 petitions on their own before Trump administration eventually closes door of the US, as many people believe that President Trump's immigration policy is not quite friendly to wealthy investors.

Since many US developers are turning their attention to markets of Vietnam, India, Taiwan and other countries, fewer US EB-5 projects are now available in the China market and fewer Chinese migration agencies are marketing them. EB-5 market in China is less crowded in 2018. Targeting the right investor pools can be critical for raising EB-5 capital this year in China.  To learn more about current status of EB-5 market and action plan, please contact us at http://www.ArtisanBusinessGroup.com

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Shanghai to host China International Import Expo in November 2018

The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and Shanghai Municipal People's Government will be hosting China's largest import trade show -"China International Import Expo" at the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center November 5-10, 2018. It is a significant move for the Chinese government to hold CIIE to give firm support to trade liberalization and economic globalization and actively open the Chinese market to the world. It facilitates countries and regions all over the world to strengthen economic cooperation and trade, and to promote global trade and world economic growth in order to make the world economy more open.  

Artisan Business Group is planning to organize a trade mission to China, if you are interested in exporting your product to Chinese market, contact us today at mailbox@artisanbusinessgroup.com.

Lawsuit alleging EB-5 scam at Metropolis has been dropped

(Source: The Real Deal) A federal lawsuit filed against a Los Angeles attorney accusing him of running an EB-5 scam at the Metropolis megaproject has been dropped. See news report at https://therealdeal.com/la/2018/04/12/lawsuit-alleging-eb-5-scam-at-metropolis-is-dropped/

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Artisan Business Group to host investment training tour in China



Artisan Business Group is planning a multi-city investment executive training tour in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenyang and Guangzhou in June and July 2018. To learn more about how you can get involved in our training tour, contact us at mailbox@ArtisanBusinessGroup.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Judge agrees to freeze Quiros properties in Bahamas, Colombia in EB-5 case

(Source: VTdigger.org) A Vermont judge has sided with the state in its bid to freeze the assets of Jay Peak developer Ariel Quiros, issuing an order Monday that applies to property in Vermont as well as outside the state and country. The order against Quiros freezes not only five properties in the state, but others in Florida and Colorado as well as Colombia, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. To learn more story at https://vtdigger.org/