Thursday, January 12, 2017

USCIS Drops the Hammer on the EB-5 Program by Announcing a 170% Proposed Increase on the Minimum Investment Amount for Targeted Employment Areas

(Source: Wolfsdorf Rosenthal) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will dramatically change the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. DHS has given stakeholders only three months until April 11, 2017 to comment on the proposals. We will provide a more in-depth analysis soon but here are five important observations regarding the proposal:

1. Huge Increases in Minimum Investment Amount. DHS proposes to increase the standard minimum investment amount from $1 million to $1.8 million. This is an 80% increase. For those investors seeking to invest in a targeted employment area (TEA), DHS proposes to increase the minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $1.35 million, a 170% increase! In addition, DHS is proposing to make regular consumer price index-based adjustments every 5 years, beginning 5 years from the effective date of the regulations.
2. TEA Designations. There could be major changes to TEA designations. DHS proposes to allow any city or town with a population of 20,000 and an average unemployment rate of at least 150 percent of the national average rate, to qualify as a TEA. DHS also proposes to eliminate the ability of a state to designate certain geographic and political subdivisions as high-unemployment areas; instead, DHS would make such designations directly, on standards that are yet to be determined.
3. Priority Date Retention. In a positive move, DHS proposes to authorize certain EB-5 petitioners to retain their priority date, or place in the waiting line if they have an approved EB-5 immigrant petition so it can be used in a subsequent EB-5 immigrant petition. This will only occur when the new petitions must be filed due to circumstances beyond the investor’s control such as termination of Regional Center or if there is a material change in the business plan. This is very important for investors from Mainland China who are subject to a waiting line.
4. Removal of Conditions. DHS is proposing that derivative family members that were not included in a Form I-829 petition to remove conditions filed by the principal investor must file their own Form I-829. DHS is also proposing greater flexibility to require interviews for Form I-829 approval in a location where the investor is residing.
5. Management of NCE. DHS is proposing to eliminate references to “management” and the term “as opposed to maintaining a purely passive role in regard to the investment” in the regulation at 8 C.F.R. § 204.6(j)(5). Presently, it is required than an EB-5 investor be engaged in the management of the new commercial enterprise, either through the exercise of day-to-day managerial control or through policy formulation, as opposed to maintaining a purely passive role in regard to the investment. This point will be further clarified in the comments to follow.

These much-anticipated regulations will dramatically change the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. A huge increase in the minimum investment amount, without providing a solution for Mainland Chinese investors who make up over 80% of the program and who are waiting in a visa quota backlog, is flawed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

5 Things You Need to Know about New Proposed EB-5 Rulemaking

(Source: Wolfsdorf Rosenthal) Tomorrow, January 11, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register regarding regulatory changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. The goal of these proposed changes is to better reflect business realities for Regional Centers and EB-5 immigrant investors, to increase predictability and transparency in the adjudication process, to improve operational efficiency for USCIS, and to enhance the EB-5 Program’s integrity. Stakeholders will be given 90 days, until approximately April 11, 2017, to comment on the proposed regulations, and DHS will then finalize the regulations and implement them.
Here are five things you need to know:
  • At this Time, No Changes to Minimum Investment Amount or Definition of “Targeted Employment Area”. The new, proposed regulations do NOT tackle the issues of minimum investment amounts or make changes to the definition of “Targeted Employment Areas”. Instead, by publishing this advanced notice, DHS is providing a formal invitation to participate in shaping the proposed rule, and
 this publication starts the notice‐and‐comment process in motion. At this time, DHS is merely looking to make “operational and security updates to the Regional Center Program while minimizing the impact of such changes on regional center operations and EB-5 investors.”
  • Initial Regional Center Designation and Exemplar Approval Changes. DHS is seeking to split the process between obtaining initial Regional Center designation and obtaining EB-5 project approval via an exemplar. DHS would first require submission of a more general application for initial designation, and then, subsequent to designation, would require submission of a more specific application for approval of an exemplar project.
  • Mandatory Exemplar Process. This new exemplar process would be potentially required for both individual EB-5 immigrant petitions and for Regional Center designation. Thereafter, DHS would require the approval of such an exemplar before any investor may submit his or her EB-5 immigrant petition associated with a project covered by such request. In reality, this is already the case for many projects. DHS is also seeking comment on the “appropriate validity period for the approval of an exemplar project,” with a possible 2-3 year validity. DHS is also seeking comment on what would constitute a “material change” of an approved exemplar.
  • Safeguards for Monitoring and Oversight. DHS is looking for comments on potential methods for ensuring an appropriate level of monitoring and oversight to ensure that all Regional Center (a) use immigrant investor funds to promote economic growth, and (b) protect against the misuse of such funds. These methods could include Regional Center attestations, the submission of detailed information about the Regional Center’s oversight efforts of its NCEs and JCEs, and other compliance and enforcement mechanisms.
  • Continued Participation and Termination of Regional Centers DHS is considering changes to the regulations governing continued Regional Center designation, including changes that would require existing and newly designated regional centers to demonstrate that they continue to meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. These include (a) evidence of active participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, (b) periodic demonstrations that the Regional Center has active monitoring and oversight activities, and (c) prompt notification to DHS of significant changes to a Regional Center.
Additionally, DHS is considering explicitly listing as activities that would result in termination of the Regional Center. These include (a) failure to meet the continued participation requirements (b) obtaining designation by fraud or misrepresentation; (c) using unlawfully sourced funds to run regional center operations; or (d) misusing investor funds, including, but not limited to, use in any unlawful activity (e.g., Ponzi schemes). In conclusion, the much anticipated regulations are an important step forward to ensure the integrity of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program. DHS is to be commended for its open-mindedness in reaching out to stakeholders for input as it develops new policy to improve the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Proposed EB-5 Regulations

(Source: EB-5 Coalition) It is our belief that the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has completed it's review of the proposed EB-5 regulations.

OMB is sending the regulations back to USCIS for publication.  USCIS will have the opportunity to review any received comments and take administrative action, such as the issuance of notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) in the Federal Register.   We expect that the regulations will be published in proposed form within the week.   It is unclear what position the Trump Administration will take on regulations promulgated in the final days of the Obama Administration.  That being said, there have been press reports that the Trump Administration will “freeze” or even cut regulations rather than allow new ones to advance.  If the NPRM is issued, there will typically be a 60-day notice and comment period.  USCIS will then review and revise the rule accordingly, and can issue a final rule that is published in the Final Register.
 

Thus, when looking at the timing possibilities, today is January 10, sixty days for notice and comment would be March 10. Thereafter, USCIS would then need to respond to the comments which could take another 30-60 days at least. This would take us until April 10 or perhaps May 10. Of course, these are estimates, which could change, and do not take into account the fact that the regulations could be frozen by the Trump Administration or Congress could enact new legislation. We will have a call shortly to discuss. We do plan to submit comments to the proposed regulation.

Friday, January 6, 2017

China tries to stop weakening of Yuan

China's central bank boosted the Yuan to the biggest single day increase since July 2005. The daily price fixings with the Yuan impacts the Chinese EB-5 Investors when converting currency to the dollar. Potential EB-5 investors keep close watch on currency exchange rates during their immigration process. We expect the Yuan to decline in the long run but will continue to keep close watch. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 EB5NewsBlog.org Annual Awards Announced

EB5NewsBlog.org is glad to announce the recipients of the 2016 EB5NewsBlog.org Annual Awards!  There are many other EB-5 professionals and service providers, not mentioned, that have and continue to be the driving force behind the EB-5 program’s success year after year. Congratulations! 

2016 EB-5 Person of the Year 
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley
Senator Grassley is a strong advocate of common sense reform and holding government accountable while working on EB-5 legislation as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

2016 EB-5 Regional Center of the Year
Century American Regional Center 
Century American Regional Center is a real estate focused EB-5 firm authorized by the U.S. Government to seek and attract foreign direct investment to the United States in order to create jobs and stimulate the U.S. Economy

2016 EB-5 Immigration Law Firm of the Year

Baker Donelson led by Mr. Robert Divine 
Robert C. Divine, leader of the Firm's Global Immigration Group and a shareholder who works from the Firm's Washington, D.C., and Chattanooga offices, concentrates his practice in business immigration and litigation. The 60th largest law firm in the US has one of the leading immigration groups in the country.

2016 EB-5 Economic Consultant of the Year

Mr. Jeff Carr 
Jeff Carr is the President of Economic & Policy Resources and as such is responsible for overseeing activities of the company as a whole including management of EB-5 Program and public policy. 

2016 EB-5 Service Provider of the Year
NES Financial 

NES Financial provides technology-enabled solutions and services specializing in EB-5 fund administration. NES Financial is the leading EB-5 Program fund administrator and escrow provider.

2016 EB-5 Media Service Provider of the Year

EB5Projects.com 
EB5Projects.com is the top source for news, analysis and information on the EB-5 Program. EB5Projects.com provides verification and due diligence to help make the safest project selection and keep clients informed on the asset from subscription until exit.

2016 EB-5 Emigration Agency of the Year

Visas Consulting Group (Shanghai)
VCG is one of the leading exit and entry service providers in China, highly specialized in immigration consulting services to investor clients in China.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Lame-duck Congress punts EB-5 ‘golden visa’ reform to Donald Trump

(Source: The Washington Times) When the lame-duck Congress stumbled out of town earlier this month, lawmakers blew through yet another self-imposed deadline for cleaning up a controversial visa program that critics say could even become a pathway for terrorists into the U.S. — dropping the problem in the lap of President-elect Trump and a newly elected House and Senate to fix next year. See more report at http://www.washingtontimes.com/

Five Important EB-5 Facts from 2016

(Source: Wolfsdorf Rosenthal) The U.S. government has released the final statistics for Fiscal Year 2016, providing critical information regarding the EB-5 program.
  1. During the past 3 years, 39,443 Form I-526 petitions were filed, representing almost $20 billion of capital invested in the U.S. economy, creating thousands of new jobs.
  2. Only 10,000 green cards may be issued to EB-5 applicants and their immediate family members each year. Because family members are counted against this 10,000 immigrant visa quota, approximately only 3,000 investments result in green cards each year. This has created a current waiting line of almost 3 years for Chinese investors who make up over 80% of EB-5 investors. In contrast, 50,000 green cards are issued annually based on a random lottery and about 700,000 people permanently immigrate via family petitions.
  3. 20,804 Form I-526 petitions are currently still pending, despite the approval of more than half, or 2,851 of the 5,509 petitions filed in the 4th quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. In the 4th quarter of Fiscal Year 2016, 293 petitions were denied and 2,851 were approved, reflecting an approval rate of about 90%.
  4. In Fiscal Year 2016, a total of 14,147 petitions were filed, almost exactly the same number as Fiscal Year 2015, when 14,373 petitions were filed. This is still substantially above the 10,923 petitions filed in Fiscal Year 2014 and represents an extraordinary $7.5 billion annual investment over the last two years. However, this statistic also shows there is an issue as the program appears to be reaching a plateau almost certainly caused by concerns about the increasingly long waiting line for Chinese applicants. It is time for Congress to take action to resolve this by borrowing at least 10,000 visas annually from the 55,000 allocated annually to the green card lottery.
  5. In Fiscal Year 2016, a mere 86 Form I-829 petitions for final green card approval were denied (less than 5%), while 1,758 petitions were approved. With an approval rate of over 95%, it appears USCIS is reluctant to remove investors after their conditional permanent residency is granted.
Unless the U.S. Congress takes steps to increase the EB-5 quota soon, the 2016 Fiscal Year will have represented the pinnacle of a hugely beneficial program which provides enormous amounts of capital investment and creates thousands of jobs annually.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

SEC says it charges lawyer with stealing investor money in EB-5 offerings

(Source: Reuters) The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged a California lawyer on Tuesday with defrauding people who signed up for an immigrant investor program aimed at creating jobs for Americans.

Emilio Francisco raised $72 million from investors in China, the SEC said in a statement. He and his marketing firm, PDC Capital, "diverted investor funds from one project to another and outright stole at least $9.6 million that was used to finance Francisco’s own businesses and luxury lifestyle," it said. Details can be found at  http://www.reuters.com/

News release from SEC: https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2016-281.html

Monday, December 26, 2016

Five Things to Know About the New EB-5 Regulations

(Source: Wolfsdorf Rosenthal) The Obama Administration has sent substantial new regulations to Office of Management & Budget (“OMB”) in the final step to modernize the EB-5 Program.   The OMB is a government agency that needs to clear regulations before published. We expect the regulation to be published in the next 30 days, with at least a 30-day comment period. This means that there may be only about 60 days before the minimum investment amount increases.  The new regulations will be the most dramatic change to the EB-5 Program since its inception 25 years ago. There is likely a small window of opportunity to file an I-526 petition before the new rules become effective early next year.  This window will likely present the last opportunity to apply under current TEA rules and with a $500,000 investment. There is likely a window of opportunity to file now before the new rules apply.

Here are five things to know about the new regulations:
  • Increases to Required Investment Amounts. The new regulations will include an increase to required EB-5 investment amounts.  Nobody is certain whether USCIS will see a gradual increase or a sudden jump to an increased minimum investment amount of $800,000 for TEA investments and $1 million or even $1.2 million for non-TEA investments.
  • Changes to Definition of Targeted Employment Area. The new regulations will likely redefine the types of EB-5 projects that meet eligibility for the reduced investment amount, either because they are in rural or other areas where a capital infusion is likely to create jobs and benefit the community, or in certain industries such as manufacturing.
  • Changes to Priority Date Retention. Presently, if it becomes necessary to re-file an I-526 petition because of project failure or other circumstances that are through no fault of the immigrant investor, for mainland Chinese born, he/she still must go to the back of a long waiting line.  Hopefully, the new regulations will entitle those investors that are defrauded or otherwise not at fault to refile and retain the old priority date.   
  • More Predictable Adjudications. The goal of the new regulations, other than modernizing key areas of the EB-5 Program, is to provide a higher level of predictability and transparency in the adjudication process.  We hope the changes will enhance the integrity of the EB-5 Program by clarifying key eligibility requirements for participation and further detailing the processes required.
  • EB-5 Waiting Line.  It is hoped that Congress will also tackle the critical problem of the waiting line soon and we encourage Congress to address the quota issue at the same time it re-introduces the American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act. This bill is likely to be considered early next year and the new law and the new regulations will complement each other in revising the EB-Program.
Unfortunately, these regulations can do nothing about the most critical issue of the EB-5 Program, that is increasing waiting line for Mainland Chinese born investors.  This is an issue that only the U.S. Congress has authority to resolve.  One solution is for Congress to borrow 10,000 visas annually from the 50,000 visas given away randomly in the annual green card lottery.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Policy Manual EB-5 announcement

From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [mailto:uscis@public.govdelivery.com] Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 9:29 AM Subject: USCIS Message: Policy Manual Available for Comment Employment-Based Fifth Preference Immigrants: Investors
Dear Stakeholder,
USCIS seeks your input on the USCIS Policy Manual item listed below which contains either new or revised policy guidance. Please note that this item is effective as of the date shown below.
Type of Document for Comment: USCIS Policy Manual Title of Document: Employment-Based Fifth Preference Immigrants: Investors Related Documents: Policy Alert Opening & Closing Dates for Comment: November 30, 2016 – December 14, 2016 Effective Date of Policy: November 30, 2016
Please send all comments to publicengagementfeedback@uscis.dhs.gov and be sure to include the following to make your comments clear:
State the title of the relevant volume and section in the subject line of your message;
Refer to a specific portion of the document;
Explain the reason for any recommended change; and
Include data, information, or authority that supports the recommendation.
If you are unable to access the document through the link provided above, please do the following:
  1. Go to www.uscis.gov/outreach
  2. Select “Feedback Opportunities” on the left side of the page
  3. Select “Policy Manual for Comment” on the left side of the page
Kind Regards,
USCIS Public Engagement Division

Thursday, December 8, 2016

ABG to host 2nd annual China-Caribbean Investment & Finance Forum

2017 China-Caribbean Investment & Finance Forum, a conference of business developers and investors, is coming to San Juan, Puerto Rico to highlight Chinese investments in the greater Caribbean region.

Governor-elect Dr. Rossello met with Mr. Brian Su

A large group of business owners and senior executives from China and top regional and local stakeholders from Puerto Rico are on board for the three-day conference event, which will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 1 to March 3, 2017.The conference will focus on direct investments from China in the areas of clean energy, tourism, real estate, manufacturing, aviation, and international trade.  Governor-elect Ricky Rossello will be the keynote speaker. 

 Conference details are available at: http://www.ChinaCaribbeanForum.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

EB-5 Regional Center expected to be Extended

The EB-5 Regional Center Program which is set to expire December 9, 2016 is expected to be extended until April 28, 2016. The RC Program will be part of the Continuing Resolution legislation to keep the Government funded. The House is expected to pass legislation on Thursday and the Senate on Friday. Once passed, this would mean a clean extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Program until April 28, 2016. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

EB-5 Visas Expected to Reach New Heights Under Trump, As Immigration Rules Tighten

(Source: Santa Monica Observer) EB-5, Also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, grants visas to foreigners in exchange for investing a minimum of $500,000 into U.S. projects that promise to employ 10 or more workers. To read the story at http://www.smobserved.com/

USCIS Policy Manual EB-5 announcement

From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [mailto:uscis@public.govdelivery.com] Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 9:29 AM Subject: USCIS Message: Policy Manual Available for Comment Employment-Based Fifth Preference Immigrants: Investors
Dear Stakeholder,
USCIS seeks your input on the USCIS Policy Manual item listed below which contains either new or revised policy guidance. Please note that this item is effective as of the date shown below.
Type of Document for Comment: USCIS Policy Manual Title of Document: Employment-Based Fifth Preference Immigrants: Investors Related Documents: Policy Alert Opening & Closing Dates for Comment: November 30, 2016 – December 14, 2016 Effective Date of Policy: November 30, 2016
Please send all comments to publicengagementfeedback@uscis.dhs.gov and be sure to include the following to make your comments clear:
State the title of the relevant volume and section in the subject line of your message;
Refer to a specific portion of the document;
Explain the reason for any recommended change; and
Include data, information, or authority that supports the recommendation.
If you are unable to access the document through the link provided above, please do the following:
  1. Go to www.uscis.gov/outreach
  2. Select “Feedback Opportunities” on the left side of the page
  3. Select “Policy Manual for Comment” on the left side of the page
Kind Regards,
USCIS Public Engagement Division

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New EB-5 Regional Centers approved

New EB-5 regional centers have been approved by USCIS.

  • EB-5 Fund CA, Inc. (California)
  • Home Paradise Texas Regional Center, LLC (Oklahoma, Texas)

5 Important Points from the New EB-5 Policy Manual

(Source: Wolfsdorf Rosenthal) Today, USCIS released an important draft version of the USCIS Policy Manual on the employment-based fifth preference immigrant visa category(EB-5). The guidance addresses all aspects of the program including the requirements for a regional center and for Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur adjudication. It also describes the different types of regional center projects, including hypothetical projects and actual projects. The guidance is effective as of November 30, 2016,. USCIS has combined previous adjudication memoranda and current adjudication policy in one source. Here are five important points from the new EB-5 Policy Manual:
  1. Investment of Capital. The Policy Manual includes clarifications over the type of “capital” which can be invested in a new commercial enterprise.  It states that an immigrant investor using loan proceeds as capital (most commonly, a home equity loan) to be, under the terms of the loan agreement, personally and primarily liable for the indebtedness secured by assets owned by the immigrant investor.  Additionally, a loan secured by an immigrant investor’s assets only qualifies as capital up to the fair market value of the pledged assets.  The Policy Manual also provides requirements for using a promissory note (a promise to pay) as capital, including a requirement for the promissory note debt to be secured by the investor’s assets and to have been properly perfected in accordance with local laws and fully amenable to seizure by a U.S. noteholder. 
  2. Return on Investment and Redemption Agreements. An immigrant investor may receive a return on his or her capital in the form of a distribution of profits from the new commercial enterprise, even during the conditional residency period and before creation of jobs, as long as the distribution is not a portion of the investor’s minimum qualifying investment or is guaranteed to the investor.  For immigrant investors who contributed capital in exchange for an equity interest, there can be no redemption agreement which authorizes the immigrant investor to demand a return of some portion of the investment funds, even after obtaining conditional permanent resident status.
  3. Targeted Employment Areas.  A geographic area that once qualified as a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) may no longer qualify, as employment rates or population can increase over time. An immigrant investor cannot rely on previous TEA determinations that were made based on facts that have subsequently changed.  The appropriate date for USCIS to determine whether an immigrant investor’s investment qualifies for the lower capital investment amount depends on the time of the investment:  If the investment of capital is made to the new commercial enterprise (or made available to job-creating entity in regional center context), the analysis focuses on whether the area qualifies as a TEA at time of the investment.  If the investment of capital has not been made at the time of I-526 filing, the analysis focuses on whether the area qualifies as a TEA at time of the I-526 filing.  Additionally, an immigrant investor is not required to demonstrate that the area in question remains a TEA at the time the Form I-829 removal of conditions application is filed.
  4. Material Change. The Policy Manual provides some clarification (though also raises more questions) about the difficult concept of “material change.”  It states that changes that occur after a Form I-526 filing but before an immigrant investor obtains conditional permanent resident status are considered material if they result in the investor’s ineligibility.  This appears too vague and could be interpreted to mean leniency for minor changes that occur after filing but before approval of the conditional green card. The May 30th 2013 guidance memo is rigid on changes occurring prior to issuance of conditional permanent residence, but somewhat more lenient on changes that occur after approval of conditional permanent residence. This is important especially for Chinese waiting in the quota line who can get approval of their petitions but must wait for their place in line before they can obtain conditional permanent residence.
  5.  I-829 Adjudications. USCIS is proposing that applications to remove the conditional permanent residents filed on Form I-829 include the comprehensive business plan and economic analysis previously submitted with the Form I-526.  USCIS clarifies that the jobs need not be in existence as of the time of I-829 adjudication to be credited, as long as they were created because of the immigrant’s investment and such jobs were considered permanent when created.

Monday, November 28, 2016

EB-5 Visas Expected to Reach New Heights Under Trump, As Immigration Rules Tighten

(Source: Santa Monica Observer) EB-5, Also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, grants visas to foreigners in exchange for investing a minimum of $500,000 into U.S. projects that promise to employ 10 or more workers. In the past few months, there has been a lot of talk on what will become of the EB-5 visa program, which was set to expire on September 30, 2016. To no surprise, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution just two days before the set expiration date which will allow the EB-5 program to continue until December 2016. Congress will now either need to agree on a reform for the program or let it expire. Experts on the topic believe that the EB-5 immigrant visa program will continue to thrive under the Trump Administration. Though changes are expected to take place to the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program, experts everywhere are predicting that the program will thrive when Trump takes Office.

Former New York Governor George Pataki commented on the topic, "His strong stance is against illegal immigration. EB-5 is a legal immigration program. He [President Elect Donald Trump] understands the need for capital, the need for investment."
Trump himself is no stranger to the Immigrant Investor Program. His own company brand has been licensed to Trump Bay Street, a large Eb-5 funded project developed by Kushner Cos. and KABR Group. Kushner Cos. is led by Jared Kushner, Tump's son-in-law. Trump Bay Street is a 50-story luxury apartment tower in Jersey City, N.J. Though Trump himself is not taking any part in the financing of Trump Bay Street, he has displayed that he is eager to license his name out to an EB-5 funded project. This information alone suggests that he has underlying support and understanding for the EB-5 program.

While Trump was campaigning to be President, The Trump Organization continued to find branding opportunities that license out the Trump name to real-estate projects to expand the Trump brand without taking on financial responsibility for the projects. As reported in the Wall Street Journal at the end of October, The Trump Organization is partnering with Global Management Resources on a $170 million 33-Story luxury hotel and condo development in downtown Austin, TX. The Trump-branded hotel, is seeking $40 million from 80 EB-5 investors, making it the second Trump-branded building that has applied for EB-5 funding. Much like Trump Bay Street in NJ, The President Elect is only lending his brand to the project while its partner, Global Management Resources will be in charge.

Trump is a developer himself, and he seems to understand the importance of a program like this. The fate of the EB-5 Visa Immigrant Investor Program is still undecided, but EB-5 experts across the U.S. are remaining optimistic. Some experts are even speculating that the EB-5 program will expand to reach new heights once it is controlled by a government made up of Republicans.