Friday, July 22, 2016

ABG team to visit Southern California

ABG team will be visiting project clients in Los Angeles and Irvine California the first week of August, If you have a small real estate project that is seeking funding capital from China, you are welcome to schedule an appointment and discuss your new project with us, please contact us now.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Artisan to host Chinese delegation to Wealth Management Americas

Artisan Business Group will host a Chinese delegation of financial professionals to attend the Wealth Management Americas 2016 Conference in Miami, Florida on November 15-16. The 2 day event will bring together professionals from private banks, wealth management firms, family offices and HMWIs to network and learn from industry leaders. 

Please contact us at artisanbusiness@gmail.com for more information on sponsoring and hosting the delegation in Miami.

Wealth Management Americas will bring together private banks, wealth managers, family offices, asset managers, investment banks, law firms, accountants and consultants to explore the latest strategies, technologies and investment techniques from across the industry. 

World-renowned thought leaders from the world's largest private banks and family offices joined us for last year's Wealth Management Americas conference as they lead the discusion.

- See more at: http://www.terrapinn.com/conference/wealth-management-americas/agenda.stm#sthash.B96xuqVw.dpuf

Wealth Management Americas will bring together private banks, wealth managers, family offices, asset managers, investment banks, law firms, accountants and consultants to explore the latest strategies, technologies and investment techniques from across the industry. 

World-renowned thought leaders from the world's largest private banks and family offices joined us for last year's Wealth Management Americas conference as they lead the discusion. 

- See more at: http://www.terrapinn.com/conference/wealth-management-americas/agenda.stm#sthash.B96xuqVw.dpuf

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New trends in Chinese market

Chinese investors are seeking alternatives since EB-5 program may take two years for initial I-526 approvals.  Some investors cannot wait!  L-1A and EB-1C petitions are becoming more popular among Chinese migration agencies and many qualified investors. 

To learn more about how L-1A and EB-C visa program can assist your project funding, please contact us today at artisanbusiness@yahoo.com. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

New EB-5 regional centers

New EB-5 regional centers are designated by the USCIS:

  • American Lending Center Colorado Regional Center, LLC (Colorado)
  • American Lending Center Virginia Regional Center, LLC (District of Columbia, Virginia)
  • Benefield California Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • George Washington Immigration Group, LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York)
  • HS Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • Huana Group (U.S.), Inc. (California)
  • New Genesis Gulf South Regional Center, LLC (Louisiana, Mississippi)
  • SAA Cedisus EB-5 Projects – SW Indiana Regional Center, LLC (Indiana)
  • San Diego EB-5 Regional Center (California)
  • Texas Capital Advisors Regional Center (“TCARC”) (Texas)
  • TriHaven Investment Group Southern California (California)
  • Western Energy Regional Center (Oklahoma)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Updated EB-5 Processing Times Released by USCIS

(By Kristen W. Ng) On July 14, 2016, USCIS released updated processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO).

The updated processing times are follows:

  • Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur: 16.6 month
  • Form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions: 20.1 months
  • Form I-924 Application for Regional Center: 9.9 months
  • Processing times for I-829 petitions have increased due to more petitions being submitted as a result of investors reaching the end of the IPO States the processing times for Form I-924s are 9.9 months, practitioners are reporting that it is taking longer than that timeframe.

Applicants with pending I-526 petitions can check the status of the case online; applicants can also email USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov for updates on cases pending beyond the above-mentioned processing times.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Developer wants $300M in EB-5 money for Times Square redevelopment

(Source: The Real Deal) Maefield Development is looking to raise $300 million in EB-5 financing for its $2 billion revamp of 1568 Broadway, which includes physically elevating the historic Palace Theater by 29 feet, according to documents circulated to Chinese investors.The EB-5 program, which offers foreign investors a U.S. green card in exchange for a $500,000 investment, has become a popular source of capital for developers, especially in a tough financing environment.

Maefield, an Indianapolis-based real estate investment firm, acquired the leasehold interest for the 468-room DoubleTree Guest Suites Times Square hotel, at Seventh Avenue and West 47th Street, from Sunstone Hotel Investors for $540 million last year — a deal that valued it at just over $1.15 million per key. Maefield’s redevelopment of the property, done in partnership with Nederlander Organization, is slated to include a renovation of the hotel, a new retail and entertainment space and a new “super-high-resolution” LED screen on which to display advertising. In order to build the new retail space, the company will have to lift the theater. The project was approved by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission last month.

The revamped hotel will have 704 rooms and a rooftop bar and restaurant. The Palace dates back to 1913 and is one of the longest running theaters on Broadway. Howard Michaels of the Carlton Group, who arranged the acquisition financing for the hotel, was not immediately available for comment on how Maefield plans to finance the revamp. A spokesperson for Maefield declined to comment.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Miami developer targets EB-5 funding for hotel projects

(Source: The Real Deal) An EB-5 developer in Miami plans to break ground on a $24 million Miami airport hotel this fall, marking the first of three hospitality properties in the works for Riviera Point Development Group in the Southeastern United States. Rivera Point will launch RED, Radisson’s millennial-focused brand, at the site at 3450 Northwest 25th Street. Twenty-three investors, a majority from Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador, will provide $11.5 million in financing for the 155-room hotel, CEO Rodrigo Azpúrua told The Real Deal.

Funding via EB-5 is desirable because interest rates are often lower than traditional financing. In this case, investors earn 3.5 percent on their investments with no share on profits, Azpúrua said. The popular visa program grants permanent U.S. residency to investors (as well as their immediate family members) who create at least 10 domestic jobs and invest at least $500,000 to $1 million in a U.S. business venture. In South Florida, EB-5 investors have targeted restaurants and projects like SkyRise Miami and the Hotel Astor redevelopment.

Riviera Point paid close to $3 million for the roughly 1-acre plot in November, records show. Modis Architects, including principal Ivo Fernandez, is designing the six-story hotel, which Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group will manage when it opens in 2018. RED targets the millennial traveler, Azpúrua said, and marks the first millennial-oriented brand near the airport. The brand emphasizes art, food and technology. “Innovation and marketing are the two keys of success for any brand,” Azpúrua told TRD. It will feature an open lobby with restaurants, bars and meeting spaces; a pool and fitness center; and multipurpose event studios, according to a press release. Room rates will in the $125 range.

All-in-all, Riviera Point aims to build or acquire 1,500 hotel rooms in the next five years in Florida and the rest of the Southeast. That’s a change for the developer, which has worked on EB-5 funded office condos in Doral and Miramar in the past, so far totaling more than $45 million of investment in South Florida. More than 160 green cards have been issued as a result, according to the release.
Azpúrua said the high demand and operational ease of limited service hotels makes them attractive investments. Earlier this month, the company bought a Comfort Inn in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for $2.7 million with plans to rebrand. And back in Florida, Riviera Point is set to close on a Daytona Beach hotel it will convert into two smaller limited service properties.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2016 US China Investment Forum hosted in Chicago

2016 US China Investment Chicago Forum sponsored by Access the USA, Smash Companies, Wright Johnson and Wolfsdorf Rosenthal was held June 30 in Chicago. The all-day seminar discussed fraud protection, regional center trends, hot topics of EB-5 immigration and attracting Chinese private equity. Over 30 Chinese emigration and investment professionals attended the Investment Forum.





Monday, July 4, 2016

Artisan hosts successful US Investment Executive Training Program

Artisan Business Group hosted a group of 30 Chinese emigration and investment professionals in Chicago June 26-July 2nd for a week long training program at Northern Illinois University Naperville Campus. The 2nd annual executive training program included expert speakers in multiple industries including Construction Management, Life Insurance, US Taxes, Legal System, Agriculture Investments, Family Office, etc. It also included on-site visits to discuss US Real Estate and Property Management. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter came to greet the group. The Program is also sponsored by Smash Companies and Access the USA.









Chinese investors help fuel Charlotte’s charter school boom

(Source: The Charlotte Observer) Charter school projects financed by EB-5 immigrant investor program are very popular among Chinese investors.  However, based on this news report, startups of such school is very tricky. Chinese investors provided $3 million in startup money for Thunderbird Preparatory Academy, a Cornelius charter school that’s fighting for survival.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/education/article87268177.html#storylink=cpy
Please see complete report at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Busted! Daniel Yoon must face trial

(Source: MCNTV) An investigation into the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics in Atwater has led to the arrest of Daniel Yoon, one of the two owners. As MCNTV News viewers may recall in our in-depth story back in October 2015, Mr. Yoon had been allegedly using the other owner’s name to apply for loans. Many Merced County residents could not understand why the Merced County DA would not pursue charges when the evidence was first available.  See report at http://www.mcntvnews.com/  and Judge rules Daniel Yoon must face trial, see more report at http://allmercednews.com/

Sunday, June 26, 2016

2016 Investment and Business Trade Mission to China

Artisan Business Group is hosting 4th annual investment and business trade mission to China in late September 2016. The goal is to help American businesses to explore more investment and business contacts with Chinese counterparts.  The one week trade mission will visit and meet with Chinese senior executives in Beijing and Shandong Province.  

To learn more about participation information, please email us at artisanbusiness@yahoo.com.

Friday, June 24, 2016

State Regulators Bar EB-5 Project At Okemo From Soliciting New Investors

Vermont state regulators bar EB-5 Project at Okemo from soliciting new investors.An EB-5, foreign investor-funded project at the base of Okemo Mountain Resort has come under new regulatory scrutiny over statements in its financial prospectus to investors. See the news report at http://digital.vpr.net/

Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 US China Investment Forum Agenda Announced


Platinum Sponsors: Smash Companies & Access the USA
Gold Sponsor: Wright Johnson
Exhibitor Sponsor: Wolfsdorf Rosenthal










8:30- 9:00 am Check in and Registration










9:00- 9:15 am Welcome


Brian Su, Artisan Business Group













9:15- 10:00 am Regional Center Business & Market Update


Aaron Goforth, Wright Johnson













10:30- 11:15am EB-5 Immigration and Legislative Updates


Joseph Barnett, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal













11:45-12:45 pm EB-5 Fraud Protection Strategies





Jerold Siegan, Jerold N. Siegan Law





Steven Anapoell, Bridgeforth Capital



12:45- 2:00 pm Luncheon & Networking














2:00- 3:30 pm Challenges & Opportunities for Raising Capital in Asia


Moderator: Brian Su, Artisan Business Group




Michael Brown, Retail Equity Partner Holdings




Scott Greenberg, Smash Companies





Coleen Danaher, NES Financial





Bill Thomas, MacDonald Realty





Brad Stedem, Capital United














4:00- 5:00 pm Networking Cocktail Reception










Click here to attend the 2016 US China Investment Forum

Access The USA announces Platinum Sponsorship

Access The USA has announced Platinum Sponsorship for the 2016 US China Investment Forum on June 30th. The one day conference hosted in Chicago, IL will focus on attracting Chinese private equity and EB-5 capital into US real estate investments. Access the USA is an EB-5 Regional Center founded in 2009, dedicated to serving Asian investors. At AUSA, we are proud to say that we hold the needs of our investors in our minds at all times. Our focus is on projects in Washington State, and we have a strong commitment to funding local infrastructure projects that improve Washington's economy by creating new jobs. Unlike most regional centers that plan investments around real estate projects, we only offer high-quality municipal bond funds issued by the government. Our immigration-based EB-5 investment programs designed to support large-scale government-backed infrastructure projects that assure Green Card approvals because of extensive job creation and reduce investment risks through the purchase of low risk government bonds.

Join us in Chicago at the 2016 US China Investment Forum. Register today!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Report from China: EB-5 reality check

(Brian Su, Artisan Business Group) I finally completed my 13-day EB-5 investment fact finding trip to China. The trip help us have a better understanding of the latest Chinese investor market conditions and trends. The following are my random observations and thoughts, and hopefully help you to determine your EB-5 regional center's next market strategies.

Right before my departure to Beijing, SEC released its complaint against a cancer treatment center project in Southern California. I knew that I would be discussing with migration agents on EB-5 program's integrity and safety issues.  During the intensive trip, I had great opportunities of meeting with leading migration agents such as Well Trend CEO Larry Wang,  Worldway CEO Dr. Winner Xing, KBL Group VP Shirley Liu and a dozen of regional migration agency executives in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Shandong Province. I was also able to meet with executives with wealth management companies, banks, accounting firms, and online brokers that have been working with EB-5 regional center program. Our discussions focused on the current Chinese market trends and future of the EB-5 program. It is obvious that Chinese investors are still showing strong interest in the US investment program, however, retrogression and EB-5 scandals have troubled migration agents and investors. In regard to the long waiting time on I-526 approval and retrogression, many migration agents have not been honest with clients because they are afraid of losing them. On the other hand, they are also afraid of potential lawsuit since they are not telling the truth. It is recently reported that an EB-5 investor filed a lawsuit against a Beijing migration agent, the trial was covered by TV news and widely watched on Chinese social media.  

Though Chinese market is becoming more competitive and throat-cutting, many Chinese companies continue to be flooding into the market.  Guangdong Province and the Free Trade Zone in Pudong Shanghai now have an open market policy and anyone can easily register an emigration service company.  In the US market,  more Chinese real estate developers (Greenland, Wanda, Landsea, Beijing Construction & Engineering, etc), banks (Bank of China), even Chinese state-owned insurance companies are coming to get involved with EB-5 project development and finance. It is reported that a Chinese state owned insurance company is providing insurance coverage for investors investments.  We also see more and more large US developers are working very closely with Chinese partners to develop high profile projects in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. These mega-size projects in major cities have drawn more than half of EB-5 visas, and they are forcing the majority of EB-5 projects in smaller cities and rural areas out of investors market in China.  


Thanks to former government officials (such as retired governors, US ambassador to China, congressman and other politicians) and their frequent appearances in front of Chinese investors, well supported and financed large projects in NYC and Los Angeles are more glamorous and are attracting much more attentions than any projects in smaller cities, it is definitely putting many projects in disadvantaged positions or simply force them out of investor market. Chinese investors almost have no incentives to invest in smaller projects and/or projects in less known cities and areas.  The top 5 Chinese migration agencies are all heavily promoting multiple luxury condo projects in NYC or government supported infrastructure projects such as tollway or railway.  In addition to EB-5 regional center projects, we see small scale direct EB-5 investment projects are disappearing from the Chinese market this year, they just cannot compete and they cannot offer competitive commissions to agents.

930 is coming up, the uncertainties around EB-5 regional center program continue to haunt everyone in the EB-5 world.  No one knows what would happen this Fall. Everyone is trying to figure out if the program would get a straight extension.  For some investors, word of EB-5 is like a poison pill that no one wants to touch. European real estate or Caribbean Passport programs might be a better fit for them.

However no matter what happens in both China and the US, the Chinese demand for outbound investments will be increasingly high, as Chinese real estate bubble continue to produce tens of thousands qualified investors, Chinese will dominate EB-5 investment market for next few years. 

At the very end of my China trip, I was really feeling troubled with the current EB-5 regional center program and it has to be reformed.

Facing ever-changing market, nearly 30 migration professionals from China, Canada and the UK will be gathering to attend our 2016 Executive Training Program and US China Investment Forum next week, we will engage further discussions and develop new working strategies.

To learn more about EB-5 investments from China, please join us at 2016 US China Investment Chicago Forum on June 30!

Monday, June 20, 2016

USCIS Invitation: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: Stakeholder Engagement

From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Sent: Monday, June 20, 2016 3:49 PM Subject: USCIS Invitation: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: Stakeholder Engagement from Miami, 07/28/2016

Dear Stakeholder,

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder engagement from Miami on Thursday, July 28, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to discuss the Immigrant Investor Program.  This engagement is part of our ongoing efforts to enhance dialogue with our stakeholders in the program, also known as EB-5.

During the first part of this engagement, USCIS officials will provide EB-5 program updates. The second part will be a question-and-answer session. We invite you to ask non-case specific questions or provide feedback on the EB-5 program.

Participation Details:
You may attend this engagement either in person at the USCIS Miami District Office or by teleconference.

To register, please follow these steps:
·        Visit our registration page
·        Enter your email address and select “Submit”
·        Select “Subscriber Preferences”
·        Select the “Event Registration” tab
·        Provide your full name and organization, if any
·        Complete the questions and select “Submit”


If you wish to attend in person, please indicate so in your subscriber preferences when selecting your method of attendance. Please note that seating is limited, so we encourage you to register early.
Once we process your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details.

To submit non-case specific questions before the engagement: Email us at USCIS-IGAOutreach@uscis.dhs.gov. Please submit all questions by Tuesday, June 28, at 5 p.m. (Eastern).

If you have any questions regarding the registration process, or if you have not received a confirmation email within two business days, please email us at the same address.
Note to Media: This engagement is not for press purposes. Please contact the USCIS Press Office at (202) 272-1200 for any media inquiries.

We look forward to engaging with you!