Saturday, April 18, 2015

Artisan Business Group meets officials from Puerto Rico

Artisan Business Group recently met with government officials from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  Artisan executives met with Senate President Eduardo Bhatia and House Representative Angel Garcia to discuss investment opportunities in Puerto Rico. Artisan also met with the minister of tourism and economic development officials. For more information about Artisan Business Group services, contact us today at ArtisanBusiness@gmail.com. 
Artisan with Representative Garcia
Artisan with Senator Bhatia

Monday, April 13, 2015

China EB-5 Quota Retrogression vs Project Marketability

China EB-5 quota retrogression definitely has major impact on the Chinese EB-5 market since over 80% EB-5 visas have been issued to mainland Chinese investors. The topic has become a hot discussion today within the immigration service community in China.  Many project developers and regional center clients have been calling us today.  To learn more about the immediate and potential impact as well as solutions to EB-5 project marketing and promotion in China, please contact us at artisanbusiness@yahoo.com for upcoming event hosted by Artisan Business Group.

Department of State Announces EB-5 Retrogression for Chinese Nationals Effective May 1, 2015

(Source: Greenberg Traurig) On April 13, 2015, at the Invest In the USA (IIUSA) Conference in Washington D.C., Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division of the U.S. Department of State Charles Oppenheim reported that the EB-5 China immigrant visa category will retrogress beginning May 2015.  Oppenheim has indicated since October 2014 that this day would come. This was further confirmed upon the release of the May 2015 visa bulletin. Accordingly, this means that retrogression of the EB-5 China immigrant visa category will retrogress two years and have a cut-off date of May 1, 2013. The cut-off date has the effect of establishing a systematic line for the issuance of EB-5 immigrant visas. The cut-off date is determined based on the date an I-526 Petition was filed and is the date included on each I-526 Petition approval notice in the Priority Date box. Therefore, with the cut-off date set at May 1, 2013, based on the May 2015 visa bulletin, it means that during the month of May 2015, only those EB-5 investors (and their derivative beneficiaries) with a Priority Date of May 1, 2013, or earlier may apply for an EB-5 immigrant visa. The dates in the visa bulletin will either move forward, backward, or remain stagnant, and such changes will be reported monthly. Therefore, it is important that an applicant check the visa bulletin each month on the DOS website to see if their Priority Date has become current (i.e. if their Priority Date is earlier than the date listed on the visa bulletin). This is explained in even further detail in a previous post.

Oppenheim also stated that fee bills (the invoice provided by the National Visa Center for approved petitions in order to proceed with filing a consular processing application) will be sent out for EB-5 petitions approved in April 2015. Further, the State Department and USCIS will provide clearer guidance shortly, including the processes of filing an I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition.

It is important to note that retrogression of visa numbers is based on country of “chargeability” (or country of birth) rather than country of citizenship. Therefore, those individuals who were born in mainland China are the only individuals impacted by this news. Individuals born in Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Macau are not affected. Further, if the EB-5 investor’s spouse was born in a country other than mainland China, the investor and their family may be “cross-chargeable” to the spouse’s country of birth, thereby escaping the Chinese quota retrogression. With this news, we would like to bring attention to President Obama’s November 2014 outline of proposed changes that could potentially and positively impact the EB-5 program that would take place without regulatory change, with regulatory change, and his Presidential Memorandum on Visa Modernization.  This was covered in detail in a previous post. With respect to the announced regulatory changes through the Administration Procedure Act, there are two key points that could provide a benefit to the EB-5 investor. First, is to enable entrepreneurs to be paroled into the United States and work if they are researchers, inventors, or founders of businesses. Second, is “early adjustment” that would enable individuals who are eligible to apply for adjustment of status, but for a non-current priority date, to file for adjustment and receive work authorization and travel permission. 

With respect to the Presidential Memorandum on Visa Modernization there are two additional points that could positively impact EB-5 investors. First, a possibility of recapturing permanent resident visa numbers based on visa numbers allocated by Congress but left unused, meaning, additional visas would be carried over to the next year’s available visa numbers. This would have a large impact on EB-5 especially if the President allowed the State Department to go back five years or more and recapture the thousands of unused immigrant visas in the EB-5 classification during those years. Second, is the possibility of not counting derivative spouses and children toward the EB-5 visa quota. Currently, when an EB-5 investor files for and has an approved I-526 petition, their family members count against the 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visa cap.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mr. Brian Su conducts nationwide tour

After hosting one of the leading Chinese migration company delegation in Chicago, Mr. Brian Su, CEO of Artisan Business Group, Inc., starts a nationwide tour to meet with clients and government officials in Puerto Rico, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Irvine, Dallas, North Carolina,  etc. To learn more about EB-5 marketing solutions, contact us at artisanbusiness@gmail.com.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Real Estate Developers gather in Chicago for Finance Forum

Artisan Business Group hosted the 2015 EB-5 Finance Forum in Chicago on April 8th sponsored by Westlead Capital Group. The event focused on EB-5 business plans, economic reports and offering documents in the morning sessions and EB-5 marketing in the afternoon sessions. Speakers at the event included Jeff Carr, Osvaldo F. Torres, Raymond Ku, Brian Su, Steven Anapoell, Michael Brown, John Li and James Holz. The EB-5 Finance Forum focused on providing real estate developers the foundation of the EB-5 immigrant investor program and how to utilize the program to attract foreign investment capital. To learn more about EB-5 finance, contact us at artisanbusiness@gmail.com or call 217-899-6661.

Brian Su with Mr. Chang and Mr. Ku of Westlead
Jeff Carr speaking in morning session

Friday, April 3, 2015

Final call! Chicago EB-5 Finance Forum April 8

Final call! Only a few seats left!  The Chicago EB-5 Project Finance Forum is coming to downtown Chicago on April 8th, 2015. Come to learn how to quickly get your EB-5 regional center project or direct EB-5 project funded!  To register offline, contact Tyler McKay at artisanbusiness@gmail.com.  Meeting venue will be informed upon your registration.
                         
Featured Speakers and Panelists
Jeff Carr, Economy Policy Resources
Raymond Ku, Westlead Capital Group
Steve Anapoell, BridgeForth Capital
Brian Su, Artisan Business Group
John Li, EB5Supermarket.com
Osvaldo F. Torres, Esq., Torres Law, P.A.
Michael O. Brown, Retail Equity Partners Holding, Inc.
James Holz, Esq., Holz Law Group

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New EB-5 regional centers approved

A few new EB-5 regional centers have been designated by USCIS.
  • California One Investment Center, LLC (California)
  • EB-5 Bonds California, LLC (California)
  •  Regency Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • EB5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center LLC (Florida) 
  • Lexden-Hawaii Regional Center, LLC (Hawaii)
  • Washington EB-5 Regional Center, LLC (Washington)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Special Guest Raymond Ku comes to Chicago EB-5 Forum

The Chicago EB-5 Project Finance Forum hosted by Artisan Business Group Inc. is coming to downtown Chicago, Illinois on April 8th, 2015. Mr. Raymond Ku, Chairman of Westlead Capital Group will be speaking at the Forum and announcing the US Regional Center Alliance and its mission.  Mr.Ku is one of the leading pioneers who introduced EB-5 program to China market in the early 1990s. 


Mr. Raymond Ku (center)
                        

Monday, March 30, 2015

EB-5 Stakeholder's Meeting April 22, 2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Wednesday, April 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the EB-5 program. This engagement is part of our ongoing efforts to enhance dialogue with our stakeholders in the EB-5 program.
During the first part of this engagement, we 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.
To register for this session, please follow the steps below:
  • Visit the USCIS registration page to confirm your participation
  • Enter your email address and select “Submit”
  • Select “Subscriber Preferences”
  • Select the “Event Registration” tab
  • Be sure to provide your full name and organization
  • Complete the questions and select “Submit”
Once USCIS processes your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details.
To submit non-case specific questions before the teleconference, please:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Learn and Network at the Chicago EB-5 Project Finance Forum!

The Chicago EB-5 Project Finance Forum hosted by Artisan Business Group Inc. is coming to downtown Chicago, Illinois on April 8th, 2015. The all-day EB-5 project finance forum will focus on exploring and seeking alternative financing to fund and develop projects through EB-5 immigrant investors program. The EB-5 immigrant investor program was created in 1990 to encourage overseas investment into government-approved projects to help drive job creation within the US while providing opportunity for foreign nationals to become lawful permanent residents.

The Chicago Finance Forum will focus on how to effectively develop projects under the EB-5 regional center program. Everything you will learn at the forum is about effectively developing your own funding and capital raising strategies for your real estate projects EB-5 capital in China, the largest EB-5 market with abundant investment capital. Main topics include Chinese anti-corruption campaign's effects on EB-5 investor, Restrictions and challenges with fund transfers from China , Future trends with Chinese investor market, SEC enforcement's sweeping effects on current market practices, Trends with Direct EB-5 & EB-5 regional center program, Raising EB-5 capital in a crowded market and Verifying Chinese investor's source of fund and path of fund.
                         
Featured Speakers and Panelists
Jeff Carr, Economy Policy Resources
Raymond Ku, Westlead Capital Group
Steve Anapoell, BridgeForth Capital
Brian Su, Artisan Business Group
John Li, EB5Supermarket.com
Osvaldo F. Torres, Esq., Torres Law, P.A.
Michael O. Brown, President, Retail Equity Partners Holding, Inc.
James Holz, Esq., Holz Law Group & Puzzle Box Academy

Friday, March 20, 2015

EB-5 Coalition Sends Final Letter Supporting H.R. 616, American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act

(Source: EB-5 Insights) As many of you are aware, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center pilot program is scheduled to expire in September. In early February 2015, Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced the American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act of 2015.  The bill would update and permanently authorize the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program. In February 2015, a copy of the sign-on letter was circulated by the Real Estate Roundtable and the EB-5 Coalition. Earlier today, the EB-5 Coalition released the final coalition letter from real estate groups and EB-5 regional centers supporting H.R. 616, American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

EB-5 Professionals gather in Shanghai

EB-5 professionals from across the United States gathered in Shanghai at the 5th annual Invest in America Summit. The 2 day trade exhibition and conference featured US regional centers, developers, broker dealers and lawyers focusing on promoting their projects and services to the Chinese audience. Check out some pictures of the event below.



Friday, March 13, 2015

New EB-5 Regional Centers

More newly designated EB-5 regional centers have been announced by USCIS. For more information about EB-5 regional center program, contact us at artisanbusiness@gmail.com.
  • California One Investment Center, LLC (California) 
  • EB-5 Bonds California, LLC (California)
  • EB5 United West Regional Center, LLC (California)
  • North American Center for Foreign Investments, LLC (California)
  • Pacific Investment & Immigration Regional Center (California)
  • Front Range Regional Center, Inc. (Colorado and New Mexico)
  • BLT TriState Regional Center LLC (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York)
  • USCFID New York LLC (Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)
  • Regional Center Fund of America LLC (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia)
  • EB5 Florida Hotels & Investments Regional Center LLC (Florida)
  • Shrimp House US LLC (Florida)
  • Midwest Regional Center, Inc. (Kentucky)
  • Northeast Monument Regional Center LLC (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island)
  • G.R.E.E.N. Regional Center (New Jersey)
  • The New Mexico Regional Center (New Mexico)
  • Heartland Regional Center, LLC (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)
  • U.S. Immigration Recovery Fund NY, LLC (New York)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Counting EB-5 Regional Center Jobs Outside RC Geographic Boundaries

(Source: Phil Cohen) When formulating plans for the development of an EB-5 regional center, one should bear in mind that indirect jobs outside of the regional center's declared geographic area can be counted toward the EB-5 job creation requirement, as long as they are based on reasonable economic methodologies.

From the memorandum: “indirect jobs can qualify and be counted as jobs attributable to a regional center, based on reasonable economic methodologies, even if they are located outside of the geographical boundaries of a regional center.”

This clarification, which came about in the USCIS EB-5 Policy Memorandum of May 30th, 2013, has simplified some of the complications that people had been experiencing in relation to claiming indirect job creation when circumstances (and economic modelling) required that these jobs be outside the regional center's declared geographic area of focus.

As indicated in the memorandum, the key is to ensure that the justification for these jobs be based on reasonable economic methodologies.  Therefore if one is planning to claim jobs outside of a regional center's geographic area of focus, a conversation should be had early on with the economist on the team.  Furthermore, it is helpful to weave this justification into one's EB-5 business plan in order to present to USCIS a fully-rounded picture of the business as it pertains to EB-5 requirements.

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Phil Cohen is the founder and President of Strategic Element, a company that focuses on developing regional centers, EB-5 business plans, economic impact reports, feasibility studies and custom 'direct' EB-5 projects for its clients (www.strategicelementconsulting.com).

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ABG to host "The Evening of Shanghai" March 14, 2015


Artisan Business Group's "The Evening of Shanghai" networking reception will be held on a private river cruise on the evening of March 14, 2015.  The 4th annual event is only open to a selected group of Chinese executives and US clients of Artisan Business Group as well as members of the Chairman Club. The exclusive event will expect over 50 Chinese executives from all over China. To meet with us in Shanghai, please contact Mr. Tyler McKay at artisanbusiness@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Artisan team prepares for upcoming trip to China


Artisan Business Group is preparing for their upcoming trip to China to host the 2014 EB-5 VIP Delegation. The annual EB-5 delegation will attend two large EB-5 trade shows in China including The Invest in America (Shanghai) Summit March 14-15th and the 2015 Investment Immigration Opportunity (Hangzhou) Summit March 22nd. They will also travel to additional cities to meet with migration professionals. Artisan Business Group welcomes attendees of the events to meet with them. We look forward to seeing many EB-5 industry professionals in China. 

Contact us today at Artisanbusiness@gmail.com to meet while traveling in China.