EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 | Page 40

TOP IMMIGRATION AT TORNEYS MONA SHAH IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE U .K. born, a former British Crown Prosecutor, Mona Shah is recognized as an industry leader in EB-5. Shah has received numerous accolades, including Top 25 EB-5 attorney 7 years in a row; Top 25 Global Migration, Top Lawyer Who International, amongst others. Shah has authored numerous articles; is both a published author and Lexis-Nexis editor. She has spoken extensively both nationally and overseas; interviewed by news media - Fox Business, Al Jazeera; featured in international magazines, quoted in major newspapers, including New York Times, Axios, Bloomberg. Shah hosts EB-5 Investment Voice Podcasts and is a part-time adjunct professor at Baruch College, City University NY. HOW DO YOU THINK THE EB-5 PROGRAM SHOULD BE REFORMED? The COVID-19 pandemic, unwittingly, introduced a new perspective into EB-5, that of counter cyclical projects. While we will continue to see efforts to resuscitate the hospitality industry, DARREN SILVER D arren Silver is the founding Partner of Darren Silver & Associates, LLP. Silver has a career spanning over 25 years exclusively in the field of immigration. Over his career, Silver has enjoyed working within different areas of immigration law. He has devoted a large segment of his practice to EB-5 law and is proud of the work that his firm has contributed to the EB-5 community. He has successfully filed over 4,000 EB-5-related applications. He has been a long-standing member of AILA, IIUSA and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in his field. HOW DO YOU THINK THE EB-5 PROGRAM SHOULD BE REFORMED? The upcoming reauthorization brings with it potential for significant and fundamental changes. We have a Congress that is poised to tackle a broken immigration system. We are also working with a recent underlying investment increase. This perfect storm could result in a significant extension of 5 to 7 years, or even a possible conversation to a permanent program. 40 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE there is a real shift towards investment in alternative industries such as IT, transportation, pharma. There has even been an uptick in local recreational projects that benefited from the reluctance for air-travel. COVID has forced some projects to rapidly pivot from a traditional stance, diversity being key to survival. Another trend has been a marked shift in investment away from major cities like New York and LA to smaller cities and rural locations. WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? I welcome Senators Grassley and Leahy’s EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act which reauthorizes the program to 2026. This bill includes promoting integrity, curtailing abuses but falls short of additional reforms that I would have liked to have seen such as an increase in visa availability, faster adjudication and more importantly a bifurcation of the process by moving the adjudication of the project portion from USCIS to the Department of Commerce. The EB-5 program has brought over 41 billion dollars into the U.S., creating thousands of jobs. Correctly handled, the benefits of the program could be tripled. IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE The changes will also include additional oversight and protection for investors. Finally, the program could see some changes to the current per country limitations or an adjustment to how dependents are counted towards the quota. WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the pause button on EB-5 filings...As the country emerges from the pause, we will see a roaring re-opening of the U.S, economy. This combined with a new immigrant-friendly administration will have a dual effect to boost EB-5 popularity. Specifically, the surge in the economy will assist the regional center project’s business models, many of which depends on tourism and travel, all poised to explode over the upcoming months. Further, the individual EB-5 investors will once again feel confident about not only investing in a thriving U.S product, but the confidence surrounding the openness of our immigration system.