EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1 | Page 61

cation of the source of investor’s funds. Before investors decide to commit their funds to the EB-5 project, the compliant project documentation must be prepared, and the regional center must be designated. However, the individual investors’ source of funds authentication documents may not yet be prepared. One of the dilemmas for the EB-5 project developers and the brokers and intermediaries is that investors may desire to use their own immigration attorneys who may not have EB-5 expertise. Because these players are also concerned about the immigration success of the investor, it is highly recommended that investors engage experienced EB-5 attorneys to advise in the preparation of the authentication of their source of funds. If investors decide to retain their own immigration attorney to represent them in their I-526 preparation and filing, it is wise for the project developers to retain EB-5 immigration counsel to review the I-526 petition prepared by outside counsel, to ensure quality control and consistency of the I-526 filings. As stated, the ultimate goal for all the blind mice— the team of professionals, the project developers, and the brokers and intermediaries—is to obtain approval of the I-526 petition. If the petition is denied, the EB-5 project will need to return the investment principal funds to the investor, which results in delays for the business development of the project, and delays for the investor and family members in obtaining conditional permanent residency. Additionally, the brokers would not be paid their finder’s fees, and the professionals would miss out on further retainers for services to be provided. Conclusion So what do we do about the three mice’s blindness? Some improvements in the EB-5 process may help, and could include increased USCIS predictability, expedited processing, and clarity. These could change the timing of EB-5 approvals and hasten the commitment of investors’ funds. For example, an I-526 petition processing time of three or four months could allow projects to wait for USCIS approval of these petitions before committing investors’ funds, making sure that the investors have the success of their petitions in sight before moving forward. Hopefully, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act will make the processing of I-526 petitions, I-924 applications, and pre-approvals of EB-5 projects quicker, facilitating these positive results. Funding for the EB-5 program is paramount, so obtaining the commitment of funding from the brokers or sources of the investors should be started before completing EB-5 legally compliant documentation. With reform in the EB-5 program, maybe these three mice would not be so blind, and have objectives that work better together, helping them all win the race against the clock and build successful projects. ★ Edward Beshara, managing partner of Beshara P.A., has been exclusively practicing U.S. immigration law since 1983, and is a member of Invest in USA, and Academy of International Business. Mr. Beshara is an adjunct professor of business immigration law at the University of Florida and holds a J.D., B. Juris, and LL.B degrees. Mr. Beshara is a past president of AILA (CFL), and has received the highest AV rating as an International Preeminent Immigration Attorney. w w w. E B 5 I n v e s to r s . c o m 59