On Feb 25 2015 by H. Ronald Klasko

Preview of the Invest In America Summit

Many readers of this blog are considering whether to sign up for the Invest In America Summit, which this year will be held in Shanghai (March 14 & 15), Shenzhen (March 18) and Beijing (March 21).

At several levels, this is a very worthwhile event. As the largest annual EB-5 conference and trade show held in China, it brings together regional centers, developers, attorneys, economists, over 100 migration agents, large numbers of individual Chinese investors and Chinese government officials involved with the EB-5 migration program. For this reason, many of our clients will be exhibiting in one or more of these three cities, hoping to capitalize on networking opportunities with investors and agents.

In addition, I believe this year’s program will be the best ever. By way of full disclosure, I do not state that as an impartial source. This year, I have been asked to prepare the program, together with two other well-known EB-5 immigration lawyers (Steve Yale-Loehr and Bernie Wolfsdorf). I want to take this opportunity to highlight the topics we have chosen for the program and the reasons for choosing those topics.

  1. Impacts of Quota Retrogression – This is perhaps the hottest topic, since quota retrogression will likely occur for Chinese investors in the summer of 2015. We will be discussing the impacts of quota backlogs on investors, investors’ children, project developers and agents, as well as strategies for lessening the impact of quota backlogs. We will also discuss prospects for legislative or other relief.
  2. Choosing a Project – Due Diligence Issues for Agents and Investors – We will be discussing who should perform due diligence, which issues affect approvability of the I 526, which due diligence issues affect condition removal and due diligence issues affecting marketability of the project. This topic is especially critical given the increased scrutiny being given to projects by the SEC and other U.S. government agencies.
  3. What Investors Need to Know About Permanent Residence Status – We have included this topic because it is among the most frequently asked questions that we receive from investors. Investors want to know how much time they need to spend in the U.S., the impact on other family members if the investor abandons permanent residence status, the benefits granted by permanent resident status and possibilities of becoming a U.S. citizen.
  4. Direct vs. Regional Center Investment – Although regional center investments are clearly the most popular, especially in China, there are both an increasing number of investors who are interested in direct EB-5 investments and an increasing number of direct EB-5 projects, including pooled direct EB-5, available in the market. This panel will discuss the types of direct projects, advantages of direct and regional center projects, differences in each at the condition removal stage and legal issues in direct and regional center filings.
  5. Escrow Arrangements from the Viewpoints of the Investor and the Developer – Because of the unprecedentedly lengthy I-526 processing times, traditional escrow is often not an option. This has spawned various types of hybrid escrow arrangements. This has everything to do with when money will be made available to the project. As such, it is a critical issue in 2015.
  6. Source and Path of Funds – Within the last year, USCIS has faced greater scrutiny on source of funds issues. Recent media outlets have questioned EB-5 investors’ source of funds. In addition, the government of China has, within the last year, reduced the options for currency exports. For all of these reasons, this is a topical subject.
  7. Everything You Need to Know About TEAs – Unemployment rates around the country have decreased significantly within the past year. Areas that were once TEAs may no longer be TEAs in 2015. The issue of how TEA areas are determined, when they are determined and how changes in TEAs during the middle of the marketing of a project can affect developers and investors are critical issues.
  8. Securities Laws and EB-5 – Myths and Realities – One of the hottest topics of 2015 is the increased involvement of SEC in EB-5. This expanding role will be discussed in this panel. Included in the discussion will be securities issues in marketing of projects, PPM disclosure issues, accredited investor issues, broker-dealer issues and other related topics.
  9. New Developments and Hot Topics in EB-5 – This panel will be an opportunity to discuss hot topics that are not discussed in other panels. Included in the discussion is likely to be I-526 and I-829 processing times, prognosis for regional center program extension, other legislative changes on the horizon, RFE trends and anything else that is hot at the time of the program.

We think we have put together an excellent and highly topical program. I expect that I will see many of you in China in March.