Latest from OZ and EB-5 Investments - Page 2

The OZ industry is experiencing some degree of frustration due to the delay in the updated proposed regulations being issued by the Treasury Department.  It is believed that the new draft proposed regulations have already been prepared and sent to OMB for comment and approval before being released.  We understand that OMB takes up to thirty (30) days to complete that process and may have already provided further comments to the Treasury Department in which case the process will continue until the proposed regulations are finalized.  Some professionals have indicated that the regulations should be released by the end of
Continue Reading Where are the Regs?

Recent Proposed Regulations
Recently, USCIS has sent new regulations related to the EB-5 Program to the Office of Management Budget (“OMB”).  Thereafter, the proposed regulations would then be sent to the General Accounting Office (“GAO”) and then will be subject to administrative approval.  It is difficult to predict what the net result of the regulations will be, including the increase in the investment amounts for both non-TEA and TEA designated projects, and the potential for phasing, if any, of the investment amount increases.  The regulations will also address the priority dates for the I 829 petitions, address the ability of
Continue Reading Recent Proposed Regulations and Legislation for the EB-5 Program

Current Press
The Opportunity Zone industry has been receiving continuous press, almost on a daily basis.  The latest article I received was a report in the February 27, 2019 Wall Street Journal on page B6.  It is entitled “Investors Rush to Beat Clock Ahead of Change in Tax Rules.”  The article talked about McDougal Cos.’ recent purchase of an 8,000 square foot former movie theater in Lubbock, Texas, for conversion of same to a mixed-use project.  The company needed to undertake an OZ fund immediately to take advantage of the tax benefits.  Other examples of acquisitions include an
Continue Reading Current Opportunity Zone Press, New Florida Act and a Look Ahead

The Opportunity Zone industry is getting substantial attention, as noted by the enclosed article published by the New York Times related to “Wall Street, Seeking big tax Breaks, Sets Sights on Distressed Main Streets.”  Obviously, OZs are receiving mixed attention given the fact that a significant amount of OZ transactions will take place in regentrified areas that are highly desirable and not necessarily distressed. 
It is anticipated that the new proposed regulations should be issued by the end of March, 2019.
As a separate matter, we are still awaiting the status of state concurrency as to what states will
Continue Reading Opportunity Zone Industry Update

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP attorneys Ronald Fieldstone, Rohit Kapuria, Jay Rosen and Roger Bernstein attended the Opportunity Zone Expo Conference in Los Angeles on January 25, 2019.  Much to their surprise, the attendance was over 1,000 people, which may be a record from an OZ attendance standpoint.
The program itself was extremely well presented and in attendance were representatives from all disciplines, including fund managers, fund advisors, private equity firms, developers, investors, professionals, fund administrators, as well as government officials who were there to actually make presentations on the government aspect of the OZ program.
Our takeaways from
Continue Reading Opportunity Zone Update

I just attended the combined AILA/IIUSA Conference in Chicago.  The low attendance reflected the general mood of the industry that there is significant pull back in EB-5 investments in various jurisdictions, especially in mainland China and Vietnam.  
During the meeting on Tuesday, October 30th, Charles Oppenheim, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting, U.S. Department of State, announced potential visa retrogression.  The relevant chart is attached to this Blog.  As is noted, it is predicted that India will retrogress next year, for up to 5.7 years.  The retrogression in Vietnam has increased to over 7 years, with retrogression in China
Continue Reading Blog re Aila/Iiusa Eb-5 Industry Forum in Chicago, Illinois

Linked below is a letter submitted, a few weeks back, by IIUSA in support of the proposed rulemaking of USCIS to adopt regulations (the “Regulations”) that will have a material impact on the EB-5 Program, including a list of recommendations to modify the Regulations to include, in part, the following modifications and/or considerations:  
1. Recommendation to expand the material change section of the Policy Manual to apply to investors with I-526 petition approvals but who have not obtained conditional lawful permanent resident status at the time of a material change in the business plan, meaning that the time period
Continue Reading IIUSA Sends Open Letter To USCIS In Support Of Proposed Rulemaking

The Follow Up To IIUSA Meeting In Washington, DC On April 23, 2018 And April 24, 2018
IIUSA had its annual meeting in Washington, DC. The meeting focused a lot on the status of the industry, retrogression, new legislation and collective marketing efforts.
Charles Oppenheim, a key employee of USCIS, gave a presentation on the state of adjudications in the industry, and based upon questions asked by the audience, confirmed the following:

  • At this time, retrogression in China is estimated to be 15 years.
  • USCIS has already announced that Vietnam will be retrogressed as of May 2018, and it was

  • Continue Reading The Follow Up To IIUSA Meeting In Washington, DC On April 23, 2018 And April 24, 2018

    Now that Congress has provided a clean extension until September 30, 2018, there are several issues that need to be addressed and factors that need to be taken into account in connection with the overall EB-5 industry and its viability.
    1.    Proposed Registrations.  Attached to this Blog is a letter signed by Senators Charles E. Grassley and Patrick Leahy, together with Representative Bob Goodlatte, encouraging USCIS to adopt regulations in lieu of legislation that was not passed.  The letter itself is self-explanatory and expresses the frustration of the Grassley group that has been attempting to pass legislation for the past
    Continue Reading Where Are We Now?

    UPDATE: Based upon the recent blogs, industry information and public statements from EB-5 organizations, it seems very likely that there will be a clean extension of the current EB-5 program until September 30, 2018.
    There appears to be significant momentum from the Republican contingent in the Senate and the House to pass an EB-5 reform bill entitled, “The EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa and Regional Center Reform Act” (the “Draft Bill”) in a bid to attach the Draft Bill to the Omnibus on or before March 22nd.  As of the date of this blog, the Congressional Staffers tasked with writing the
    Continue Reading Summary of the Draft EB-5 Reform Act

    There have been significant movements in Congress to try to come up with a final compromise bill to resolve the impasse that has been in existence for the past two and one-half years (2½) years. It is difficult to predict when the new legislation will be finalized, but there seems to be a very strong sentiment that final legislation could be finalized by the end of this year, although there is an equal chance that the legislation will not be finalized until next year.
    It is difficult to predict how the final legislation will come out and when it will
    Continue Reading Down to the Wire

    USCIS Policy For EB-5 Redeployment And “At-Risk” Issues Discussed At IIUSA Conference
    At the October 2016 IIUSA Conference, I was on a distinguished panel of practitioners discussing the topic of redeployment issues. The panel focused on the current USCIS Guidelines that sets forth the concept of “at risk,” which is pursuant to the draft policy statement issued on August 10, 2015 and was discussed at both the August 13, 2015 and July 28, 2016 USCIS Stakeholder’s meetings.
    The panel first discussed the “at risk” issues and comments, including the following:

  • USCIS has indicated that a loan can be repaid

  • Continue Reading USCIS Policy For EB-5 Redeployment And “At-Risk” Issues Discussed At IIUSA Conference

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy memorandum draft on August 10, 2015, “Guidance on the Job Creation Requirement and Sustainment of the Investment for EB-5 Adjudication of Form I-526 and Form I-829,” which can be found here. In relation to the policy draft, various issues concerning job creation, I 526 and I 829 adjudications, at risk issues including redeployment of funds and other related matters are discussed below.
    It is interesting that, pursuant to the draft policy memorandum and contained in footnote 11, there is a citing to the Supreme Court case of Kungys v. United States
    Continue Reading USCIS August 2015 EB-5 Policy Memorandum And Stakeholder's Call

    This is a follow-up to the USCIS Stakeholder Engagement held in Miami, Florida on July 28.
    In attendance from USCIS were the following personnel:

    • Nicholas Colucci, Director
    • Jan Lyons, Economist
    • Lori McKenzie, Deputy
    • Julia Hanson, IPO Deputy
    • Danielle Scott, Chief Intergovernmental Affairs
    • Eddie Pearson, Division Chief
    • David Leckenby, Division Chief
    • Steve Koch, Deputy Director of Miami District Office

    Director Colucci gave a general report on the industry and the policy and performance guidelines and compliance issues that were being undertaken by USCIS. From a statistical standpoint, he indicated the following:

  • A total of $15.5 billion of EB-5 funding has been

  • Continue Reading USCIS Stakeholders Meeting Report – July 2016

    U.S. State Department Announces Availability Changes For Chinese Nationals In EB-5 Category
    On August 23, 2014, the U.S. State Department announced that as of that date immigrant visa numbers for Chinese nationals in the EB-5 visa category will not be available through September 30, 2014, which will be the end of the 2014 fiscal year. New visa numbers will become available on October 1, 2014.
    What does this mean for you as an EB-5 Immigrant visa applicant from China?
    If you already have an approved I-526 application and you have an application for adjustment pending (Form I-485), USCIS will not
    Continue Reading U.S. State Department Announces Availability Changes For Chinese Nationals In EB-5 Category

    U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services Stakeholders’ Call – EB-5 Report
    At the beginning of the USCIS most recent Stakeholders’ call, USCIS provided the following statistics for information purposes for the current fiscal year, which can also be accessed on the USCIS website. The statistical information included:

  • 5,250 I-526 Petitions filed; 4,036 I-526 Petitions processed
  • 1,533 I-829 Petitions filed; 340 I-829 Petitions processed
  • 170 I-924 Petitions filed; 135 I-924 Petitions processed
  • Source Funding
    There was discussion as to source of funding and the ability of utilizing borrowed funds from family members to fund the EB-5 investment. There were some discussions by
    Continue Reading U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services Stakeholders' Call – EB-5 Report