Wednesday, March 30, 2011

VIDEOBLOG: The EB-5 Visa Explained in 5 Minutes by Jose Latour

In my ongoing effort to "professionalize" my blog, I switch from YouTube to Vimeo for my video uploads.  Unfortunately, I haven't figured it out yet, so the title of this first Vimeo video is......"UNTITLED"...Enjoy! 



Brian Su's Houston EB-5 Seminar- April 29th- COME SEE US!

Anyone who has sought EB-5 investors from China and doesn't know who Brian Su is needs to take a step back and regroup.  The reality is that China, as the world's largest consumer of EB-5 Immigrant Investor visas, is the "Wild, Wild East" for EB-5 Regional Centers looking for Chinese VC.  China's booming investor market is administered by an unpoliced independent agency network which ranges from the extremely professional and reliable to the downright criminal.  The decision on WHO your Regional Center should work with in China is not to be taken lightly.


In 2010, an RC client wanted to plan some China events.  Although I like to think of myself as a seasoned veteran in that part of the world, it's been 14 years since I closed my satellite offices in Hong Kong and Manila;  when I last had an office there, Hong Kong was still an independant British protectorate, returning to Chinese authority in 1997!  Fourteen year old expertise is an oxymoron, needless to say.


Accordingly, I did what all intrepid attorneys do: I Googled. Then I Googled some more.  Then I called a few friends here and there.  And then I Yahooed.  All roads - and I do mean all roads -- led to Brian Su.  My initial reaction was that perhaps I'd finally found a guy better at marketing himself than me, a Deepak Chopra of EB5dom, if you will.  'Twas indeed the case, but for different reasons: Brian was the ubiquitous name not because of his self-promotion but, rather, because of the unique role he has carved out as the primary resource on EB-5 marketing in China available to the EB-5 industry, plain and simple.


I called Brian and he was as approachable as anyone with whom I've ever bantered EB-5 matters.  That led to another call with the client.  After patiently explaining the nature of EB-5 marketing in China to us and going over his services and fees, Brian did what many in the EB-5 sector simply would never do: he told us that he didn't think we were ready for China yet.  He explained that the client's project needed to have certain things in place and that he'd be happy to help us when it was time, but that he didn't want to take my client's money when he didn't think he could achieve their objectives as stated.  In an industry sector where mediocre attorneys with little understanding of the EB-5 routinely send spam touting their "expert" $75,000 EB-5 Regional Center formation services to clueless, cash-hungry developers, an honest man turning away a paying client is a notable contrast!


And so, like so many before me, I am an unabashed member of the "EB-5 in China = Brian Su" Fan Club.


On April 29th, 2011, Brian will be hosting another of his invaluable workshops (which sell out quickly), this time in Houston.  For the first time, he's invited several of us who live and breathe EB-5 to be a part of his presentation.  The folks he's invited, by no coincidence, just happen to be on the same page as Brian: straight-talking, no baloney experts who will give you the real lowdown on the EB-5 opportunity.  It's the first multifaceted, comprehensive seminar of its kind, and though the title is a bit unweildy (reminder to self: pithy lessons to Brian), it says it all:


EB-5 Regional Center Designation and Management, Investors Procurement and Project Case Study Seminar: Learn How EB-5 Program Helps You Fund Large Scale Real Estate, High Tech, Clean Energy and Manufacturing Investment Projects


If your project is considering targeting venture capital via the EB-5 visa category, this is an event you will NOT want to miss.  Your $569 seminar fee will get you a $10,000 education on EB-5, and you will learn the secrets, pitfalls, and strategies which those of us in this business have learned the hard way. 


Here's the link:


April 29th Houston EB-5 Seminar with Brian Su


P.S.I don't make a penny on this but tell Brian that Jose sent you so I can get the karma points...I want to be a regular on the Brian Su circuit! SEE YOU IN HOUSTON!!



Monday, March 28, 2011

Great Editorial from WhichEB5's Steve Parnell

ILW.COM just ran an article which eloquently explains why EB-5 I-526 petitions deserve a much more focused effort aimed at resolving the current 8+ month delays we are facing...couldn't have said it better myself, so here's the link:


Commentary on Why I-526 Delays are Bad for the U.S.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

April CMB Investor Event in Aruba

CMB is hosting an investor event by invitation only on April 9-11 at the Renaissance Aruba.  This is a very good opportunity for prospective EB-5 investors to meet with both CMB President Pat Hogan and VP Kraig Schwigen.  Their in-house Latin America case manager will be there to translate for any Spanish speakers.


Please write me at jlatour@latourlaw.com if you would like to meet with the  CMB folks in Aruba.


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CMB'S Big Milestone: Congratulations to My Friends in Moline

[My Dear Readers: as you are no doubt aware, I've been rather quiet for the past few months.  The year got off to a difficult start with my mother getting ill and then passing away in January.  As you can imagine, the muses flee when life's big changes occur, and it's been a bit difficult to pick up the proverbial quill and start blogging again.  I am back in the saddle and happy to begin with this uncompensated and shamelessly upbeat update regarding CMB EB-5 Regional Center]


Kraig Schwigen simply didn't believe me when I told him that I had no idea that CMB's first batch of I-829s had been approved!  "Pshaw!", I imagined him growling via his email, questioning my sincerity.  Although the news of this milestone had been well-communicated within the immigration bar, I'd been a bit out of the loop for the past few months, for the reasons mentioned above.  Kraig's disbelief that I could go from being one of CMB's biggest cheerleaders to apathetic about the full-circle conclusion of their first EB-5 investors' permanent residency was understandable!


I've written about CMB a number of times and expressed my opinion that its President, Pat Hogan, created the better EB-5 mousetrap when he designed the particulars which define each and every project CMB undertakes.  I've also told you that when the day came when these folks were granted their first I-829 approvals, the distance between CMB and the other traditionally successful Regional Centers would begin to widen markedly.  That's exactly what is happening.


CMB now has approved I-829s for their first three project, a rapid accomplishment explained by the success with which they have marketed their programs, completing tranche after tranche with Pat and Kraig's laser-beam precision.  Despite the concerns of many who questioned USCIS' commitment to honor the "indirect job creation only" methodology invented by CMB -- remember, just because USCIS said something was acceptable at the RC formation and initial I-526 level doesn't mean they'll feel the same way two years down the road -- USCIS has delivered, and delivered well.


The key to CMB's success in I-829 is not about rocket science, bells, or whistles.  It is simply about what I've been saying for the past two years on this blog and everywhere I speak: doing what you SAY you are going to do. The primary enemy of the EB-5 investor is the business plan of the project into which they invest, and therein lies the ironic conflict: in a turbulent economy, deft maneuvering and the ability to turn on a dime is the best way for a business to survive; it is also the fastest way to create a "material change" in an EB-5 structure and bring the whole house of green cards toppling down.


CMB knew this from the beginning, and each CMB project is cast from the same identical mold as the first.  Think precision engineering applied to project structure; if you create no room for error, you don't need to be nimble.  In the case of CMB, the complex project structure Hogan innovated marries conservative returns, a finite exit strategy, and formulaic indirect job creation to create what is, I believe, the most proven EB-5 program out there.


USCIS granted CMB statewide operational authority in California and Ohio last year, so expect more projects in the pipeline.  In Kraig's words:


"We have sailed past the 400 investor mark. We are now on our ninth investor partnership...What has not changed though is we continue to have a 100% approval rate on I-526 and I-829 petitions"


Small wonder for the big numbers, eh?


Congrats to Team CMB from your old friend in Florida...(-: