Friday, March 23, 2012

Russians and Their EB-5s

Last night I spent a wonderful evening with my dear friend Mikhael Keifitz, a Miami – based attorney of Russian origin. Mikhael is more than a colleague with whom I administer Russian investor cases; he's an extraordinarily creative thinker and profoundly honest individual… But true credit to our legal profession.

Mikhael invited me to the grand opening event of Donald Trump's latest Sunny Isles high-rise. Because this particular part of Miami is heavily populated by affluent Russians, the crowd was distinctly from the former Soviet republics, and Mikhael was very much in his environment. He introduced me to a number of colleagues and clients from his part of the world, and a recurrent theme emerged: the pitfalls and dangers many had encountered and are encountering in making decisions regarding investment – based immigration. (Note that I'm not speaking only of EB-5… I'm speaking about all aspect of investing for migratory purposes in the United States.)

After a number of very interesting conversations and clarifications, I came to the conclusion that this isn't about any particular nationality, but about human nature: generally speaking, it is the Chinese who defraud the Chinese, the Hispanics who defraud the Hispanics, and the Russians who deraud the Russians. Not always, just sometimes, but way too often.

The solution to this recurrent problem with US investment based immigration can be summarized in one word: education. Guys like Sam Udani and Brian Su are taking the lead nationwide on establishing the seminars, events, and forums through which investors, attorneys, and developers can be educated about EB five.

The EB-5 immigrant entrepreneur program is finally poised to make a significant impact in America's economic recovery. But this will ONLY happen if we give people a fair deal.

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