Tuesday, March 27, 2012

EB-5 Trading Cards

"Psssst...c'mere: I've got six Taiwanese EB5 investors funded but the original deal went bust. Let's talk...?"

My my, how EB-5 has evolved. Two years ago, I couldn't get anyone overseas to talk to me about finding investors. Today, they're beating down the doors of guys like me. And, no, it's not just because of my brutal Latin good looks. :-P It's because I have something their clients want and they themselves desperately need: fair EB-5 opportunities which will deliver the US green card as well as protect the investor's investment.

Here's how it works: the larger agencies in countries like Taiwan, China, and Korea have a steady pipeline of clients considering various EB-5 investment opportunities. In many of these countries, there are specific banking rules as to how funds can depart the homeland en route to the escrow for the US investment. Once the funding process begins – and it can take 3 to 4 months, depending on the jurisdiction - as Sherlock Holmes said, "the game is afoot."

If there's anything we who deal with private equity and foreign venture capital know, it is this: plans INVARIABLY change. This is the essence and reason behind all of the "material change" regulations and policies which USCIS has implemented in order to address EB-5 investment structures.   In EB-5 deals, as in all venture capital deals, there is a continuing dynamic of evolution and transition which characterizes the very entrepreneurial opportunity behind the investment.  That whole "risk" thing isn't just some pesky inconvenience injected into the EB-5 law by Congress; it is the fundamental of what launches successful entrepreneurship and results in long-term job creation in a true market economy such as the US.  It is NOT the "state-sponsored" immigration opportunity offered by Canada, Australia and other and there are NO guarantees.  But it is the price of a future in the United States of America, and a bargain for those who can afford it.

And so, as the funding process occurs and the months unfold, the investors continue to consider their options. And, in the wake of EB-5 catastrophes like Mamtek and the other recent EB-5 fiascos, prudent immigration agencies are constantly on the lookout for better alternatives for their clients. After all, in the Far East countries, three jilted investors with picket signs can shut down a 20 year agency reputation in the blink of an eye. It's already happened in China and, I believe, it will be happening in other jurisdictions soon.  Just too many short-sighted people in this sector at this time, sad to say.

For smart agents, it's all about keeping your investors' options open until they are funded with the best possible EB-5 option.   Let's face it: as long as the inflated, scary projects continue to be aggressively marketed,  the emails will keep coming to those of us with the legitimate EB-5 offerings...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Night in Bollywood...with Cubans

I've never been to India. But I hope I can go soon.

Due to an amalgam of fortuitous circumstances, fate, and an indisputably vast amount of karma, Sunil Kumar is responsible for a Night in Bollywood, an annual fund raiser taking place in Coral Gables (Miami) Florida, which raises tens of thousands of dollars for his orphanage in India.

Sunil grew up as an orphan in India, and decided to see what he could do to make things better for the many poor children in his country. After becoming a computer engineer, he began working online, ultimately connecting with Carlos and Sandra Osorio, right here in Miamitown. The Osorios told someone, who told someone, who told someone…

Fast forward a few years and you have one of the single biggest cultural/fundraising events Miami... certainly the most culturally interesting! (I grew up in Coral Gables; the statistical probabilities against having a live Indian elephant parked on the south side of the Coral Gables Country Club in the City Beautiful would've been astronomical even a decade ago.)

Here's to all the old Cuban men in Indian costume, the silent auction, the donations, and all the good folks trying to make a difference half a world away!

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.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Announcing the $100,000 EB-5 Regional Center

In the past one month I have reviewed the following:

-An EB-5 Project structuring quote, already signed off on by the in-house and external construction counsel of one of the nation's leading builders, where an EB-5 Regional Center owner was trying to charge a one time $200,000+ fee for including the project into their existing, dated, now-administratively-noncompliant regional center.

-a Chinese client trying to form a regional center project who's paid over $100,000 many months ago to a US attorney who has done absolutely nothing and refuses to refund the fees paid.

-a communication from a Chinese agent who is aggressively being marketed an EB-5 project which #1 is NOT approved for EB-5 funding nor is it USCIS approved and #2 whose very high-profile principals (who, coincidentally, I happen to know) have no idea what EB-5 is.

Enough is enough. Soon Private Placement Partners will be announcing the turnkey $100,000 EB-5 Regional Center., structured by the best team of EB-5 professionals in the country. No more scams, no more baloney, just solid service at a reasonable price.

Stay tuned. Jose

Friday, March 16, 2012

Post – Shanghai…

Greetings everyone! I am back from China after another successful trip with Sharon and we have finished the securing of the funding for the Lake Point project!

Many issues need to be discussed, many updates are lagging, and you will be hearing from me soon. Have a great weekend and I'll be back soon! J