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How do I find a qualified EB-5 attorney?

After two years and $20,000 in legal fees to a "qualified EB-5 attorney" I have gotten nothing in return. What is the best way to select a truly qualified EB-5 attorney? Is there a peer review or rating? I am a Canadian citizen with impeccable credentials so U.S.C.I.S. approval should have been easy yet the attorney was unable to achieve success. After two EB-5 project failures I have a third being prepared. I need assistance with the document prep for the project submission to the U.S.C.I.S. and I 526 filings, etc. The entire process seems very heavily weighted against the investor in terms of the quality of the investments.

Answers

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    Mona Shah

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am sorry to hear of your past experiences. It is a good idea to find out how much EB5 experience an attorney has. We would be happy to take a look at your rejections to see if anything can be done. Please feel free to contact us.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am sorry to hear that this happened to you. You might review this website, as well as others such Michael Gibson''s website.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    ''Qualified'' is a subjective term, some elements of the process are not under the control of the attorneys, there are a lot factors contributing to the success of the EB5. Unfortunately the caliber of your credentials have very little to do with the success of your application, the success depends on the project you choose to invest in. Hence, conducting due diligence on the investment is key.

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    Daniel P Hanlon

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are many qualified Immigration attorneys experienced in EB-5 issues and processes. One place to start is the State Bar Websites to review a particular attorney''s professional background and areas of expertise.

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    Anthony Ravani

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Well, that is always the 1 million dollar question. It is my opinion that an EB-5 attorney must have ''business'' experience. Check to see what was his under graduate in college. Has he ever worked for a large corporation(learning excellent professionalism). Has he, personally, done any investment in some ventures, or has helped a start-up to become a successful company. An attorney that is going to do an EB-5 should have all these qualifications (my opinion)because EB-5 is more about ''business'' than about ''immigration.''

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    Philip H Teplen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 program does have very strict criteria and unfortunately, the regulations are often interpreted stricter than actually written. Without seeing your applications and denials, I cannot comment about the application or your attorney''s efforts. I will be happy to review them and meet with you.

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    Jan Pederson

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All you say is correct. Unfortunately, we have no rating system for EB5 attorneys.

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    Boyd Campbell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Go to www.ailalawyer.com and select "Investor" from the "Type of lawyer" drop-down menu. Buy an hour of the lawyer''s time and interview him or her thoroughly. You want to know how many EB-5 cases the lawyer has handled successfully. Not many immigration lawyers have EB-5 experience.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no peer review or rating system I am aware of for EB-5 attorneys. Ask about their experience in terms of numbers of I-526 and I-829 petitions filed and approved. Ask to see sample approval notices (redacted to preserve client confidentiality) and a sample of their work. If you are investing in a regional center, they should have a list of recommended immigration attorneys with EB-5 experience (although they cannot require you to use a specific attorney). Finally, talk to the immigration attorney and come to an understanding and agreement about expectations and demands in terms of client communication, the timing and scope of the work to be performed, etc. Take time to review the retainer agreement.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 is a specialty work among the immigration law area. It requires that an attorney understand the business model of the regional center or the other business enterprise to which you wish to invest, not just understanding immigration law. USCIS reviews 2 separate components of the I-526 petition: business model in regards to jobs creation of the business enterprise; and the tracking of every dollar of the invested fund movement up to the investment in the business that is the subject of the petition. Not all immigration attorneys are the same and not all of them are proficient on doing EB-5 work. It is not clear why you had such a hard time that you are now at 3rd petition, whether the denial was due to the regional center or your source of fund - but there are companies, like EB5investors.com, Exclusive Visa or which EB5, for example, who have worked with various attorneys and could recommend those who are known for their excellent track record and customer service. Some successful regional centers also could refer you to good attorneys with whom they have worked. However, you really should do your due diligence in choosing your investment vehicle as well as your choice of attorneys after getting some recommendations.

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    Elizabeth Krukova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is hard to determine what is the real problem with your prior investment and filing. It looks like you attempted to proceed with a classical EB-5 program (not Regional Center). Possibly, the attorney didn’t tell you what investments (expenditures) qualify as EB-5 investment and which don’t, as it is one of the biggest mistakes and misconceptions. What you have probably learned is, it is not enough to be originating from one of the ‘friendly’ to US countries, it is really the quality of investment and the project that really matters, the credibility and feasibility of your business plan and prospects of hiring 10 US workers. I recommend you ask your prospective attorney how many ‘classical’ EB-5 filings he has done and ask him/her specific questions to get the feeling whether the attorney knows what he is doing. We are seeing cases where the client comes with an application started by another attorney and we see right away where things were done wrong and therefore money wasted and we have to re-arrange the purchase of assets, etc. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to finding a good lawyer.

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    Larry J Behar, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your issue appears to be twofold. On the one hand, you''re looking for a qualified EB five attorney. A thorough review of the Internet as well as those who are qualified by the American immigration lawyers Association will demonstrate qualified legal representation. You also are concerned about the quality of your EB five investment. This is understandable however you need to ensure that you conduct your due diligence and retained the services of a professional to conduct such a review.

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    Rakesh Mehrotra

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Sorry to hear about your troubles finding a qualified attorney. Finding a qualified EB-5 attorney can be challenging as you have found out. Ask people that have gone through the process for a referral, ask your potential attorney questions about his or her experience, see if you get clear and confident and knowledgeable answers. The process of EB-5 visa is obviously tedious but has been done successfully many many times. Do not hesitate to call us if you wish a consultation.

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    Sufen Hilf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You or your attorney should conduct due diligence on a regional center before proceeding with investment with a regional center.

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    Karen Weinstock

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am not sure there is such thing as a ''qualified EB-5 attorney''. Did the person actually not do any work or were the projects that you were involved with did not work? As a Canadian citizen you may have better options available to you other than then EB-5. Check out the credentials of the attorneys you consider to work with online or through references.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am sorry to hear you are having trouble with your filings. Your petitions may have been denied based on a number of different reasons which could be project specific. To that end, it is necessary to see a notice of decision to determine why the petition was denied. There are quite a few experienced and very knowledgeable EB-5 attorneys on this website, or you may wish to conduct additional research to find an experienced EB-5 attorney. When you contact EB-5 attorneys, you should inquire about their direct experience with EB-5 cases, number of years in practice, type of EB-5 projects they have dealt with, whether they have a qualified team of professionals they work with, and similar questions. Being an AILA (American Immigration Lawyer Association) member alone may not necessarily mean an attorney has experience with EB-5 cases. To that end, AILA membership should not be a deciding factor in choosing an EB-5 attorney. However, most of the experienced immigration attorneys are AILA members, and AILA may be additional resource to locate an experienced EB-5 attorney.

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    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unfortunately, there is no peer review or rating. You can interview the attorney before hiring him/her. Be sure to ask questions. Please feel free to contact us for your EB5 questions.

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    John Roth

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Even more important than picking the right attorney is picking the right project (as you can see from your own history).

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    Jor Law

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    So sorry to hear about that. You should be able to find some qualified immigration attorneys on this site, but still vet carefully. Ask a lot of questions and make sure that your attorney can answer them (or most of them) on the spot. If you have trouble finding an immigration attorney, go ahead to reach out to me (Jor) at Homier & Law, P.C., We are not immigration attorneys, but instead provide business/corporate/securities legal advice in the EB-5 industry. Therefore, our references to other immigration attorneys are hopefully a little bit more reliable.

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    Ron Klasko

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I suggest getting references from clients or other attorneys, checking credentials on the websites, and doing consultations with 2 or 3 to determine who seems to be the most knowledgeable and best fit.

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    Clem Turner

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Websites such as this one and others provide profiles and other information that can be helpful in selecting an EB-5 attorney qualified to assist you. Do not try to chose your attorney based on their online profile(s) only. Make an appointment to chat with at least 3 candidates and select the attorney that meets the qualifications you want as well as has a personality that will work well with your own. Similarly, review as many projects as possible until you find one that meets or exceeds your criteria. All EB-5 projects are risky to some degree, though some projects have better management, better business plans and better prospects than others.

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You ask a number of questions that cannot be properly answered in this medium. However, in choosing an EB5 Attorney you should ensure that the Attorney has successfully filed I-526 and I-829 petitions and worked with a number of direct and Regional Center clients and investors. Ask the Attorney about his/her success record and if not convinced perhaps seek references from prior clients.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no separate bar association or accrediting for EB5 attorneys. Any attorney is permitted to practice EB5 law.

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    Neville M Leslie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Through your own due diligence and reviewing sites.

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is unfortunate that you are on your third filing, although I have not seen your denial letter, a petition may be denied because of the project documents and/or investor documents. Finding a qualified EB-5 attorney does require some research. You may want to ask the attorney how many EB-5 petitions they have filed, the types of investors they have dealt with, whether they have completed source of funds documents in-house, the number of years they have been practicing law and the number of years they have had exposure to EB5 cases. Ask whether they are AILA members and most importantly ask to see a redacted copy of an approved I-526 EB-5 petition that the attorney has filed.

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