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What criteria should be considered to select an EB-5 attorney?

I am trying to understand what criteria a person should consider to find an EB-5 attorney to help with an investment project. We have a family business in the United States where I will be investing the amount that would qualify for EB-5 investment. We are expanding operations with additional investments distributed among several upcoming projects, each with over a $1 million threshold. We are originally from India, and have a few investors willing to come on-board through EB-5. I am trying to figure out if we should create a regional center for the entity or should we go for one project at a time. How do I select an attorney who can help us facilitate the end-to-end process?

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    Robert Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your question is more asking for a matter of opinion. The biggest thing is trusting your attorney. EB-5 is a very long process. You will want a good working relationship with your attorney, as this process usually takes five years.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should select an attorney with significant experience in both direct and regional center EB-5 cases. The EB-5 attorney will act as the general contractor, and he or she will assemble a team of professionals and service providers depending upon which route is best for your particular project. In either case, you will need a business plan writer and a business/SEC compliance attorney. If the regional center route is chosen, then the attorney will also hire an economist on behalf of your project, in order to determine the number of indirect/induced jobs that can be credited to your project based upon certain inputs from the business plan. It also might be a good idea for the investors to select their own immigration counsel and perform their own due diligence on you, your team and your project. Therefore, you will need a compliance officer or someone who can provide the due diligence materials for prospective investors. There are many factors to consider in your case, so it will be important for you to choose someone with a lot of experience in these matters.

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    Daniel B Lundy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The single most important factors are experience and track record. It sounds like you have a complex project. You need someone who has experience with representing direct investments, regional centers, and investors. Experience comes with working on cases. Many attorneys have handled one or two cases, but that does not make them experienced. Similarly, there are attorneys that have filed hundreds of investor petitions, but do not have experience structuring direct investments or regional center investments. There are probably less than a dozen law firms with real experience in all sides of EB-5, and that is what you are looking for.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You might check with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for immigration attorneys within the jurisdiction of your current business. You might also check with eb5investors.com, the site where you posed this question. Those of us listed have been vetted by the magazine as having expertise in the EB-5 area. Again, probably look for a few attorneys in your area and interview them.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When selecting an EB-5 attorney, it is important that you look into the attorney's experience, history and knowledge, and you must have a sense of comfort and confidence in him or her. Do not pick the first attorney you speak to; look around and have conference calls. You want someone who is experienced and knows the EB-5 process well.

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    Xiaosheng Huang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Based on what kind of business you are doing in United States, you can create a regional center; however, it will take you around 1-2 years. Once you create the regional center, you need one extra year to get your I-526 approval. As an EB-5 attorney, I suggest for you to choose an experienced one.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The single most important criteria is extensive experience and familiarity with most of the regional centers and one who is available to answer your questions.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In my view, you should consider an EB-5 immigration lawyer who has experience with regional center development and other EB-5 projects. Deciding whether to create a regional center or to affiliate with one (meaning to ''rent'' one) requires careful consideration. In some cases, setting up an investment project for a regional center may not always be necessary. If the project will have at least 10 direct jobs (that is, employees paid under W-2s and I-9s, working a minimum of 35 hours per week) per investor, then you would not need to use the regional center program but only the ''basic'' EB-5 program. An attorney who understands the short term, as well as long term, issues that emerge from utilizing the EB-5 program is critical to your success.

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should select an attorney based upon experience. Before selecting an immigration attorney to handle the preparation and filing of your I-526 (EB-5) petition, ensure that the attorney has experience in this particular field. While there are many very good immigration attorneys, not all handle complex EB-5 cases. The more experienced the attorney, generally the better it will be. You should also note that immigration attorneys are not qualified to give investment advice. If you require investment advise, you should consult a separate qualified investment advisor prior to making any decisions. Finally, you should ensure that neither your attorney nor your investment advisor are receiving any payment from the selected project and that they are truly ''independent''.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Securities law experience as well as immigration experience is key. Also, experience in working with alien investors from India is important.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 is a complex area of the law with serious consequences if not properly handled. I would recommend you select an attorney who limits his or her practice to investment immigration and, importantly, can show you a successful track record.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Experience and expertise are key. There are many new entries into the EB-5 space, but some attorneys have been part of the industry for many years, some as long as the program has existed.

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