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What is the difference between using a migration agency and an EB-5 attorney?

What is the difference between using a migration agency for my EB-5 immigration process versus going directly through an attorney? What type of contact would I have with an immigration attorney if I choose to go through the migration agency?

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The differences between a migration agency and immigration attorney are multiple in terms of the roles each entity plays. Typically, a migration agency consists of immigration specialists who usually help foreign investors on a host of matters such as locating EB-5 projects and assembling source of fund documentation. In some countries, it is common that migration agencies serve as the referral points to an EB-5 immigration attorney. With regards to an attorney, he or she is the only professional who can represent you before the USCIS; a migration agency cannot appear or represent an investor before the USCIS.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Migration agents are generally paid to promote specific regional centers and must be licensed broker-dealers to work with EB-5 investors in the United States. An EB-5 attorney offers independent legal counsel, and assists in the preparation and filing of your I-526 petition to ensure it is approvable. It is in your best interest to hire a U.S.-based EB-5 attorney to prepare and file I-526 petition. Most of the work is done remotely and you do not have to travel to the U.S. to hire the attorney.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A migration agent is a broker (a "middle-man") that is paid to promote the regional centers, and as opposed to an EB-5 attorney, is not bound by any ethical or legal duty to serve the investor''s best interest. Migration agents must be licensed broker/dealers in order to work with applicants in the United States.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Migration agencies are usually the registered and licensed Chinese immigration experts who help Chinese nationals. The good ones are excellent and help clients prepare documents and make sure the entire process proceeds smoothly. Many immigration lawyers work with licensed Chinese migration agencies, as we usually only handle the visa aspect whereas there are many other considerations. Most migration agencies will recommend an immigration lawyer who has experience and is familiar with the particular project in which you are investing.

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    Irina Rostova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will always have to have an immigration attorney, regardless of whether you use an agent or not. Immigration attorneys review the source of funds documents and prepare the petitions, and do the adjustment of status or consular processing after your EB-5 petition (Form I-526) has been approved. Some immigration attorneys actually help with the project''s legal due diligence. Agents usually help select a project, but keep in mind that they get paid by the regional centers, so there is somewhat of a conflict of interest.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The duties and responsibilities of a migration agent and EB-5 attorney are completely different. The migration agent primarily finds and develops potential investors into an EB-5 project. An EB-5 attorney represents that investor as well as, often, the job creating entity and regional center itself.

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    Robert V Cornish Jr

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You will need a U.S. attorney of your own choosing to work with on getting all of your immigration paperwork in order, as well as using that law firm to review corporate documents and perhaps assist in your own due diligence. While the migration agency may assist you in pointing you to a project and perhaps offer some sort of "turnkey" solution to investing in EB-5, you more likely than not should hire an attorney of your own choosing in the United States with whom you are comfortable and can trust. Whether or not you use your own immigration attorney in the United States or one of the choosing of a migration center, you should absolutely hire U.S. counsel to assist you on review of offering documents and perhaps run a background check on the principals running the proposed investment. My firm and many others that participate on this website provide such services and would be pleased to assist.

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