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What qualifications should an EB-5 immigration attorney have?

I have extended family that would like to apply for EB-5 as I did. The attorney that helped with my application is no longer in practice. Can they use any attorney, or do they have to use one that is licensed in the exact state where the EB-5 investment is going to be? What qualifications should we look for when hiring an immigration attorney to handle the EB-5 application?

Answers

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All members of this group have filed at least one EB-5 petition. You can ask how many petitions the attorney has filed and whether they were direct investments or regional centers. Immigration is based on federal law so it does not matter where the attorney resides.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Some states have regulations allowing practitioners to be qualified in areas such as EB-5. The best bet is to check with the American Immigration Lawyers Association for a list of practitioners.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Immigration law is federal, so any immigration attorney could potentially represent you. I would interview a couple attorneys you are considering to see who you are comfortable with, and inquire as to their experience and track record with prior EB-5 cases. This is a fairly specialized area of immigration law and most immigration attorneys do not handle these cases. You would want a firm with a strong business immigration practice. Read their reviews on the internet and look at their website, and then call and ask for an interview to discuss what exactly your extended family is looking for. Will they be investing in a regional center or in a private project, how clean is their source of funds to prove, are there any age-out children in the near future, etc.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should choose an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who has the expertise in representing many investors in the initial and final processes. The EB-5 immigration attorney should be able to provide immigration due diligence and advise the investor on how to seek investment advise to make an independent decision as to which project to invest in. The EB-5 immigration attorney does not have to reside in the same city as the project or the investor.

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    Gregory Romanovsky

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Thank you for your inquiry. Immigration is governed by federal law, so it does not matter which state the attorney is located in. The most important factor is his/her immigration law experience (and specifically, experience in handling EB-5 cases). Good luck!

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In most cases, an immigration attorney should be admitted, active, and in good standing in any state in the United States. There is no requirement that the immigration attorney be admitted in the state where the EB-5 investment is to be located. You should carefully interview attorneys to make sure that they have experience in EB-5 matters.

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    Louis M Piscopo

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your family members can use an attorney licensed in any state, and not just the one where the EB-5 program/regional center is located. The EB-5 program is an immigration program that involves USCIS. An attorney licensed in any state can prepare and file documents with USCIS and represent a person before USCIS. If your family members do not speak or understand English, I would recommend hiring an attorney who does speak their language or whose staff members speak their language.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your former attorney is still licensed and practicing and you liked him, you could still use that person. Immigration law is a federal law practice and an attorney must be licensed in at least one state and could practice anywhere. Because EB-5 is a specialized area even within the immigration law practice, with significant loan, partnership and subscription agreements, as well as business plans and banking documents to review and understand, you would want an attorney who has such background and knowledge. You also would want someone who is beholden to you, as the investor - not affiliated or has put together the project so as not be conflicted. Finally, you would want someone who would be responsive to you with all the communications and diligent in preparing and filing the petitions. EB5Investors.com publishes top EB-5 attorneys in the country.

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    Denyse Sabagh

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    They can use any lawyer they wish. They do not need to be licensed in the particular state. Make sure that they are an expert in EB 5 applications. Look at their bios. Ask if they have handled EB-5 cases, results, any problems, Requests for Evidence; are they involved with EB 5 organizations, committees, etc. Do they go to the AILA EB-5 conferences or any EB-5 conferences. Also, ask if they have reviewed regional center documents before, if a regional center is in involved. You want to know if they know what to look for. If they guarantee that you will get a green card, be concerned. No one can do that. They do not make the decision, the Immigration Service does. Have your own business adviser/corporate attorney to do due diligence and analyze the corporate and financial documents.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The main thing is to select an immigration attorney who is very experienced in EB-5 cases. Very few lawyers are. You do not have to use a lawyer in any particular state, as everything is filed by mail or express courier.

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    Mona Shah

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Please be advised that U.S. immigration law is federal-based and merely requires that an attorney is barred in any U.S. state. (8 CFR - 1001.1(f).) U.S. immigration law does not require a law license for the state in which an attorney actually practices law. Even if an attorney is an immigration lawyer, he may not be familiar with EB-5. EB-5 is a very specialized area. You should look for an attorney that is familiar with all the nuances and is able to understand the projects, as well as what is required in preparing a source of funds memorandum.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You should use an experienced immigration attorney with experience in EB-5 investments. The area of immigration law is somewhat gray when it comes to whether an attorney needs to be licensed in a particular state. However, given that the project may be in a certain state and incorporated in a certain state, hiring a law firm with experience in corporate matters in those jurisdictions would be useful as you review the deal documents and understand your rights as an investor under a particular state's securities laws.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your immigration attorney can generally represent you no matter which state you live in. This is because immigration law is regulated under federal law. The qualifications that you should look for are: (1) Experience in EB-5 matters, both in the representation of developers and investors; (2) Education; (3) Licensure credentials, in order to determine that the attorney has not been subject to previous disciplinary action by their state or federal bar association; and (4) Professional Memberships such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), IIUSA, and more.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The attorney could be licensed in any state, but you should definitely use a licensed attorney no matter where they are from! Using one local to you may help, but for example, we use video conferencing to work with clients around the United States and around the world. Since EB-5 is still a relatively young area of law, many attorneys claim they are experienced in the area, but may have only just begun working with EB-5 cases. Ask a lot of questions and you will be all set.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    1. An attorney practicing in a state should be licensed in that state. This seems like an obvious matter; however you will find many so-called immigration lawyers that are not licensed in the states that they claim to practice. If an attorney is unlicensed in the state in which he practices, it means the attorney is either unwilling or unable to pass the test that would qualify him or her to practice in that particular state. Most state bars will have a website like www.CABar.org where you can find out if the attorney is actually qualified to practice in the state in which he or she claims to have an office. 2. What do organizations that evaluate attorneys have to say about the attorney that you are considering to represent the investor? One of the most influential in the United States is AVVO, where you can see well thought out evaluations of attorney qualifications. Another place on the web to look for attorney qualifications is SuperLawyers, where each year lawyers are nominated based on their experience, qualifications and success on behalf of their clients. 3. Look closely at the claims made by the lawyer - is the lawyer saying they have filed a large number of cases on behalf of a well-known firm? This type of claim can be very misleading at best, as they are just one member of the firm and making this type of claim is misleading and thought by some to be unethical. Contact the firm that the lawyer claims to have worked for and find out if their work was satisfactory. Perhaps the reason they are no longer with that firm is that their work was below that firm's standards. 4. An EB-5 investment is the purchase of a security and you should only work with an attorney that has a securities background. This can be determined by careful questions put to the lawyer about their qualifications. You can also make an inquiry to see if the lawyer has a Securities License. A good place on the web to look to determine if your lawyer has a needed securities background is Finra''s BrokerCheck. 5. EB-5 is not a practice that any lawyer does alone! Any qualified EB-5 lawyer is the leader of a team of qualified professionals, such as EB-5 legal assistants, foreign legal consultants and a qualified team of EB-5 lawyers. Ask your prospective lawyer to introduce you to his or her team because this team is going to be a critical component of your success.

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    James Cai

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Immigration is federal law, so any attorney licensed to practice in any state should be qualified. Of course you need an experienced one to continue to handle the case.

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    Yevgeny Samokhleb

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your EB-5 immigration attorney does not have to be licensed in the same state where the EB-5 project is located. The attorney may be licensed in any U.S. jurisdiction. He or she should have a background in immigration law and successful experience with EB-5 petitions.

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    Matthew Kolodziej

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    They should look for an immigration attorney who is experienced in EB-5. It does not matter where they attorney is licensed.

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