EB-5 Market: “Success comes by responding to clients’ needs in a changing environment”
By EB5 Investors Magazine Staff
Lynne Feldman is an EB-5 immigration attorney at Feldman Feldman & Associates in San Diego. She has been handling EB-5 immigration applications since the program started in 1990.
“I always look for the immigration route that is going to meet the client’s needs, and every client comes from a different background and has different goals.”
How do you think the pandemic has impacted the EB-5 industry?
It’s hard to say what the overall impact has been – many projects’ development would be slowed down by it, but others may use the down time to actually speed up construction. Some potential individual investors have to put a pause on their plans, while others have a new reason to move forward quickly.
What are some current trends you are seeing in the EB-5 market?
We have always represented clients pursuing a full range of routes to immigration, and since the minimum EB-5 investment amounts went up at the end of 2019, many of our clients have looked more seriously at other ways to come to the U.S., through EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 employment. Also, the long processing times and visa backlogs lead many to seek other routes, or look for ways to get their applications expedited, either by a particular project, or by court action, or both.
What are your top business goals this year?
We have always found success comes by responding to clients’ needs in a changing environment in a way that will make the most sense for them, so that is what we will keep doing…
What achievement in this market has been most rewarding? Why?
In the EB-5 area, we primarily represent individual investors. Enabling each of them to reach their immigration goals with their families and invest in a US business that makes sense to them is equally rewarding.
What are your thoughts about the redeployment situation and the best strategy to deal with it?
The USCIS guidance on this since 2017 leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and keeps investors, projects, and us guessing. The best thing we can do is communicate with each project our clients are considering. Any investment implies risk of course, but we can help clients looking into whether a project has in place a reasonable redeployment plan and is committed to providing any follow-through investors may need to meet their ultimate goals of getting their green cards and getting their capital returned.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Characterization of pornography by Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart: "I know it when I see it."
I think of this often when clients ask “is this enough evidence” or “have I satisfied the criteria.” So much of immigration law is subjective after you meet the black letter law of what is required – also why it makes it such an interesting area of law to practice in. Lots of room for advocacy.
Why did you decide to join our Eb5 verified professionals community and what has it done for your business?
The online forum creates a great connection with potential clients, since they have an opportunity to start getting their questions answered and make some initial risk-free contacts with attorneys and see our substantive expertise for themselves.
What about you would surprise others?
The lawyers at my firm all manage to keep our minds engaged with other enriching pursuits in addition to immigration law. My son, who is also my business partner, and I are both champion bridge players!