By EB5 Investors Magazine Staff
Immigration attorney Bernard P. Wolfsdorf is the managing partner at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP. He is also one of the top EB-5 verified professionals on EB5investors.com and has shared his EB-5 knowledge in more than 2,200 answers to our readers’ questions online.
Despite the impact of Covid-19, Wolfsdorf has managed to expand to 7 offices with 38 lawyers and almost 150 staff members. He has high hopes that the new administration will restore the country and our immigration system.
“My optimism is that the U.S. is going to experience one of the biggest rebounds in its history as this pandemic subsides and enthusiasm and our economy burst back to life,” he said. “EB-5 will help promote jobs and provide critical capital for development.”
When and why did you get involved in the EB-5 industry?
The EB-5 program was authorized by congress in 1990 and I filed my first case in 1991 for a troubled business and I always remember that it was approved as an expedite in 48 hours. An investor invested in a troubled snow board company and I think it was one of the first snowboard companies. I also remember the investor bought me a case of Dom Perignon.
What are some current trends you are seeing in the EB-5 market?
The increase in the minimum investment amount definitely caused a pause in demand but we are starting to see some pickup. The change in the administration will also help since the immigration restrictionists have now been replaced by a government that welcomes hardworking immigrants that contribute, and we expect to see a more positive attitude to this “nation of immigrants.”
How do you think the pandemic has impacted the EB-5 industry?
Absolutely, it has. Visa processing has slowed with U.S. consulates and embassies worldwide closed or only accepting emergency appointments. On the positive side however, we are starting to see the America most people know and love. A country at the forefront of science, medicine and discovery. A country that welcomes immigrants and provides educational and career opportunities for smart graduates.
What are your thoughts about the backlog situation and what could be done about it?
There is a simple secret that no-one has grasped. The most recent report shows about 50,000 backlogged Chinese cases. Well, with the investment amount increase, demand has fallen dramatically but that means that the number of unused visa left over for distribution to people in the China waiting line, will go back to the 7,000-8,000 a year China received in the early years, 2012-2014. Since China will now get 7,000-8,000 visas a year, the new Chinese filings will take only 6-7 years. Once this news gets out, the industry will come back to life. Estimates for new Chinese filings have been over 15 years but the real wait line, is likely half that long because of the drastic reduction in demand. This is not complicated, 50,000 divided by 8,000 is just over 6 years. Now if we actually get relief by not counting derivatives, then the demand for EB-5 will literally explode overnight.
What are your top business goals this year?
Our firm has focused on innovation and technology and our proprietary cloud-based Immigration Management System WRapid “Powered by Salesforce” has revolutionized our visa processing using a software-as-a-service. It is increasing efficiencies, accuracy and allowing our firm to leapfrog to the front of the line.
What is the favorite book you have read recently? Why?
I recently reread the “History of Gotcha.” This is a company started by two of my best friends, one of who passed recently. It’s my favorite because it reminds me about my best friend, and how transient life is.
Why did you decide to join the Eb5investors verified professional community and what has it done for your business?
EB5 Investors Magazine is absolutely the “go-to” source for information and the latest news in the EB-5 and global investment community. EB5 Investors Magazine is the key reason we were able to propel our firm to the top in this arena. The EB5 Investors’ events have traditionally had the best attendance and have attracted the best in the industry to their events.
What about you would surprise others?
In addition to practicing immigration law, my passion is surfing. I feel fortunate to live in Southern California that has some of the best beaches in the world.