EB-5 Post-Pandemic and The Vietnamese investor, with Brandon Meyer - EB5Investors.com

EB-5 Post-Pandemic and The Vietnamese investor, with Brandon Meyer

Brandon Meyer, EB-5 immigration attorney and partner at Meyer Law Group, explains how the EB-5 market is developing post-COVID, and more specifically how the program is working for investors  from Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Brandon Meyer: There’s a lot of people in the industry who still think it’s 2015 or it should be 2015 again, where the projects could go and raise $20 Million an afternoon at the, you know, the Four Seasons in Guangzhou. That was not normal. And that was not even healthy. And those days are never, ever coming back. And a lot of people in the industry still need to wrap their head around that. Those glory days are gone and they’re never coming back and then move forward, move forward to something that’s a little more sustainable. Quite frankly, that’s a good thing for the industry.

Ali Jahangiri: This is “The voice of EB5” by EB5 Investors magazine. Each week we sit down with the experts in the EB5 investment space to get valuable insights and the latest EB five news.

Ali Jahangiri: Welcome to the voice of EB5 with your host, Ali Jahangiri, CEO of EB5 Investors Dotcom. I’m here with Brandon Meyer, who is a long time friend and has been a advocate in immigration law for a while. Brandon Meyer actually has a law firm called the Meyer Law Group with a handful of attorneys and support. Brandon, welcome to the podcast.

Brandon Meyer: Thanks, Ali. Good to be on your podcast. Good to speak with you again.

Ali Jahangiri: Absolutely. So maybe give us a little background of what year you started in EB5 and give the whole scope of your involvement over the last call it a decade of immigration law.

Brandon Meyer: Gosh, actually, it goes back even farther than that, Ali. I worked on my first EB5 case back in 1998. People talk about today in the post RIA world of EB5 2.0. I look at it as EB5 4.0, whereas EB5 1.0 was about 1990 through 1998 when the for precedent decisions came out matter of Ho cfc Chung and Izumi, which really set the basis for EB five going forward. 85 2.0 started right around the time that I got involved in immigration law. The real dark ages of EB five from about 1998 to 2006, so EB 52.0 where it didn’t matter how good your case was USCIS or in those days legacy INS was just simply going to deny it. That was just a fact. The approval rates in those days were around 20%. So from about 1998 to around 2006, I probably had worked in maybe a handful of EB5 cases. There weren’t that many around. And frankly, in the immigration law at that point in time, there was really no reason to even waste your time with cases you couldn’t get approved. That was during the dot com boom. That’s when you had companies like Pets.com com that were initiating ten to H-1Bs a day every day, whereas so there was no need for most immigration law firms to be involved in EB five.

Brandon Meyer: That started to change a little bit in the 2006 2007 range when people realized, hey, there was this EB5 program on the books. Fast forward a couple of years later with the near collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near collapse of the Western financial system. Eb5 got a new lease on life, as it were. And so being one of the few people that actually had credibly done an EB five case up until that point, even if it was six, it turned out to be six more than most other people that were calling themselves EB5 experts at that time. You know, it really kind of took off from there. And for me it was actually good timing in a way, because 8 to 10 years of tech worker H-1Bs and labor certifications, frankly, I was pretty bored, bored stiff with it at that time. And so EB five coming back online provided a new challenge and jump back in. And here we are today in 2023.

Ali Jahangiri: Brandon, you’re big on Vietnam. You’ve been big in Vietnam. Let’s talk about that a little bit.

Brandon Meyer: Absolutely.

Ali Jahangiri: What’s your nexus there? Do you have an office there? Brandon Meyer in Vietnam are very synonymous. Yes. Right now Vietnam is hot in the market. So I want to know why and what you’ve done out there and how you’re integrated.

Brandon Meyer: Yeah. So, you know, rewind to around 2008, ten, 11, 12, EB five in those days was pretty much 90 to 100% China specific program. And that was no different for me in those days from about 2010 to 12, I would spend about six plus months a year in China on 85, early 2011. A good friend of mine who’s also an attorney in Orange County where you are, Ali, said, Brandon, you need to come to Vietnam. There’s a huge potential market here. And I was like, Well, I don’t know, Derek. You know, I just I go to these seminars in China and 30 people sign up based upon a seminar before you even leave the hotel. Why would I want to do that? It’s like, trust me, come down. You’ll see. So March 2011 made my first trip to Vietnam. In those days, people had no idea what EB five was in Vietnam. They didn’t think it was real. And so we spent a lot of time educating the market on what EB five was in those days. It was just myself and one other prominent EB five attorney. We were only really the only two in-country EB five attorneys in Vietnam in those days. And so I had people that were chasing the China market, which quite frankly was very, very lucrative. It was just like, Brandon, you’re insane. Like, why are you going to Vietnam? All the actions in China. And what these people didn’t realize is they were not obviously unaware of what’s known as Stein’s law.

Brandon Meyer: Stein’s law is. The principle that if something can’t last forever, it will stop and that it will stop for China. Eb5 at least became effective in the March 2017 Visa Bulletin, which basically gave us the extended backlogs that we now still suffer from for China. Eb five So having had that six plus years of EB5 on the ground, experience in Vietnam was extremely invaluable when the China market effectively evaporated overnight. And so as you know in your magazine, EB five Investors magazine, I wrote an article around that point in time where I took a little bit of satisfaction, I have to say, with saying how, you know, people in the industry that told me I was crazy for going to Vietnam and then I would start bumping into them at the Park Hyatt in Saigon or the Sheraton. Later on I was like, Hey, what are you doing here? I thought you told me I was nuts for coming to Vietnam. And now here you are three years later doing the same thing. And so it’s been great. You know, 46 trips to Vietnam since March 2011. Even with two and one half years off for the pandemic. We have an office in Saigon. We have staff there and I guess remain moderately bullish on the market in Vietnam, although right now there are some significant headwinds that are at best slowing down the growth trajectory in that particular market.

Ali Jahangiri: Well, do you have fluent speaking Vietnamese?

Brandon Meyer: Brandon We have three fluent, three native Vietnamese speakers, two in country and one in the US that work with us on our EB5 matters. All three have been a part of our team for five plus years now.

Ali Jahangiri: And where’s your office down in Vietnam?

Brandon Meyer: It’s located in the Texto building, which is probably one of the premier office complexes in Saigon. It’s an odd building. You can see it from the pretty much anywhere in the city. It has It’s the only building there has its own helicopter landing pad, even though you never see any helicopters land on it because private helicopters are banned in Vietnam. Nevertheless. I guess the architects were planning ahead for the day when you can do that because there is a landing pad. It’s it’s a really nice property. And if you’re in country, come visit us sometime.

Ali Jahangiri: I will. So, Brandon, let’s call me a developer. I’m new to EB5. I want to use my law and associates to help me with my filings. And I want to get your help. What services do you offer me as a developer? Is it only just the 5 to 6? Are you going to help me expose my project to various agents or potentially help me acquire investors out there? Are you doing the 956 is or what exactly is the scope of work you do for a regional center or the investor?

Brandon Meyer: Absolutely. So for better or for worse, these days, 5 to 6 work is becoming a commodity business in the same way that the big corporate immigration law firms have commoditized, say, H, one B and WL one filings. Five T sixes are going in that direction as well. And so my law group has been putting together the old 9 to 4 exemplars. Now the 956 is we’ve been doing project work since 2010. So we’ve been working on both sides not only to help the developers set up their regional centers and get their get their regional centers approved, prepare and submit their exemplars. Also work with investors from regional centers as well, but not to us. At my law group, nothing is more depressing than putting together a beautiful exemplar, a regional center application that gets approved, and then the developer or regional center can’t get any investors. We obviously can’t guarantee anyone will find investors for their projects, but the whole EB5 industry, whether it likes it or not, is really, you know, symbiotic co-dependence. So everyone needs everyone else’s help. Agents need attorneys, the agents in Vietnam and all over the world. They get bombarded every day. I mean,  I’ve seen some agents that I know show me their daily email. They’ll receive 40 to 50 emails from projects every single day. And they look at this and they say, How in the world can we possibly sort through this, help us? So for the last 15 years, we realized that to be as effective as possible for all parties, that we needed to work with all parties, investors, regional centers, developers and agents because the better we all do individually, the better we all do collectively. And that requires everyone to share information, share contacts, the extent possible and be as cooperative as well.

Brandon Meyer: So we’re happy with, you know, I mean, if our developer clients come to us and say, yeah, we already have the money pre raised, how do you have the money raised? Well, you know, my friend has a cousin who married a Vietnamese girl or, you know, you hear nonsense like that. You say, No, that’s not going as much as I would like to tell you that that’s going to work. It’s not going to work. So we need to think of a marketing plan that’s more along these lines because I just don’t want setting up a regional center, especially now in the post RIA world where exemplars are mandatory and the filing fees are going to increase. I don’t want developers spending north of six figures plus based upon and not be able to raise the money either because the project that they want to put is unmarketable. I would tell developers that up front. This isn’t going to sell in the market. I wish it would. Maybe someone else will tell you differently, but we’re not going to take it on because we don’t think it’s going to succeed. Or if their marketing plan, you know, the friends, cousins, girlfriends, whatever, that’s not going to work. And then we try to come up with a more realistic marketing plan for the developers, and it is up to them at the end of the day to to raise their money. But we help them put the plan together. And to the extent that we can open doors and make warm introductions to make that happen, then it’s just a part of the overall EB five ecosystem that makes it thrive.

Ali Jahangiri: So in the big picture of EB five is back and you’re seeing volumes. I haven’t seen volumes really tick up a lot in Vietnam. Are you seeing the same kind of volume? What are you seeing with the volume spread?

Brandon Meyer: Yeah, that’s a great point. And so I think there’s a lot of different factors. Many of us in the industry, we thought, okay, EB5 is basically been on hold from November 20th, 2019, which is when initially the investment went up from from about 500 to 900000 and then a couple of temporary blips in between. And I think we all saw Post RIA that there was this huge pent up demand for EB5 globally, which there is, but I think we’d all thought it might have been a little bit of wish casting or wishful thinking. I’m not sure. I think all of us thought our volume individually, collectively, and not just in Vietnam but China and other markets. India as well, would be significantly higher than it was than it has been. And I think you take Vietnam, for example. I did my first trip back to Vietnam, end of March. So two weeks after the Reform and Integrity Act was signed into law by President Biden, everyone and I spoke to some some other colleagues of mine at different firms that came around the same time. We all had the same sort of feeling about our visits was that everyone in market was really excited to move forward and finally do EB five business for the first time. At that point, in about two and a half years, everyone was focused. Everyone was ready to move forward. So then what happens? Uscis came out with the ridiculous policy directive that said that all the regional centers had to recertify and then the Bering litigation, which, you know, obviously worked out in the industry’s favor, but that had the impact of just as everyone was getting ready to do some serious EB five business, then everything was on hold again for six plus months and people’s thoughts started to drift again.

Brandon Meyer: And so I don’t think we realized as an industry how, yes, the Bering litigation was necessary. It was important. We obviously needed it. If without the Bering litigation, I think the two of us would probably be doing something different today other than speaking with each other. But I think as as in working at Starbucks and something else and loving my H-1B extension so much more. But I think as an industry, we did not appreciate how that actually while it was good for the industry to do what we did during the Bering litigation, it actually set back the progress in the market significantly. So just as we had trust again, we lost it. It’s going to take time to rebuild it. And then, you know, there’s economic and political conditions. So right now in Vietnam, the property market, this is just like any other sort of growth economy goes through booms and busts. There was a huge real estate boom for the last several years. Is it the exchange.

Ali Jahangiri: Rate that’s making it hard for people to invest in our K? I mean, is that what’s reducing the volumes?

Brandon Meyer: That’s part of it. But it’s really people can’t sell their properties. I don’t know if you’ve been to Saigon recently, but I’m not sure the last time you’ve been there. But next time you go back.

Ali Jahangiri: What’s going on there?

Brandon Meyer: Yeah, well, last time you were there, if you looked across the river, there was nothing there. Now you go back. It’s basically a new city, multistory condos for miles and miles and miles. And so all that was fueling the growth in industry to begin with. Now it’s overbuilt. Now it’s the same in China. Now people can’t sell their properties. The real estate markets did. If they want to go take a mortgage out on it. I think the last quote I had for a mortgage loan from Vietnam was 18%. Nobody wants to do that. And then then you factor in, yeah, the exchange rate isn’t helpful. Right now. They’re going through one of those periods where there’s additional restrictions in wiring money out of the country. It’s not impossible. It can be done. We do work with credible people who assist in money transfer out of Vietnam, but you take those factors together. And the other factor that people in the industry don’t like to talk about is that there is a huge wave of denials coming out of Vietnam and in calendar year 20, 23 for cases that were filed in the 2017 2018 time frame, most, if not all, of which involve what USCIS believes to be non compliant, money transfer or passive funds. You add that all together and that’s had those five factors together delay with litigation, real estate, money transfer, currency exchange, and the fact that new investors all know people whose cases have been pending for five or six years and that’s had an impact and a slowing down the volume, the interest is there. It’s just right now you add those five factors together to making the conversion rate in Vietnam a lot slower than I think we were hoping. But nevertheless, the conversion rate out of Vietnam is significantly higher than in India, for example.

Ali Jahangiri: Why is that?

Brandon Meyer: I think basically when the India market, the issue is that there. Very deadline driven environment. The past three or four cycles that we saw of reauthorization. Probably 90% of the India cases in the pipeline, we’re all filed probably 60 to 90 days prior to some program expiration, be it November the November 2019 or the December 30th, 2018, and the one previous to that as well. And so, I mean, I get it, 800,000 investment project fees, legal fees. Next thing you know that this is a 900,000 plus initiative. So people look at that and say, well, you know, this program is around in September 30th, 2027. Okay, Grandfathering is in the ARI. Okay. As long as I filed before September 30th, 2026, I have three and a half years. So there’s no pressure on investors from India for the most part to actually move forward on anything. Most of the cases we see moving forward are people whose children attend US universities with the concurrent filing features that were included in the Reform and Integrity Act and the problems with H-1B cap lottery, which we’re currently in that cycle now, of which probably people with us bachelor’s degree or bachelor’s degrees will get about 20% acceptance and US master’s degree holders will get about less than 50% chance. And when you add in the the interminable EB two EB three backlogs for people from India who are trying to go through the the regular employment process, the only volume that’s really coming out of India right now are for people whose children are stuck in one of those three situations, either H-1B cap or 82 EB three and with the ability to do current concurrent filing, it solves their children’s problem at one, you know, instantaneously almost.

Ali Jahangiri: So what is the volume right now, Brandon? I mean, what what are we seeing? And overall give an update to the census, goes out to the industry, talk about the volumes. What are we seeing? What do we used to see back in the day? What are we seeing now with filings?

Brandon Meyer: Yeah, I mean, this is I guess it depends on which point in time. EB5 has always been so boom and bust. So I guess it’s like which time cycle time frame you’re going to look at, you want to look at say 12 months ago, volume significantly higher. I mean, obviously there is no regional center program 12 months ago. So it’s just, you know, the relatively comparatively small numbers of direct cases, say three months prior to the November 20th, 2019 increase. I probably say maybe a fifth of where we were at that time. Do you want to go all the way back to the real boom times of 2014, 2015 when the China market was super hot? We’re at a mere fraction of that. And there’s a lot of people in the industry who still think it’s 2015 or it should be 2015 again, where, yeah, the projects could go and raise $20 Million in the afternoon at the, you know, the Four Seasons in Guangzhou. That was not normal and that was not even healthy. And those days are never, ever coming back. And a lot of people in the industry still need to wrap their head around that.

Brandon Meyer: Those glory days are gone and they’re never coming back and then move forward, moves forward to something that’s a little more sustainable. I mean, I know of projects right now that have done very, very well out of China, and they’re looking at it as a failure because their projections were 2 to 3 X higher than what their volume is. And it’s just like, but you’ve done amazingly well. So that means that your expectation, whoever set the expectations for you, either yourself or your marketing partners or whoever their expectations were based upon which casting of how it was back in 2015, not the reality of 2023. So the market’s still there is a large market in China, Vietnam, India and other places in the world. But we’re never going back to a time where China was 90% of the market and you’d file thousands and thousands of new investor cases every year. That’s not going to happen. And quite frankly, that’s a good thing for the industry because now we can develop a more sustainable model.

Ali Jahangiri: I think it’s been.

Brandon Meyer: A little bit healthier.

Ali Jahangiri: Instead of the boom that we saw, I think it’s pretty stable.

Brandon Meyer: Yeah, I would absolutely agree. Stable and sustainable.

Ali Jahangiri: It builds with the better deals flow to the top. You get more informed investors. The industry feels like the pulse is just beating solid, getting stronger, and we’re not all rushed. Yeah. I don’t mind it at all, but I was wondering if you feel the same way that know the volumes are a fraction of what they used to be, right?

Brandon Meyer: Yeah, but I feel so much better about it because now I can at least recognize my investor clients names.

Ali Jahangiri: You pay more attention to details and completely agree.

Brandon Meyer: And, you know, same on the marketing side. It’s like the industry is still dealing with and will be unfortunately dealing with for a while. The way I describe it, you know, the biggest capital bubble in world history was not the Dutch tulip market or the 1600s or the dot com or whatever it was. You know, when you’re just in terms of scale, it was the China EB five bubble from 2013 to 2017. And as an industry, we’re still dealing with the downside of that. Now in terms of the backlogs that still exist for thousands and thousands of investors. And then you have the issue of basically interminable and infinite redeployment based upon the current rules as USCIS sees them. But then, yeah, I think you mentioned that a lot of these investors, they were just caught up in a wave as well, and they had they had no idea what they were investing in. I would do these seminars, great seeing all these people sign up. And I was like, Wait a minute, why are they signing up? Are they signing up because of the presentation they had or are they really or they understand the fundamentals of the project and what they’re investing in and they feel, no, it was always they were buying the sizzle, not the steak.

Brandon Meyer: And as things have dragged on, dissatisfaction understandably has increased. But now they’re starting to roll. But now, as a news story, we’re dealing with this as people are coming to us that were with other projects. We didn’t start with them initially and they need our help. And it turns out that they had absolutely not only zero understanding of what they were investing in, but they actually had zero understanding of the EB five process. And now they’re stuck with a significant chunk of their wealth in a project that they don’t understand. And they’re stuck in a process for probably another 1015 who knows how many years that they didn’t understand either. And it’s just kind of sad in the way that we have to spend all those time backtracking and unwinding every piece, unwinding people’s thought processes and starting over again from the beginning. And as an industry, we cannot allow that to happen again.

Ali Jahangiri: Yeah, I definitely agree. So, Brandon, zoom back to the next phase. We’re coming to Vietnam in April 4th and fifth, and we had a big event there last night. We have 700 people. So what kind of advice could you give about the Vietnam market? Is there new agents and new finders popping up here and there? Is there more investors, less investors, more interested in overseas countries like Portugal or the country? You know us? What’s happening in the market? Are things shifting it all the trends between countries? Are you seeing more small agencies pop up? What are the trends?

Brandon Meyer: Yeah, so a lot more agents. The typical market I love in Vietnam is people are where they go work for a big agent, then they gain some experience or think they’ve gained experience and then they go and set up their own shop. Some. Some of which succeed. Some of which don’t. Some of the bigger legacy agents are not as active as they used to be, and so that’s really increase the number of agencies. And the good thing is that these people that are setting up their agencies actually have significant amounts of prior EB five experience. And so that makes the market more diffuse. Then you have a bit of churn as well as, as I mentioned, the 2017 2018 cases that are stuck and many of which will be denied many of those individuals. Every time I go over, I meet with, with, with lots of people who are stuck in that and they don’t while it’s taken them five, six years to get effectively nowhere. Many of them are still committed to EB five. Their current process gets approved. Fantastic. And many of them say, okay, well, if it’s denied, I still want to do it. I want to start over again. And that creates opportunity because whatever agent they worked with, whatever regional center they worked with, whatever attorney they worked with, you know, are all kind of guilt by association. They’re all tainted in the investor’s mind.

Brandon Meyer: But that creates opportunity for others, other projects, other agents, other attorneys that come in and say, okay, what you just dealt with for the last five or six years was extremely unfortunate. But we can and we will do better and here’s how we’re going to do it this time. And that does have a lot of resonance in the market with potential investors. But in terms of other countries, you know, words just kind of getting back to Vietnam about the so called Amigos act and President Biden signed into law recently, which basically said that, okay, if you did one of these citizenship by investment programs, basically it was targeted at the people who went and invested in projects in Turkey or Grenada, maybe to a lesser extent, Montenegro, in order to get the passport of those countries, in order to turn around and doing the E-2 visa. And so the Amigos Act said, Well, that’s fantastic. So if you did CBI for one of these three countries or any other country for that matter, that has an E to treaty with the US, you can’t do an E two until you’ve lived in that country for at least three years. And so what that did overnight was effectively anyone from not just Vietnam but anyone who did Turkey or Grenada programs in order to do e to it effectively made their Turkey or Grenada passport worthless overnight.

Brandon Meyer: And that’s a problem. Not only that, people spend a lot of time and a lot of money to get that Grenada passport. But the way the cycles are working is that people are now getting their Grenada passports and now they’re being told you can’t use it for E two anymore unless you want to go live in Grenada for three years, which no one does. And so that’s going to annoy a lot of people. But why were people doing that to begin with? Well, that was during the period when EB five. I was pretty much the November 2019 to very recently time frame when there wasn’t that much EB five going on anyway. And so you don’t have all these people that have these beautiful Grenada passports that can’t do e to Well, some give up, sure, but their whole intention was coming to the US to begin with. So that creates more EB five opportunity in the marketplace that didn’t exist previously. Once people realize that their Turkey and Grenada passports are worthless, I mean, are many of the agents selling these exotic programs vinyl to here, there and everywhere? Sure. But do they really sell at high volumes? Not really. And there’s a regionality to the Vietnam market as well. I mean, people people don’t quite appreciate that the Vietnamese Civil War just ended about 47 years ago.

Brandon Meyer: And here we are in the US. Us Civil War ended 165 years ago and you still have people flying Confederate flags and celebrating Jefferson Davis birthday and all this other nonsense that 165 years ago. And there’s people in the US who haven’t gotten over the Civil War. The Vietnamese Civil War is. Been over for a quarter of that time. So it’s still raw and fresh. So it’s really still Vietnam is still really effectively three countries north, central and south. And so a lot of people in 85 don’t quite understand the country dynamic. So if you go to Hanoi or the North, you get a cooler reception for EB five than they do in the south, in the north, that people are more interested in Portugal, Malta and some of these European programs than they are in the south. They’re less interested in EB five than north. Why is that? Historical links? That’s interesting. People in the north, you know, when separate North Vietnam, their leaders look toward Europe, the revolutionary heroes from North Vietnam, whatever, whatever you want to call them. Many of them studied in France. Many of them look to Europe. Obviously, they were following Marxist Leninism, communism, which is a Western European ideology. And then you have war with the US. Even today, their orientation is toward Europe. And then the North won the war, so there’s no refugees.

Ali Jahangiri: Is there even any Asians up in Hanoi or.

Brandon Meyer: There are a few but basically agents. And so that’s another great point. So the people in the North and Hanoi who are interested in EB five, they’ll come down to Saigon to do their EB five business because they feel like it’s probably justifiably so. There’s more eyes on them in Hanoi than there are in the South. So most of the offices agents will have offices in Hanoi, but they’re basically rep offices, advertising offices to say, Hey, we’re here, this is EB five, or maybe we have some Portugal, but if you want to do some business, come down to Saigon for the weekend because people feel more comfortable talking about EB five in Saigon than they do in Hanoi. And so so if you go to a seminar in Hanoi, yeah, a lot of people will show up, but there will be very few investors there. It’s all other agents, other finders proxies just there to gather information on behalf of other people and they’ll report back to those other people what they heard. And if those people are interested, then yeah, they’ll make an appointment to come down south and meet with you with the regional center and.

Brandon Meyer: Yeah. And so whereas in the South, I’ve lived in Orange County for a long, long time. So you know that there’s a huge Vietnamese community in Orange County and Houston and San Jose. That’s all legacy of war refugees. And most of those people can trace their origins to the Central Highlands and the south of the country as they fled the country in the wake of the conclusion of the Civil War. And so 85 is a much easier sell to people the South, and it’s the people in the North because, I mean, it’s not a generalization to say that everyone who currently lives in the southern part of Vietnam has friends and family that live in the US. Everyone does. It may be a super distant cousin or this or that, but they all know somebody. And lots of people who already live in Houston, San Jose, Orange County, Virginia, these places, they all do. And that’s not the case in the North, because there wasn’t that refugee flow out of the north to the US after the war.

Ali Jahangiri: Interesting. Yeah. It’s good to get your inside scoop on this because I know you have a nexus to Vietnam and you know, you guys do a lot of cases out of there. Is there any other practices you guys have at your firm?

Brandon Meyer: No, we’re purely immigration and nationality. There is another Mier law group out there that apparently does forget what they do, and they’re also in San Francisco. So we have people come by our office with their meeting with their other attorney at Meyer Law Group to talk about their insurance case. And and I don’t know which one I would love to help, but that’s not us. You got to go down and presumably, I don’t know if we have people going there to, like talk about their L-1 or their EB five or whatever it is. But yeah, we’re almost exclusively focused on immigration and nationality. Are you.

Ali Jahangiri: More on an immigrant side or project side.

Brandon Meyer: These days? You know, it just ebbs and flows over time. But right now, as of today, I’m probably about 75% on the project side and 25% on the investor side.

Ali Jahangiri: Cool. So you’re mostly working on the project documents.

Brandon Meyer: And stuff like that, Correct.

Ali Jahangiri: And then in terms of timeline and timing, are you seeing clients down here in California? Are you seeing them in Vietnam? How does someone get a hold of you and meet you in person?

Brandon Meyer: Brandon Yeah, just reach out to me either. Email, phone, WhatsApp, Zoller, WeChat, Instagram, all the Facebook, all the, all the you’re going to be your local.

Ali Jahangiri: Or where are you at? Are you going to be are you in you’re in Southern California right now, but you’re going to be at your Vietnam office or.

Brandon Meyer: Yeah, you know, now that that Tet is over and people are coming back to work and then you’re EB5 investors, you global events coming up early April as you reference we’re currently working out when will be our next visit to Vietnam but before that end of February beginning part of March and actually doing we’re active in lots of other markets as well. So I will be going to Colombia, Argentina and Brazil and the February beginning of March. I’m seeing a lot of.

Ali Jahangiri: That all over the place. Is that kind of what you’re seeing as well? A lot of movement.

Brandon Meyer: Around.

Ali Jahangiri: Different countries in Latin America. And are you going with any groups or are you going alone with the developer or.

Brandon Meyer: The February March trip is organized by our friends at I.O.U.S.A Association to invest in great.

Ali Jahangiri: We have some people going to that as well.

Brandon Meyer: All right. Fantastic. So love to connect with them. And this will be my first time to Colombia. But my partner, Paul Chen, went last May to Colombia and established a lot of good contacts. I went to Brazil last May, so excited to go back and continue with the initiatives that we started in Brazil last year and then figure out when to go back in country because we are getting a lot of requests. Hey, Brandon, when are you coming back? We have we want to do some seminars. We want to do this. We want to do that. And it’s all a part of the ecosystem of everyone’s depend on the other people. And so, you know, I get it even with local staff, the agents still, because my experience and and recognition in the market, they still prefer to have me come and do the seminar even though my staff members over there are perfectly capable of substituting. And so yeah, it’s good to be relevant again, right? Yeah, it certainly is because, you know, I mean, I know I’m not alone in this, but November 21st, 2019, to the day of the burying decision, those are some tricky times, you know, I mean, people could have done regional center cases of the 900,000 level, but with the pandemic, they just didn’t. I’ve never been a big fan of so called direct non regional center 80 fives will do them but they’re just by definition more difficult.

Brandon Meyer: And so I felt like I spent two years trying to talk people out of doing direct. And then the question is, well, what else can we do? And then, well, that’s a really good point. And then tell me about the regional centers. Well, something is going to happen eventually. I can’t tell you what I can’t tell you when. I can’t tell you how or why. Just something at some point in the future. And that was like really unedifying conversation to have for best part of two years because basically it’s like, I can’t tell you anything. No one can tell you anything. We don’t know anything. And it was tough. So if nothing else, I mean, as is the Reform and Integrity Act perfect? No. But does it have many features that are better than what existed before, such as concurrent filing? Yes, whatever the pluses and minuses are. In fact, as we have an EB five law for the next four or four years or so. And so that gives us stability. And now we can move forward. And getting back into the rhythms, been a little taken a little longer, a little more difficult than we had anticipated as an industry, but we’re getting there. So I’m excited for 2023 and, you know, looking forward to doing some good business.

Ali Jahangiri: Well, Brandon, I look forward to hanging out with you in April. See you there. And thanks for joining the voice of five, Brandon.

Brandon Meyer: Thanks, Ali. Thanks for having me. Good talking to you again and look forward to speaking with you again. Soon.

Ali Jahangiri: This has been the voice of EB5 by EB five Investors Magazine. To learn more about this episode, please visit. Eb five investors dot com slash podcast to stay up to date with the latest EB five discussions. Be sure to subscribe to the show wherever you listen to the podcast and if you like the show, please consider leaving us a five star review. It helps us out a lot. See you next week.