The Accelerated EB-5 Capital Raising Workshop in NYC/NJ July 10

June 2nd, 2014

The Accelerated EB-5 Capital Raising Process Practical Workshop (NYC/NJ) is a one-day workshop presented by Artisan Business Group July 10, 2014 for new and experienced EB-5 regional center executives and project developers only. The goal is simple: to get your project funded! Everything you learn here is about raising EB-5 capital in the ever-changing markets. Venue in NYC/NJ area will be notified to attendees only. Clients of Wright Johnson will receive 20% off discount. Registration at

The Accelerated EB-5 Capital Raising Process Practical W…
July 10, 2014 New York City Area(Newalk Airport Hotel) Guest Speakers: Jeff Carr, EconomistClem Turner, Securities Attorney Venue to be an…
View on

Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci

May 25th, 2014

Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci, Chief, Immigrant Investor Program, USCIS
USCIS投资移民项目主任Nicholas Colucci发言稿

Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci
Nicholas Colucci发言稿

Chief, Immigrant Investor Program
U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Association To Invest in the United States (IIUSA)
Eb-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference
May 8, 2014
Washington, D.C.
Good afternoon, and thank you to Executive Director Joseph, the Board of Directors, and the entire IIUSA membership for inviting me to your conference today. I read on your website that IIUSA represents more than 170 regional centers, which account for greater than 95 percent of all the capital formation associated with the Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5 program), and over 195 associate members of the regional center industry, which include attorneys, broker-dealers, consultants, developers, economists, financial advisors, migration intermediaries, etc. Thus, our engagement with stakeholders such as IIUSA offers a unique opportunity for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reach many of the stakeholders who have an interest in the program. But they’re not the only reason I’m here today. I’m here because I sincerely hope to continue the meaningful dialogue that exists within the EB-5 stakeholder community, of which we’re all a part.
下午好,感谢董事会执行董事Joseph及IIUSA全体成员邀请我参加今天的会议。 我从官方网站上了解到,美国投资协会(IIUSA)代表了170多处区域中心和超过195位区域中心产业会员。在第五类优先就业型移民签证(EB-5项目)相关的所有集资活动中,这些中心的占比达95%以上,而区域中心产业会员则包括律师、经纪交易商、顾问、开发商、经济学家、金融顾问和移民中介机构等。因此,我们联手IIUSA等相关者造就了独有的机遇,使美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)能够接触到许多对EB-5项目感兴趣的利益相关者。但这并非是我今天在场的唯一原因。我来参加会议,是因为我真诚地希望能够延续我们EB-5利益相关者团体成员之间有意义的对话。
While I plan to provide a number of program-related updates here today, I also want to spend a little time discussing my background, as it has helped to shape how I plan to lead the program.
I’ve spent more than 20 years in federal government service, with three different Departments, and this experience has provided me with exposure to many geographic regions, business types, and government and non-government programs. It is through these experiences that I’ve developed a better understanding of the positive impacts of collaborative, constructive engagements.
One such example is when I served at ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. One of ATF’s main goals as the Federal regulator for several industries is to increase each industry’s rate of compliance with Federal laws and regulations. At ATF, I was associated with developing a program that concentrated on a subset of a particular regulated industry, whose rate of compliance had historically trailed that of other members of the industry.
第一例,就是我在美国枪炮及爆裂物管理局(ATF)任职时的深刻体会。ATF 作为面向众多行业的联邦监管机构,其主要目标之一就是提高各行业对联邦法律和法规的合规率。当时,某个特定管制行业分部的合规率历来都不及行业中的其它部门,而我在ATF的工作就是参与建立一个解决此问题的项目。
Specifically, the program called for ATF to do the following three things in an attempt to reach our goal of producing a measurable increase in compliance:
1. increase its proactive interaction with the industry subgroup;
2. promote transparency with respect to the types of violations being discovered during audits and the steps the industry could take to avoid these violations in the future; and
3. dedicate additional resources to auditing these industry members over the next three years.
The results we achieved were dramatic. However, we would not have been able to achieve these results without the involvement and engagement of the industry. At the end of two years, the compliance rates of this industry subgroup had increased significantly. I can confidently state that this could not have happened had ATF developed a program that did not involve that significant outreach component. Because we had an engaged stakeholder, and because we could have honest conversations between the two organizations, we changed the dynamic of the relationship and worked collaboratively towards achieving a common goal. I hope to establish a similar relationship with our stakeholders across the EB-5 community, as we must work together, and have honest conversations to build a stronger and more vibrant program.
我们最终取得了显著的成绩。 但是,如果没有行业的参与和配合,我们可能无法取得这些成果。两年后,该行业分部的合规率获得明显提高。我可以自信地说,如果ATF建立的项目没有业界的积极配合,可能就不会取得这样的成绩。正是因为有了利益相关者的参与,以及两个组织之间能够展开真诚的对话,我们改变了相互关系的发展动态,并且合力实现了共同的目标。我希望能与EB-5项目的利益相关者建立起类似的关系,因为我们必须通过合作和真诚的对话,才能运转一个更强大更有活力的项目。
A second experience that helped shape how I plan to administer the EB-5 program is an experience I had at FinCEN – the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is the anti-money laundering regulator for US financial institutions. The same week I was appointed FinCEN’s associate director of the Analysis and Liaison Division, the Secretaries of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development held a press conference with the Attorney General to announce the Administration’s “Making Home Affordable” program, which would provide qualifying homeowners a lower interest rate to help them keep their home. They also announced that FinCEN, and specifically the Division that I was leading, would serve to coordinate the Government’s anti-fraud efforts associated with the program.
Through my work on this program, I learned two important things:
• One is the resources that can be brought to bear across the interagency community, particularly in coordination with not-for-profit and other private entities, can be extremely powerful when focused and coordinated; and
• two, that there are very bright individuals out there who spend a lot of time developing ingenious fraud schemes and that they will not hesitate to take advantage of others when they are at their most vulnerable.
With respect to interagency community coordination, at FinCEN we worked with members from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General, the Federal banking regulators, and a host of other Federal, state and local agencies. I met and worked with key players within each of these organizations, and throughout my time at FinCEN, I probably worked with two dozen more Federal agencies. Each agency, as you know, has a specific role and responsibility, and I was able to learn and understand the roles, tools, and sources of information that they could contribute to an effort.
关于跨部门合作,我们在FinCEN时的众多合作伙伴就来自联邦调查局、特勤局、住房和城市发展部监察长办公室、联邦银行监管机构,以及许多其它的联邦、州郡和各类地方机等构。 我曾和这些机构中的主力成员一同工作过,而在我任职于FinCEN的整个期间,我在工作中大概接触了二十多家联邦机构。正如大家知道的那样,每家机构都在发挥着特定的作用和承担相应的责任。我能够了解和领会这些机构在一项工作中的作用、掌握的工具和信息来源。
I have begun to develop this same depth of knowledge in the context of the EB-5 program as many agencies intersect with EB-5, whether it is the Securities and Exchange Commission, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or the Department of Commerce. One of the things I propose to do, and one of the reasons that the program was relocated to Washington, DC, is to facilitate greater interaction among the interagency community. Just as the EB-5 program cannot be successful without your support, we need to build strong partnerships with other Federal agencies who are likewise stakeholders in the program.
Now, with respect to those out there who take advantage of others: I learned quickly at FinCEN that where there is money, there will be fraudsters. In the context of mortgage fraud, I saw families who were struggling to save their homes only to be victimized by someone, usually a part of an organized group, who claimed they could help families remain in their home for an upfront fee of around $3,000. Of course, after the money was paid, help was not provided.
During my five years at FinCEN, we worked with law enforcement, regulators, and industry to combat not only mortgage fraud, but many other types of fraud including, but not limited to income tax refund fraud, health care fraud, and fraud against senior citizens. The one consistent theme is that organized groups follow the money, and when one source would dry up they would develop a fairly sophisticated scheme to go after the next one.
Given the amounts of monies involved in the projects undertaken in the EB-5 program, fraud is something against which we must all be vigilant. USCIS cannot do this on our own. Many times, you will be in the position to hear or see something suspicious or “too good to be true” before we do. In these cases, I ask that you share this information with us through our immigrant investor mailbox at When fraud does occur, as you know, the entire program suffers, so it is imperative to all of us to maintain and strengthen the integrity of the program.
So, to summarize, the three things from my past experience I hope to bring to the program include:
• an active and honest dialogue with our stakeholders;
• a coordinated effort within the interagency community; and
• with the assistance of our stakeholders, to guard against fraud and other transgressions that damage the integrity of the program.
Now, I’d like to take the remainder of the time to provide a few program updates. As I mentioned at my first stakeholder engagement in February, I plan to concentrate my time primarily in three areas:
• building the foundation;
• customer service and transparency;
• and performance and predictability.
With respect to building the foundation, by the end of this month, we hope to have upwards of 75 staff on board. This does not include those individuals from the Office of Chief Counsel and Fraud Detection and National Security, who work with the program. This is an almost 40 percent increase from where we were at the end of February. We also just had a few job announcements close, for experienced and entry-level adjudicators. It remains our goal to be at or exceed 100 staff members by the end of the fiscal year.
In terms of training, we are striving to ensure our staff continues to participate in professional development opportunities. In fact, just last week we provided our staff with a 3-hour block of instruction from the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are also providing two additional training courses in the next month or so – one on business organizations and documents, such as subscription agreements and private placement memorandums, and another on international banking and money laundering. Finally, we are customizing a decision writing course to assist our adjudicators and economists in drafting clear and concise requests for evidence (RFE) and decision letters. All of this will serve to expand the depth and breadth of the knowledge of our workforce and continue to strengthen the program.
在培训方面,我们努力确保工作人员能够持续拥有职业发展机会。 事实上,我们在上周为工作人员提供了长达3个小时的证券交易委员会指导培训。我们还将在下个月左右提供两门额外的培训课程—一是关于商业组织和文档,例如认购协议和募股说明书,另一门课程与国际银行业和洗钱有关。此外,我们还在定制一门决策写作课程,以协助我们的评定员和经济学家拟定清晰简明的补件通知(RFE)和决策信。所有这些安排都将有助于扩展工作团队知识面的深度和广度,以及持续增强项目的执行力。
With respect to customer service and transparency, we’ve spent a significant amount of time concentrating on this area in the last month or so. Specifically, we’ve begun to update the website each month with current processing times for each of the form types and we will continue to do this on a monthly basis.
We’ve also recently created a customer service team to respond to inquiries that come to us via the immigrant investor mailbox and service request management tickets, which stakeholders can create themselves online or have created for them by our customer help line. I am proud to state we are ahead of agency standards in our responses to these inquiries.
Finally, we are also seeking a new platform to receive and respond to customer service inquiries, as the mailbox does not lend itself to monitoring for trend and other types of analysis. With this type of information, I’m confident that we will be better able to determine what type of updates and suggestions we can provide to our stakeholders proactively, in an effort to reduce the number of inquiries we receive, thus freeing up more time to adjudicate cases, while providing the best possible service to our customers.
We recently held our second stakeholder engagement since the end of February. At this engagement we asked stakeholders to express their thoughts and input regarding potential EB-5 regulatory changes for USCIS to consider. More than 700 individuals participated and we were able to hear thoughts and feedback from a number of them. We also invited stakeholders to express their ideas and thoughts via a new online tool, called the USCIS Idea Community. More than two dozen individuals provided comments and greater than 200 votes were cast on these comments. We would like to thank those shared their thoughts through the Idea Community.
自2月底以来,我们最近又举行了第二次利益相关者会议。 在此次会议上,我们邀请利益相关者就关于EB-5监管法规的可能改变,提出自己的看法和建议以供参考。共有700多人参加了会议,我们也听到了其中一些人的看法和信息反馈。此外,我们还邀请利益相关者通过名为USCIS创意社区的全新在线工具来表达自己的意见和看法 。有20多名人士提出了自己的建议,200多名人士对这些意见进行了投票。我们在此感谢他们通过创意社区来分享意见。
Finally, in an effort to increase transparency, we are beginning to frame out an annual report beginning in fiscal year 14. My hope is to provide the report sometime around the end of this calendar year.
Now, to address performance and predictability. As I announced in February, I expected to start seeing reduced processing times for regional center applications. In fact, we are starting to see them trend this way. January’s processing time for Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Program, was 12 months, and the most recent report, which is March, indicated it has been reduced to around 10 and a half. It is clear that our economists are becoming more efficient and I expect we will see additional improvements in processing times in the coming months.
现在,我来谈一下项目绩效和可预见性。 我在2月份就表示,预计区域中心申请的处理时间将开始缩短。事实上,我们已经看到了这种趋势。1月份的I-924申请(根据投资移民项目提出的区域中心申请)处理时间为12个月,而最近3月份的同类申请处理时间已经减少到约10个半月。显然,我们的经济学家工作效率变得更高效了,预计我们在未来数月内还将看到处理时间的更多改善之处。
Similarly, we are seeing progress in the area of Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Our processing time, as you may have seen in our website, has been reduced to about 9 months from more than 11 in January. As you may recall, Form I-829 will be worked in the California Service Center for the remainder of the fiscal year. We will begin to transition this workload to the Immigrant Investor Program Office in Washington, D.C. in July, with a complete handover expected to take place on October 1.
The news is not as good for FormI-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. In January, we were around 10 months, and the latest data I have through March indicates we are at a little over 13 months. However, I believe we will soon begin to make progress in this workload as well. In recent weeks we’ve hired a number of adjudicators and we are in the process of hiring another round. We’ve also taken steps to increase the efficiency of our training program for new adjudicators who have previous USCIS experience. In fact, we’ve now begun to certify experienced adjudicators to work on 526s in a matter for 4 to 6 weeks, whereas in the past, it took longer than 2 months.
While ensuring quality, we are working diligently to have our actions equal or exceed the number of receipts each week, and this month I have set an office-wide goal to do this. I can assure you that we are committed to achieving additional efficiencies within the I-526 work and that our staff are aware of the fact that the number of pending petitions equals billions of dollars that will potentially be invested in in the American economy and create tens of thousands of jobs for qualified American workers. They are also aware that this means that thousands of families are checking their mailboxes each day waiting to see if their petition has been approved so they can participate in the American dream. Please know we take our responsibility seriously and we are working with a sense of urgency to move through these petitions.
Finally, before I close, one of the other things we are doing to help increase productivity and predictability is analyzing the RFEs we’ve issued. By sharing this information with all of you, likely via our annual report, our hope is that it will assist you in avoiding potential RFEs as you assemble new applications and petitions.
I’d like to share one such topic to begin this dialogue. As you know, USCIS has and will continue to rely on a variety of economic models and reasonable methodologies (like feasibility studies) to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that a project of a job creating entity will create a sufficient number of indirect jobs for the immigrant investors in that project. USCIS currently reviews economic impact analyses that use the results of economic modeling software such as IMPLAN, REMI, and REDYN to establish the number of indirect jobs created by the job creating entity. And while USCIS recognizes that these modeling platforms are valid economic modeling systems for estimating job creation, as you know, the burden of proof is on the applicant or petitioner to clearly explain the inputs used in the model and to demonstrate the mechanism of job creation.
Please note that jobs with a duration of less than 24 months are not eligible to be counted for EB-5 purposes. Nor are jobs from transactional expenses, for example attorney’s fees for closing costs. Also, please note that transfers or transfer payments are not eligible expenses for job creation. Transfer payments like taxes, insurance premiums, permits and fees are classified by economists as redistributions and not activities that create output. So, while EB-5 investor funds can be used to pay all legitimate business expenses, not all business expenses can be used in job creation calculations. Therefore, the economic models should provide an explanation of the inputs used and show that ineligible expenses and transfers are not included in job creation calculations.
One common reason for an RFE relating to the economic modeling analysis relates to direct versus indirect jobs. As you know, USCIS regulations refer to direct jobs as those at the new commercial enterprise; however, economic models distinguish direct job and indirect jobs differently. With respect to the economic models, direct jobs refer to jobs directly related to the project. For example, construction jobs for a project are often considered “direct jobs” in the economic analysis and may be credited toward the EB-5 requirement if the jobs are expected to last at least 2 years.
Any economic analysis based upon models such as IMPLAN, REMI, or REDYN must be sufficiently transparent to allow USCIS to distinguish between the model’s calculation of direct and indirect jobs. If the model used in an economic impact analysis aggregates direct and indirect jobs, the economist preparing the analysis for the regional center should demonstrate how the model’s result can be disaggregated into its direct and indirect jobs components. This may involve running the model twice: once to calculate direct effects and once to calculate the indirect and induced effects. In most cases a narrative by the economist preparing the analysis that explains how direct and indirect jobs can be derived from the aggregate job total is sufficient.
Additionally, the economist preparing the analysis for the regional center should provide the number of direct and indirect jobs created that is attributable to each of the model’s inputs. For example, differentiating the jobs created from construction expenditures from those created from the ongoing operations of the property constructed. In addition, USCIS recognizes that indirect jobs that are estimated through use of an economic model and are located outside of the geographical boundaries of a regional center may qualify if the economic methodology is reasonable.
I hope that by sharing this example, which will be included with the rest of my comments on our website, we can begin to inform you how we evaluate economic models and the steps that you can take to make the models more transparent so that an RFE can be avoided, which will obviously increase our efficiency for that particular application or petition, as well as others in line behind it.
Finally, in closing, I want to again express my appreciation for the invitation to speak to you today. I very much look forward to our dialogue in the coming months and I encourage all of you to provide us with ongoing constructive feedback with respect to how we are administering the program. We can only continue to improve the program so long as you, as our stakeholders, are willing to share your thoughts and concerns with us and we can have that open and honest dialogue I discussed at the beginning of my comments. EB-5 is not simply a government or USCIS program, it is a program of the entire EB-5 stakeholder community and it is through our combined efforts that the program provides the greatest possible benefit to the U.S. economy, job-seekers, and the immigrant entrepreneurs and investors. Thank you all for your time and attention today.

Transcript of the USCIS call – English and Mandarin

May 11th, 2014

A quick not that I did not personally do the transcription or the translation and make no claims about its accuracy…


USCIS Regulatory Changes Listening Session 移民局监管改革试听会
Angela: This call is now being recorded. [0:00:01.7 – overlap] has a question and answer session out of the call. To make a comment during that time, please press ‘star then one’. Now I’d like to turn over the meeting to Ebony Turner. You may begin.

Angela:为了更好地为您服务,本次电话正在录音。[0:00:01.7-重叠]电话过程中安排有问答环节。如需在期间发表意见,请按下*号键和1号键。现在,我想将会议交给Ebony Turner。你可以开始了。

Ebony Turner: Thank you, Angela. Hello and thank you everyone for joining today’s listening session on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Regulatory Changes. We welcome you all to the call. My name is Ebony Turner from the USCIS Public Engagement Division, and here with me today is my colleague Carlos Munoz, Community Relations Branch Chief, who will also help facilitate the event today. We are joined by Nick Colucci, the Immigrant Investor Program Office IPO Chief, and Robert Cox, the Deputy IPO Chief, as well as David Leckenby from the Office of Policy and Strategy. We also have a few colleagues from the Field Operations Directorate, the Office of Chief Counsel, and our Fraud Detection and National Security Division. Thank you all for joining us today. I’d like to take this time as well to welcome and thank the Small Business Administration for joining us.

Ebony Turner:谢谢Angela。大家好,感谢你们加入今天的EB-5投资移民项目监管改革试听会。我们欢迎各位的来电。我是Ebony Turner,来自USCIS(美国公民与移民服务局)的公众参与部门。今天与我一同参与活动的是USCIS社区关系处主任Carlos Munoz。此外,我们也欢迎投资移民项目办公室的IPO主任Nick Colucci,IPO副主任Robert Cox及来自办公室政策与策略部门的David Leckenby。在场的其他一些同事分别来自现场运作部、首席顾问办公室及欺诈检测与国家安全部门。感谢大家在今天加入我们。我想乘此机会欢迎和感谢小企业管理局的积极参与。

We have with us Doctor Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, who will give opening remarks from us in just a few minutes. Welcome Doctor Sargeant, and thank you for being here to quickly go over today’s session. First we will here from Mr. Colucci, who will briefly touch on the purpose for this listening session, and then introduce Doctor Sargeant a little bit more in detail for us, who will follow with the opening remarks. We will then move directly into the open forum to allow all of you ample time just to hear your input today.

我们身边的Winslow Sargeant博士是小企业管理局宣传办公室的首席顾问,他将做一个简短的开场致辞。好,欢迎Sargeant博士,感谢您参加今天的会议。首先,我们将有请Colucci先生简单说一下本次试听会的目,然后更详细地介绍开场致辞的Sargeant博士。然后,我们将直接开展公开座谈会,使大家有充裕的时间发表意见。

Now I know that we’re all very excited to begin, but before we do, I have just a few quick administrative reminders. First I would like to remind everyone as the operator stated, we are in listen-only mode today, however we will allow ample time for comments during the open forum. And when we do open up the lines today, we would like to remind you that we are here for the specific purpose of hearing feedback. We may ask clarifying questions on your comments, but will not respond to programmatic or case-specific questions during today’s call. If we happen to have any members of the media joining us, we ask that if you have questions at the end of today’s engagement or need additional information for on-the-record comments, please call the USCIS Press Office at (202) 272-1200. And if we happen to have any staff members of congress, please connect with the USCIS Office of Legislative Affairs for any briefing requests or case-specific matters.


I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Nick Colucci, who will begin the meeting today.

接下来将由Nick Colucci先生开始今天的会议。

Nicholas Colucci: Thank you, Ebony. Good afternoon. This is Nicholas Colucci, Chief of the Immigrant Investor Program, and I’d like to welcome all of you to our EB-5 Stakeholder Engagement to Solicit Input for Potential EB-5 Regulatory Revisions. One of the top priorities with the USCIS Immigrant Investor Program is to update the EB-5 regulations to provide a better framework for the administration of this program, and strengthen and clarify the applicable eligibility requirements. We consider this to be an essential step in improving the program, and ensuring predictability, consistency and efficiency in the processing of the EB-5 applications and petitions.

Nicholas Colucci:谢谢Ebony。下午好。我是投资移民项目主任Nicholas Colucci。欢迎大家参与我们的“关于EB-5法规修订中潜在利益相关者意见征求活动”。USCIS投资移民项目的首要任务是更新EB-5法规,旨在为本项目提供更好的管理框架,以及加强和阐释适用的资格要求。我们认为这是非常重要的一步,能够提高项目质量和确保EB-5申请和请愿书处理的可预见性、一致性和运作效率。

As many of you know, the Office of the Inspector General published a report in December of 2013 that recommended USCIS update and clarify regulations for the EB-5 program, and we concurred with that recommendation.


As mentioned in our last stakeholder engagement, the OIG report discussed recommendations for regulatory and other changes to address fraud and National Security concerns. While USCIS believes these are important concerns to be addressed to be a regulatory change to the extent permissible under existing statutory authority, USCIS is taking a comprehensive approach [0:03:56.3 – tape cut out] considering a range of changes. The goal of the revised regulations will be to improve the EB-5 program by clarifying substantive eligibility requirements and establishing consistent procedural filing requirements for program efficiency and predictability while also enhancing program integrity.


Consistent with executive order 13563, the purpose of this engagement is to solicit the views of those who are likely to be affected by regulatory changes to the EB-5 program, our stakeholders, we are seeking input through a variety of methods such as this teleconference and the USCIS IDF community. The USCIS IDF community is a crowdsourcing tool that allows individuals from the public to post ideas on a particular topic. At the end of this teleconference, we will provide more details regarding the use of the USCIS idea community tool.

本次活动符合13563号行政命令的主旨,面向可能受到EB-5项目监管改革影响的利益相关者征求意见。我们为此采取的方法包括举行电话会议和联系USCIS IDF社区。USCIS IDF社区是一种众包工具,可使公众人士就特定主题发表意见。在本次电话会议结束后,我们将提供有关使用USCIS创意社区工具的详细信息。

We’d like to emphasize that USCIS is using the idea community tool in addition to other methods of soliciting public comment such as notice and comment rule-making. Please note that final implementation of regulatory changes may only [0:05:02.0 – inaudible] of a final rule published in the Federal Register. Card regulations will remain in effect until the effective date of a final rule.


We are eager to hear your ideas during this teleconference, however we will not be taking questions regarding the program or any case-specific discussions at this engagement. We will also not be commenting on any of your proposals. [0:05:21.3 – tape cut out] question, but in most instances we will simply thank you for your contribution.


Finally, we are not seeking any group or consensus advice, but only individual thoughts and feedback on potential regulatory revisions. As previously stated, this engagement is our opportunity to listen to you, to your input on changes that could be made to the EB-5 regulations and guidance to improve the program’s integrity, efficiency, predictability and consistency.


Before we get started, I’d like to introduce Doctor Winslow Sargeant, who is the Chief Counsel for Advocacy within the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. As background, the Office of Advocacy is an independent voice for small businesses within the Federal Government with a mission of encouraging policies that support small business startup, growth and development. As many of you are aware, the SBA plays an important role in providing small businesses an opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns regarding among other things, future regulatory changes. We are very happy to have the SBA here today as we reach out to our stakeholders, including small businesses who are involved in the EB-5 program. It is now my pleasure to introduce Doctor Sargeant.

在我们开始会议之前,我首先要介绍Winslow Sargeant博士。他是小企业管理局(SBA)宣传办公室的首席顾问。宣传办公室是在联邦政府内部维护小企业利益的独立机构,旨在鼓励执行有助于小企业创立、成长和发展的各项政策。正如大家了解的那样,SBA的重要性在于为小企业提供了表达心声的机会,使其能够对监管改革和其它事项发表意见和看法。我们很高兴SBA能够参加今天的活动,与我们一同接触众多的利益相关者,这其中包括参与EB-5项目的一些小企业。现在,我很荣幸地介绍Sargeant博士来为大家讲解。

Dr. Winslow Sargeant: Good afternoon. Nick, thank you for that introduction. As was mentioned, I am Doctor Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for the SBA Office of Advocacy. The Office of Advocacy is an independent office within the executive branch. We represent small businesses before congress, the White House and federal agencies. Part of our mission is to participate in the rule-making process. We work with agencies as they write regulations, and we work with the public after a regulation is proposed to highlight the small business impact of that regulation.

Winslow Sargeant博士:下午好。Nick,谢谢你的介绍。大家好,我是Winslow Sargeant博士,是SBA宣传办公室的首席顾问。宣传办公室是行政部门内的独立机构。在美国国会、白宫和联邦机构面前,我们代表小企业的利益。我们的任务之一就是参与制定规则的过程。我们与起草法规的那些机构一同工作,并在法规提出之后与公众合作,以突出小企业对该项法规的影响力。

In my prior life, I was a small business owner of a technology company, and I understand the regulatory burden that small businesses face. I also understand the important issue of accessing capital. This brings me to today’s discussion.


First and foremost, I want to applaud USCIS for planning to do a rule-making for this important program, and for reaching out to deregulated community very early in the process. The EB-5 program has hit a few bumps in the road, but it is a program that has great potential because it can create investments and new jobs here in [0:07:59.6 – tape cut out]. I hope with your feedback, [0:08:04.0 – tape cut out] advocacy can be a strong representative for small businesses during the rule-making process. We need to know how many small businesses are utilizing the [0:08:15.1 – tape cut out] EB-5 program to gain capital, and what are the best practices, and what are the barriers they are facing? We need to make sure that the new rules provide better clarity, transparency and predictability for both investors and for businesses that seek to obtain EB-5 Visas.

首先,我要鼓掌称赞USCIS计划为重要的移民项目制定规则,以及在运作的早期就已接触被放松管制的社区。EB-5项目的执行过程并非一帆风顺,但该项目具有很大的潜力,能够为[0:07:59.6-胶带剪出] 带来投资和创造出新的就业机会。我希望在听取你们的反馈意见后,[0:08:04.0-胶带剪出] 宣传可以在规则制定过程中成为小企业的有力代表。我们需要知道有多少小企业通过[0:08:15.1-胶带剪出]EB-5项目获取资金,哪些做法最佳以及这些企业面临着怎样的难题?我们需要确保新规则能够为期望取得EB-5签证的投资者和企业,提供更佳的明确度、透明度和可预见性。

USCIS also needs to include metrics for success to make sure that such a valuable program is meeting its benchmarks and establishing [0:08:51.4 – inaudible] fraud. I along with my staff look forward to working with USCIS to make the EB-5 program renowned for its achievements in U.S. investments and job creation. Please feel free to reach out to our office. We must hear your concerns to be your voice here in Washington, D.C. Thank you.


Ebony: Thank you very much Doctor Sargeant for your remarks and helping us to start off today’s forum today. We appreciate that. Operator, in just a few seconds we will begin taking our first comments, and I’d like to thank Nick as well for your remarks.


But before we begin, again just a couple of reminders for everyone on the phone. For the members of the media, we ask for any questions or undirected comments, please call the Press Office at (202) 272-1200, and for any staff or members of Congress, please connect with the USCIS Office of Legislative Affairs.


We want to remind you again that we are excited about hearing your input today, and looking for your feedback and comments, but we will not be responding to questions programmatically or case specific on today’s call. So with that being said, we look forward to your feedback. Operator, we will now take the first comment.


Angela: Thank you. As a reminder, if you’d like to make a comment, please press ‘star one’. Our fist comment comes from Angelo Paparelli with Seyfarth Shaw. Angela:谢谢。我在此提醒您,如果您想留言,请按下*号键和1号键。我们的第一通来电来自Seyfarth Shaw公司的Angelo Paparelli。

Angelo Paparelli: Yes, I had two suggestions for regulatory changes. One is that unfortunately at present, USCIS does not allow representation by parties with a legal interest in the EB-5 context. This is not unique to EB-5, but it especially critical in the EB-5 arena because there are distinct interests, legal interests to protect, and the right of representation is critical to that. Hence, in an I-924 – Request for Regional Center Designation, an investor has no voice and no right to counsel. In an I-526 or in an I-829, the Initial Petition and the Petition to Remove Condition, the regional center has no voice and no right of representation. And it’s my view that USCIS perpetuates conflict of interest by not allowing distinct legal interest to be separately represented by counsel. That is my first comment.

Angelo Paparelli:是的,关于监管改革,我有两点建议。第一点,目前让人遗憾的是,USCIS不允许在EB-5项目中保有合法权益的参与方来代表。虽然这并非仅限于EB-5项目,但在EB-5相关领域至关重要。因为我们有需要保护的不同利益和合法权益,而代表权则是关键。因此,在I-924—区域中心指定申请中,投资者并没有发言权和律师帮助权。在I-526或I-829项目中,对于初次请愿和去除条件式申请,区域中心没有发言权和代表性。我认为,USCIS不允许律师单独代表不同的合法权益持续引起了利益冲突。这是我的第一点看法。

My second comment deals with the concept of the corporate reorganization qualifying as a commercial enterprise under the regulations as they now exist, and under Matter of Izummi. I believe that regulation which seems to suggest that a change of business model, for example going from a restaurant to a bar/restaurant or a night club restaurant, is the only kind of corporate reorganization that’s allowed. And it is my view that that is inconsistent with corporate law, which suggests that there are many forms of corporate reorganizations that should be recognized, and in many ways that a new legal entity could be created as a result of a corporate restructuring or corporate reorganization, and I think the new rule should overrule that portion of Izummi, and should rule instead or have a regulation instead that comports more closely with corporate law.


I have actually one last one, and that is that USCIS should recognize as it does with limited partners, that limited liability companies can have immigrant investors participate expressly and still be deemed to be actively involved in the management of the organization or in an officer position in the organization. Those are my comments.


Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing your comments today. We appreciate you calling in. Operator, we are ready for the next comment.

Angela: Next comment comes from Edward Beshara with Beshara P.A. Angela:下一位是来自Beshara P.A.公司的Edward Beshara。

Edward Beshara: Hello. Thank you for having us on the phone today. My team here are very excited about these stakeholders’ meetings, so thank you again.

Edward Beshara:你们好。谢谢你们让我们参与今天的电话会议。我的团队非常热衷于这些利益相关者会议,所以我要在此再次感谢你们。

We practice EB-5 extensively, and we have a lot of clients that are always concerned about predictability and the speed of 526 processing and the 924 applications, etc. And I know that for a number of years now, we have been talking about predictability, about clarity and the fact that we can’t have predictability without clarity of the rules, regulations and policies. And I believe that one of the ways that we can really achieve that very, very quickly is by having some type of premium processing. I believe that most project principals, regional centers, even the investors are willing to pay extra filing fees, premium processing fees, I know that we are very familiar with premium processing fees in other immigration areas. And I think that the EB-5 practice area is ready for premium processing fees because number one, it would probably allow the USCIS to increase staff, to be able to add more professionals, whether they’re business plan professionals, economists, security attorneys, business analysts, etc. to the USCIS team for faster adjudication. I think that if we know that we can prepare a 924 application for preapproval of a EB-5 project and obtain a very quick response, well then we now have a project that has been preapproved an example of 526 petition, preapproved. And when we start then following that 526 petition, we know that there would be difference given to the project part of those 526 petitions which would then allow the USCIS to really concentrate on the authentication of source of funds so that the 526 processing can of course definitely be expedited, and with the additional premium processing for expedited 526 processing. Again, extra staff by the USCIS could help that process as well. So I think that for the benefit of the economy, for the benefit of the viability of these EB-5 projects, I think speed is essential. Everyone in this area is willing to pay the higher processing premium fees. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that whatever the USCIS would say “This is what the fee is going to be”, they’re willing to pay it because we are dealing with projects that will depend on the predictability of the approval of the project as well as the investors petitions being approved in a very timely manner. So I think that yes, we are working towards clarity and predictability, but I think that one of the best solutions that the USCIS could come up with right now is fast, premium processing, quicker processing of the 924’s and the 526’s. So thank you, and we welcome these stakeholders meetings very much. Thank you again.


Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing comments. We do appreciate the opportunity to engage with you as well, and hear about your experience with the program. So thank you again for calling and sharing your comments today. Operator, we’re ready for the next caller.


Angela: Next comment comes from Marty Cummins with Florida EB-5 Investments. Angela:下一位是来自Florida EB-5 Investments公司的Marty Cummins。

Marty Cummins: Thank you very much. I would first of all like to encourage that what we are seeing in D.C. continues, that is communications by phone and email with regional centers and I-526 applicants. I hope this will continue to be expanded because it has resolved the systemic problems we’ve had for years regarding things that were taking place in California. And on that issue, in the meantime while we’re waiting for those communications to occur, once an I-526 is approved, we’ve been assured that others contain the same documents. The business plan will be given deference, and it’s the same issues that were resolved in that I-526 will not be raised again, and that these later I-526’s contain the same business plans, and documents will be quickly adjudicated. However, there are scores of examples of an initial 526 are still being approved, and then there’s nothing heard from USCIS for over a year, sometimes 18 months. And then when those additional 526’s that contain all the same information other than about the investor are adjudicated, they renew our fees with new questions that were ever even raised in the first one. And I would encourage that USCIS get to the bottom of this because this really is debilitating and destructive of the EB-5 program, and probably the biggest problem we’ve seen among many regional centers, which leads me to a question. If a 526 has been approved in California, will all 526’s from that business in the future be adjudicated in California, or are they shifted to the Washington office now, which is apparently communicating a bit better?

Marty Cummins:非常感谢。首先我要鼓励在华盛顿继续举行这样的会议,使区域中心与I-526申请者之间能够通过电话和电子邮件进行交流。我希望将继续扩大通讯的规模,因为这解决了我们多年来在加州一直备受困扰的系统性问题。在这个问题上,就在我们等待这些通讯开展的同时,一旦I-526申请获批,我们就可确信其它申请也涵盖了相同的文件。相应的商业计划将得到执行,而I-526申请中已经解决的问题将不会被再次提出,并且后来的I-526申请中涵盖的相同商业计划和文件将很快通过审查。然而,有时最初的526申请会仍处于审批阶段,并且USCIS在1年多甚至18个月内都无法做出回复。当那些涵盖所有相同信息(投资者信息除外)的526申请最终通过审查后,他们又会提出最初申请中已经涉及的所谓新问题,并为此向我们继续收费。我真心希望USCIS能够查明事实,因为上述做法给EB-5项目造成了负面影响和破坏性,并可能是我们在许多区域中心遇到的最大问题,这不禁使我产生疑问。如果526申请已在加州获批,那么同一家公司将来的所有526申请都要在加州通过审查吗?或是这些申请会被转移到信息交流显然更好一些的华盛顿办公室呢?

Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing those comments. Again, I just would like to remind everyone that unfortunately today, we are not addressing any case-specific questions, but we do want to make sure your question is answered. So please send that to our public engagement mailbox; and we’ll be sure to follow up and get your question to the right person so it is addressed. But I do thank you for your comments today. Operator, we’re ready for the next caller.


Angela: Next comment comes from Rebecca Lozano with BankUnited.

Angela:下一位是来自BankUnited公司的Rebecca Lozano。

Rebecca Lozano: Hi. My comment is a component of a successful EB-5 program, includes as a banking arm. I would recommend that USCIS work with the OCC in educating them in EB-5. It’s critical that they understand it so that when they come into the bank to audit the files, they know what they are auditing. It’s my understanding that some of the OCC have never even heard of EB-5, maybe there could even be a committee or something to put into policies and procedures in place.

Rebecca Lozano:你好。我要谈的是一个成功的EB-5项目的组成部分,其中包括银行部门。我建议USCIS与OCC(货币监理署)合作,以便让他们了解EB-5项目。这一点非常重要。这样当他们到银行审核相关文件时,就会知道在审核什么项目。据我了解,有些OCC工作人员甚至从没有听说过EB-5项目,也许应该设立一个委员会或是其它机构,将EB-5项目写入各项政策和程序当中。

Ebony: Thank you. We appreciate you sharing those comments on the bank’s perspective. It’s good to hear different experiences, and we thank you for sharing that comment today. Operator, we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:谢谢。我们感谢您分享了关于银行的一些看法。能够了解不同的行业经验的确不错,我们感谢您在此分享宝贵意见。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

Angela: Next comment comes from Tiffany Ho, who’s a lawyer.

Angela:下一位是来自Tiffany Ho,他是一名律师。

Tiffany Ho: Hello? Tiffany Ho:喂?

Ebony: Yes, your line is open. Ebony:您好,您的电话已经接通。

Tiffany: Actually I’m a paralegal calling from a law firm. My name is Tiffany Ho. My question is with the…

Tiffany:事实上,我只是一家律师事务所的一名律师助理。我是Tiffany Ho。我的问题是关于……

Ebony: I’m sorry. Could you please speak up or move closer to the mic so we can hear your comments? Ebony:抱歉。能否请您大声点或是靠近麦克风,以便我们能够听清楚您的意见?

Tiffany: Okay, sorry about that. Can you hear me better now? Tiffany:好的,抱歉。现在清楚些了吗?

Ebony: Yes we can. Ebony:是的,我们能听清楚。

Tiffany: Hi. My name is Tiffany Ho. I’m actually a paralegal working at a law firm, and my question is regarding the currently published [0:20:43.6 – tape cut out] processing time for the I-526 petition, and while we are very excited to see that the processing time since the relocation of the Immigrant Investor Program has been relocated to D.C., and it has dropped from the average 22 months to right now at around 10 months. So my comment would be that we would like to continue seeing that decreased processing time.

Tiffany:你们好。我是Tiffany Ho,实际上是一家律师事务所的律师助理。我的问题是关于目前公布[0:20:43.6-胶带剪出]的I-526请愿书处理时间。自从投资移民项目办公室搬到华盛顿之后,我们就很开心地了解到,处理时间已经从一般的22个月缩短到现在的约10个月。所以我要说的是,我们希望看到处理时间能够持续缩短。

Ebony: Thank you. We appreciate that feedback.


Tiffany: Thanks. Tiffany:谢谢。

Ebony: We’re ready for the next comment.


Angela: Next comment comes from Gordon Quan with FosterQuan.

Angela:下一位是来自FosterQuan公司的Gordon Quan。

Gordon Quan: Thank you. I wanted to comment also about the delay and the confusion that often ensues as a case is pending, and people come in and out of the country possibly on B1 Visas. As you know, they need to be involved in the process, especially with the direct investment. Is there any consideration for possibly concurrent filing, whereby they can get a work permit and a travel permit so they can actually pursue their EB-5 application here in the United States? This has been an issue with some of our individuals who have businesses overseas, they don’t know whether to go back, stay here, if they’ll be allowed re-entry. So that’s a concern that I’ve seen often times.

Gordon Quan:谢谢。我也想谈一下因为申请未决而引起的延迟和混乱,以及可能依靠B1签证频繁出入国境的人们。你知道,这些人需要参与到申请过程中,尤其是有关直接投资的申请过程。是否存在有关同步申请的一些问题,即他们可借此获得工作证和旅行证,以便能够在美国申请EB-5项目?在我们这样拥有海外业务的群体中,一些人总是不确定是否应该回去,还是在准许重新入境的条件下选择留在这里。这是我经常见到的一大问题。

The second thing I’d like to just mention is, and this came up at a discussion recently regarding a fee for recertification of a regional center. As you know, there are about 400 regional centers right now. Many are not active. Talking with some of the developers of the regional centers, those that are active appear to be willing to pay a fairly substantial recertification fee to ensure the integrity of the program to pay for investigators to go out just as we’ve seen with the H-1B Visas. So those are two comments I’d like to make for consideration as you look at regulations. Thank you.


Ebony: Thank you. Operator, we’re ready for the next comment.


Angela: This comment comes from [Zoey Maxis with New Life Senior Wildlife Center – sp].

Angela:下一位是来自[新生活高级野生动物保护中心的Zoey Maxis—sp]。

Zoey Maxis: Hi. Thank you for the opportunity. I’d like to applaud USCIS to identify fraud and the bills is an issue facing EB-5 industry. I deal with the investors on daily basis, and I feel that the truth about promoting EB-5 investment is almost like money talks, and misrepresentation sells. And based on that, I would like to make some suggestions. Number one is, the regional centers should be liable for any misrepresentations made by overseas brokers because regional centers are ultimately the beneficiary of business misrepresentation. The regional centers should monitoring other marketing activities by the brokers and keep copies of any marketing material used by those brokers. Only this way, there will be able to stop all the misrepresentation, and the regional center will stop turning a blind eye to such a practice. I think many of them, the most common false claims in the field is the EB-5 use as managing financing, actually had the first [0:24:33.1 – inaudible] edition in the project, and it will be paid before bank loans. And I think those false claims will banish the credibility of EB-5 programs, and the investment will hurt the confidence of the EB-5 investors.

Zoey Maxis:你们好。感谢你们给我这个机会。我赞赏USCIS识别欺诈行为的做法,相关法案都是针对EB-5行业提出。我每天都会接触到许多投资者,我觉得促进EB-5投资的真相几乎就等同于金钱万能和误传当道。为此,我想提出一些建议。首先,区域中心应该为海外经纪商做出的任何虚假陈述承担责任,因为区域中心是企业失实陈述的最终受益人。区域中心应该监测经纪商的其它市场营销活动,并备份他们用过的所有营销材料。只有这样,才能阻止所有的失实陈述,区域中心才不会对这样的做法视而不见。我想很多情况下,该领域最常见的失实陈述就是将EB-5作为融资管理的途径,建立起项目中的第一份[0:24:33.1-听不清] ,这会在取得银行贷款之前付清。我认为,那些失实陈述会降低EB-5项目的可信性,这样的投资会打击EB-5投资者的信心。

Another issue I would like to raise is the right of limited, partners in the company. There’s a few incidents that after the EB-5 investors filed their I-526, the general partner will force them to sign new documents, change the investments against their interests. I think that’s an issue that the SEC or USCIS should look into it.

我想提的另一个问题与公司有限合伙人的权利有关。在某些情况下,EB-5投资者提交I-526申请后,普通合伙人会迫使他们签署新的文件,违背他们的利益来更改投资内容。我认为SEC(美国证券交易委员会)或USCIS 应该调查此事。

And also, I feel there’s a very difficult for EB-5 investors to do diligent regarding the regional centers of projects, and I just wonder, and I hope USCIS can release the data collect through the I-924A forms about the performance of the regional centers.


And also through the form D, the filing required by SEC. In this way, the investors can do diligent work, see the track record of the EB-5 regional centers, and the project that they had pre-handled.


My other question is regarding the construction job explanation through construction expenditure. What’s the difference in how those expenditures calculated? For example, the construction expenditure over two years basically counted jobs creating each year separately, but the job explanation by the operating expenditure actually can now be accumulatively. So I think that’s an issue that it cause of a concern. How much construction job explanation can be counted? How much actually can be accounted through the operating expenditure. I hope the USCIS can clarify those job estimation models.


Thank you for the opportunity. 感谢你们给我这个机会。

Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing your comments. We appreciate it. And operator, we are ready for the next comment.


Angela: As a reminder, to make a comment please press ‘star one’. Our next comment comes from Mohammed Shaikh with

Angela:请记住,如需发表意见,请按下*号键和1号键。下一位是来自smartbusinessbroker.com的Shaikh Mohammed。

Mohammed Shaikh: Hello. Good afternoon, and thank you for letting me speak. I had a few questions and [0:27:10.8 – inaudible]. Number one is that I heard one of your speakers request premium processing, and I personally would say it should not be encouraged at least until all the avenues for fraud have been significantly eliminated. Right now, I can tell you from personal experience, everything the regional center [0:27:32.5 – inaudible] has attempted to go ahead and legally offer [0:27:37.0 – inaudible] securities overseas. I’ll give you an example for China. That is the biggest market. Chinese law requires that any offering of securities be preapproved by the CSRC, which is the China Securities Regulatory Commission. And I can tell you, you can order everything a regional center that is overseas securities in China, none of them have obtained approval from USCIS or from SCC or from CSRC. Over the years, they are relying on the [0:28:06.6 – inaudible] of into overseas, and the rest is under regulation S. But the problem is they’re [0:28:13.2 – inaudible] securities laws overseas, and not only are they [0:28:16.5 – inaudible] laws overseas, but by failing to disclose those securities violations, they’re also committing securities fraud overseas, and [0:28:24.8 – inaudible] rewarding them by helping them raise funds instead of going out and cracking down on the regional centers for securities fraud and securities violations. So I mean, I listen until USCIS can get affirmative evidence that look, the [0:28:43.1 – inaudible] center is actually lawfully offering and selling securities overseas, they should not even think about giving approvals to them, and they should actually prosecute them securities fraud because you will see securities fraud [0:28:56.0 – inaudible] overseas, the U.S. may still have not only [0:29:00.3 – inaudible], but he also has the jurisdiction to prosecute over here because one of the [0:29:05.7 – inaudible] which is basically the receiving party, the fundraising party is based out in the U.S., so that is number one.

Mohammed Shaikh:你们好。下午好,谢谢你们给我这个发言机会。我有几个问题,[0:27:10.8-听不清]。首先,我听到之前的一位发言人要求加急审查,至少我个人认为在明显消除所有的欺诈方式之前,不应该鼓励这种做法。根据个人经验,我可以说区域中心[0:27:32.5-听不清]试图推进所有工作,以及依法发行[0:27:37.0-听不清]海外证券。我来举个中国的例子。中国是最大的市场。该国法律规定发行任何证券都必须获得CSRC(中国证券监督管理委员会)的事先批准。而且我可以告诉你,你可以在区域中心订购中国的任何海外证券,但这些证券都没有获得USCIS、SCC 或CSRC的批准。多年来,他们一直依靠海外[0:28:06.6-听不清],其余的处于S条例监管之下。但问题在于,他们[0:28:13.2-听不清]海外证券法,他们不仅[0:28:16.5-听不清]海外法律,而且并未披露这些证券违法行为,他们也在海外从事证券欺诈活动,[0:28:24.8-听不清]通过帮他们筹集资金的方式给予他们奖励,而不是出去打击区域中心的证券欺诈和证券违法行为。所以,我的意思是,USCIS应该取得确定性的证据,表明[0:28:43.1-听不清]中心真的是依法发行和销售海外证券,否则甚至都不应考虑使他们通过审批,而是应该控告他们的证券欺诈行为,因为你会看到证券欺诈[0:28:56.0-听不清]海外,美国仍可能不仅[0:29:00.3-听不清],还具有控告的司法管辖权。因为[0:29:05.7-听不清]之一基本上是收款方,而筹款方在美国。这是第一点。

Number two is that the source documentation for 526’s are usually not modified by the source and covered by the same entity. So for instance, somebody comes up with fake tax returns and fake bank accounts, to my knowledge USCIS does not independently go ahead and notify that these are generally not with the issuing bank or with the issuing tax authority, and these are centers who have laundered several billion dollars. [0:29:43.4 – inaudible] of two million or five million or ten million. They loaned out billions of dollars. And with it is just simply because most of the actors are particularly connected, whether it is [0:29:55.0 – inaudible] or a whole bunch of senators and even…


Ebony: We thank you [0:30:05.0 – inaudible]. We do thank you for calling in today.


Mohammed: Hello, I have two more things.


Ebony: We will allow you to make one more comment, but we have a lot of callers on the call that we’d like to…


Mohammed: Okay, no problems. And one last solution is that as far as the [0:30:21.2 – inaudible] goes, everybody should be playing on the same level field. If [0:30:26.0 – inaudible] jobs are only counted as direct jobs and non-direct jobs, the Visa center should not have an unfair advantage. They’re not only legally [0:30:35.2 – inaudible], but also they get to go out and count on internet job creation where there’s occasional advancements that are coming out of direct advancements. They don’t get to count in direct jobs. So I think we should have a level playing field where everybody gets to have the same [0:30:52.8 – inaudible] applied to them as opposed to one set of [0:30:54.8 – inaudible] regional centers, and another set of [0:30:58.7 – inaudible] at all. Thank you.


Ebony: Thank you very much. And operator…


Angela: [0:31:07.4 – tape cut out] Rabbani with Rabbani Associates.

Angela:[0:31:07.4-胶带剪出]来自Rabbani Associates公司的Rabbani。
Ebony: Your line is open. [Pause] Do we still have her with us? If not, we will take the next caller.

Angela: Next comment comes from George Bailey with Gateway to the Midwest.

Angela:下一位是来自Gateway to the Midwest公司的George Bailey。

George Bailey: Yea, my comment has to do with the expansion of regional center boundaries through continuous counties. It would be great to see some clarification on how that is to be done. One of the issues that I’ve thought about that could come up that would be really negative for counties we wish to expand, we have a project in a contiguous county, we try to file for an expansion at the same time that we’re doing the I-526’s for that project. We have the investors, but the investors because they’d be uncertain as to whether we’ve actually got permission to expand our boundaries, but actually be deterred from our project. And so there may need to be some sort of a preliminary phase in which a regional center can ask for an expansion before it goes through with marketing a project. Maybe it could show that it is more likely than not that it has a project in that expanded boundary, that way you could get the permission first, so that when you go to market, you’re able to say with certainty “We already have permission from USCIS to be able to operate within this boundary”. Otherwise expansion of boundaries would just become too difficult.

George Bailey:嗯,我的意见与区域中心界限通过连续的郡县不断扩张有关。要是有人能够说明这是如何运作的就好了。我考虑过,对于我们希望扩张区域中心的那些郡县,可能带来真正负面影响的问题之一,就是当我们已在某个连续的郡县设立项目时,我们同时会试图为该项目的I-526申请扩张。我们拥有众多投资者,但他们可能不确定我们是否已经取得扩张边界的许可,这实际上会使他们对我们的项目望而却步。因此可能需要某种形式的初步阶段,使区域中心可在推广项目之前提出扩张要求。多半可以为设在扩张边界的项目事先获得许可,这样当你进行推广时,就可以肯定地说,“我们已经从USCIS获得许可,能够在此边界范围内运作。”不然的话,扩张边界只会变得太难。

Ebony: Thank you very much. Did that complete your comment?


George: Yea, I just wanted to thank you for putting this together.


Ebony: Thank you. And operator, we’re ready for the next comment.


Angela: Next comment comes from Kraig Schwigen with CMB Regional Centers.

Angela:下一位是来自CMB区域中心的Kraig Schwigen。

Kraig Schwigen: Hi. First thing I’d like to do is to make a couple of ‘thank you’s’; one to the USCIS for hosting the event. The other one is to the gentleman from FosterQuan. It seems to be echoing sentiments that CMB has expressed for years. I come from a long law enforcement background. I actually did that for in excess of 20 years and believed that the only way that the USCIS is going to be able to combat fraud and abuse is to be able to sort of implement a yearly fee on regional centers. As someone that operates a number of regional centers, I know this would be a significant financial impact on us, but I believe to maintain integrity in the program and develop investor confidence in the program. I think we’re going to have to improve the oversight and regulation. So one of the things that CMB has suggested for years is the implementation of a yearly fee, tie it now to the I-924. It’s a way of increasing oversight in regulation of the program, and also to sort of week out regional centers that are inactive. So again what I’d like to do is to thank the USCIS for the opportunity to I guess get our views on a bigger format, or a bigger platform and hopefully that we can improve the integrity of the program. Thanks very much.

Kraig Schwigen:你好。首先我要感谢“很多人”。感谢USCIS举办这次活动,也感谢来自FosterQuan的那位先生。似乎已经道出了CMB多年以来的心声。我具有很长时间的法律执行背景。事实上,我在20多年来一直从事与法律相关的工作,并且认为USCIS能够打击欺诈和滥用职权的唯一方法,就是开始对区域中心收取年费。作为运营多家区域中心的人员,我知道这将给我们带来显著的财务影响,但我相信这将有助于确保项目的完整性和增强投资者对项目的信心。我认为,我们必须加大监督和管理力度。多年来,CMB一直建议执行年费政策,将其与I-924申请绑定。这是加强项目监管的一种方式,同时也会在一定程度上减少那些不活跃的区域中心。我要再次感谢USCIS使我们有机会以更大的规模,或是我猜想是在更大的平台上发表意见,希望我们能够帮助提高项目的完整性。非常感谢。

Ebony: Thank you for calling in and sharing your comments. Operator, we’re ready for the next caller.


Angela: Next comment comes from Irina Rostova with Rostova Law Group.

Angela:下一位是来自Rostova Law Group 的Irina Rostova。

Irina Rostova: Hello? Irina Rostova:喂?

Ebony: Yes, your line is open.


Irina: Hi. Thank you for opening my mic. I wanted to make a comment regarding premium processing. I wanted to bring up the fact that it is not just the investors who would like to see more premium processing, but actually for policy reasons it’s good to have because with longer processing times, what happens is we frequently end up funding projects. We don’t actually want from the EB-5 program. Let me explain what I mean. With the processing times of 12 to 18 months, many regional centers cannot hold the funds in escrow until approval, so they put the funds into the project. If ultimately the project is denied by USCIS, the funds are already committed, and many investors don’t have an option of taking the funds out and placing them into a project that we really want to see a job generating [0:35:50.7 – tape cut out] project. So just once of having premium processing, which of course most EB-5 applicants will be willing and able to pay for, and I think it’s going to help us really fulfill the purpose of the program of creating this job generating project.


A second quick comment is to possibly think of some sort of government educational system that maybe information can be distributed through consulates or through the government website because I do see a lot of fraud that happens way before. It doesn’t happen through legitimate regional centers, but investors invest in these companies who are not registered regional centers who claim to be, simply because most investors and most foreigners hear about this program, not from USCIS, and not from government websites, but they hear about it from individuals. So they’re not aware of simple facts like the fact that all regional centers who have been approved are listed in the government site. So maybe if we can have some sort of public outreach information that can be distributed to consulates. You know, that just gives a basic list for investors to things to look for. First like verifying that the regional center is a legitimate registered and approved regional center. Being able to get the contact information through the USCIS website instead of just third party sources. And you know, just basic things like that, to prevent some fraud. Thank you very much.

第二点就是,可以建立某些政府教育系统,使信息能够通过领事馆或政府网站发布出来,因为我确实见到过以前发生的许多欺诈事件。这些事情不会在合法的区域中心发生,但投资者会对一些自称已是注册区域中心的公司进行投资,可这些公司事实上并未注册。多数此类投资者和外国人并不是从USCIS或政府网站了解投资项目,他们的信息来源只是一些个人。所以,他们并不知道一个简单的事实,那就是所有获批的区域中心都会在政府网站公布。因此,假设我们也能将某些公众宣传信息传达到领事馆。你知道,这就可以为投资者提供能够参考的基本信息列表。例如,首先验证某处区域中心是否已经合法注册和获得批准。他们也能够通过USCIS 网站,而不只是第三方渠道来获得联系信息。你也知道,就是依靠这些基本信息就可以防止一些欺诈行为。非常感谢。

Ebony: We thank you. And operator, our next caller please.


Angela: Next comment comes Tammy Fox with AILA.

Angela:下一位是来自AILA公司的Tammy Fox。

Tammy Fox: Hi, this is Tammy Fox-Isicoff. I think that the USCIS should publish statistics for regional centers on what projects have so many approved 526’s, so many denials, so many approved 829’s, so many denials. That would certainly enable investors to conduct more due diligence, especially when they’re looking at a regional center for a track record.

Tammy Fox:你们,我是Tammy Fox-Isicoff。我认为,USCIS应该公布区域中心的项目统计资料,显示相应的526申请获批数量和被拒数量,以及829申请的获批数量和被拒数量。这无疑会使投资者进行更多的尽职调查,他们在寻找区域中心的跟踪记录时更是如此。

Also, USCIS needs some regulations for direct investors. For example, 40% increase of net worth or number of employees. Does that mean from the actual date of the acquisition of the business, the last quarter of the business, the last year of the business? The number of employees can change rapidly when a business is going to be sold. So from what date are we talking about? There’s really no guidance now when somebody acquires assets from an existing business. What factors are going to be looked at to determine whether or not it’s a new commercial enterprise? It’s really a catch–as–catch–can and it shouldn’t be.


Whether or not reinvestment by a sole proprietor qualifies as an investment of the actual sole proprietor’s money, there’s some decisions out there that say it has to be taxed money before it’s reinvested to qualify. Other cases say that it doesn’t have to be because it is an individual’s money in any event.


And also on the salary an investor can make from a direct investment so that it’s not considered a return on the investment. You know, what factors need to be regulated to, need to be explained in the regulations regarding an investor’s salary. Thank you.


Ebony: Thank you very much for your comments. Operator, next caller please. Ebony:非常感谢您在此分享宝贵意见。接线员,请接通下一位。

Angela: Next comment comes from Matt Galati with Klasko Law. [0:39:36.3 – inaudible]

Angela:下一位是来自Klasko Law 的Matt Galati。[0:39:36.3-听不清]

Matt Galati: Oh, yes. My question has, or my suggestion has to do with denied 829’s. So INA 216A provides that an investor whose conditional residency removal application is denied, may reseek review in immigration court, and as of the associated regulation forbidding an appeal, and that thing, jurisdiction exclusively with immigration court. Unfortunately though, EYR is so backlogged. It could be many years before the investor is able to get an individual calendar hearing. So I’m wondering if ACFR 216.62 could be amended to allow for a concurrent jurisdiction with USCIS for perhaps a motion to reopen, or maybe even an appeal in the case of an 829 is denied.

MattGalati:哦,你好。我的问题或者说建议与被拒的829申请有关。INA 第216A条规定,投资者在去除居留条件的申请被拒后,可在移民法院寻找重新审查的方法,并且在相关法规禁止上诉之后,这些事务就交由移民法院专门管辖。但遗憾的是,EYR过度积压。投资者可能需要经过多年以后。才能获得单独安排听证的机会。我在想,能否修订ACFR 216.62条例,以便在829申请被拒的情况下,使USCIS可通过共同管辖权对其重新处理或是使其提出上诉。

Ebony: We appreciate the comment. Thank you for calling in. Operator, we’re ready for the next comment.


Angela: As a reminder, to make a comment please press ‘star one’. Next comment comes from Robert Divine with Baker Donelson.

Angela:我要在此提醒您,如果您需要发表意见,请按下*号键和1号键。下一位是来自Baker Donelson的Robert Divine。

Robert Divine: Yes, I would make a couple of suggestions. One is to make a regulation that allows an investor to cure a problem with the documents such as is discussed in the Matter of Izummi. You know, the rules are just not clear enough about what is a redemption and a reserve and other kinds of things that could trigger a denial under Matter of Izummi, and the government’s position that emanates from that case is unfairly burdensome to party to clouding good taste with otherwise qualifying documents, and there should be a regulation that allows a correction without a denial and a rezone.

Robert Divine:是的,我想提一些建议。其中一条建议就是制定条例,使投资者可以利用《Izummi事项》涉及的文件来解决问题。你知道,对于可能导致根据《Izummi事项》拒绝申请的赎回、储备及其它事务,相关规则的内容并不够明确,并且政府立场也会对申请方准备合格文件造成不必要的负担,同时也应设立监管条例,允许无需拒绝申请和重新划分即可进行修正。

And the other is that the agency should consider allowing individual investors to file a standalone. Filing should have their source of funds adjudicated. For instance, if they were to place the funds in a U.S. bank account and demonstrate the source’s funds apart from a petition based on interests who are interested to learn whether their funds are good, and would not have to commit their funds to a prospect only later to find out that their source of funds could not be petitioned for taxes.


Ebony: I’m sorry, we’re having just a bit of trouble hearing you due to feedback.


Robert: Alright. Did you hear the first question or suggestion? Robert:好吧。你们听清我的第一个问题或建议了吗?
Ebony: We can hear you clear now. Thank you.


Robert: Did you hear the first suggestion?


Ebony: Yes we did. Ebony:是的,我们听清了。

Robert: Okay, so the second one was to allow individual investors to make a filing, and have their source of funds adjudicated apart from their investments in a project so that investors could eliminate the risk in that regard before they commit themselves to a particular project. They should not have to find out about a problem with their source of funds, and the context of having submitted to a project. That was an idea that didn’t originate with me. I fell trivia to [0:43:04.3 – inaudible]. Thank you.

Robert:好的,我的第二条建议就是允许个人投资者备案,并使他们的资金来源与项目投资分开审查。这样一来,投资者就能在参与特定项目之前,事先消除这方面的风险。他们无需找出有关资金来源以及将其投入项目的问题。这并不是我个人的想法。我的这些知识都来自 [0:43:04.3-听不清]。谢谢。

Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing those comments with us, and thank you for calling. Operator, we’re ready for the next comment.


Angela: Next comment comes from Ronald Klasko with AILA.

Angela:下一位是来自AILA公司的Ronald Klasko。
Ronald Klasko: Good afternoon, and thank you for this engagement. I wanted to talk to you about the fact that the regulations should be promulgated, keeping in mind that we almost certainly are facing the prospect of quota retrogression that will affect the majority of the investors in the program. And the quota retrogression will have a significant impact on many of the present USCIS policies that are based on the concepts that the investor will likely come to the U.S. and get conditional permanent residence within six months or a year of the 526 approval. I’ll just give you two examples of the policies that are affected, but there are really many more. Ronald Klasko:下午好,谢谢你们举办了这次活动。我想谈谈那些应当公布的法规。记住,我们几乎肯定会遇到配额倒退的问题,这将影响到多数的项目投资者。配额倒退会对现有的许多USCIS政策产生显著影响。这些政策基于以下理念,即投资者在526申请获批的半年或一年内,很可能来到美国并取得附加条件的永久居留权。事实上,很多政策都受到了影响,但我在此只举出两个例子。
One is the services two and a half year rule, and they’re the problem to begin with I think in that the rule on [0:44:15.3 – inaudible] jobs must be created under the present system as an incongruity between what you need to prove with the 526, which is that the jobs will be created within two and a half years of the approval versus the fact that when you get to the 829 stage, which is often four or five years later, you have to prove that the jobs will be created by the approval of the 829 or one year after that. So there’s a multiple year difference between when the jobs have to be created for purposes of the 526 and the 829, and that’ll be exacerbated when there could be, let’s say a couple of year delay from the 526 approval until the Chinese immigrant can enter the U.S., and under the two and a half year rule, the jobs would all have to be created before they even become conditional permanent residents. 其中一条是两年半服务规定,这是我想首先谈到的问题。我认为,必须在现行制度下创立的[0:44:15.3-听不清]就业机会规定,在526申请与829申请之间并不协调。你提出526申请时,需要证明在获批后两年半内能够创造的就业机会。但事实上,当你处于829申请阶段时,这通常是在四五年后,你又必须证明在829申请获批后或是一年后能够创造的就业机会。因此,526申请与829申请之间的工作创造存在着多年的差异。如果中国移民在526申请推迟数年获批后方可进入美国,那么上述差异将会加剧。根据两年半规则,中国移民甚至必须在成为附带条件的永久居民之前,创造出相应的就业机会。
Another of the several policies that would be affected by quota retrogression is the concept of what happens very often in the loan model regional centers. It’s not unusual to have for example five year loans from the job creating the enterprise to the new commercial enterprise. Or from the MCE to the JCE, and the issue becomes, well what happens if the loan is paid off after the end of five years to the MCE but not to the investors? And because of quota retrogression, the loan is paid off long before the investors get their condition removed. And it seems to me that the rule should be that as long as the money was used to create the necessary number of jobs, and as long as the money is not returned from the new commercial enterprise to the investors, that all of the regulatory requirements should be met. But this is a problem that exists presently, and it will get much worse when there will be a long delay until the investors can start their conditional residence period. 另外还有多项政策将受到配额倒退的影响,其中一项就是区域中心通常的贷款模式概念。例如,常见的例子是企业要为新的商业企业创造岗位,从而采用为期五年的贷款。或者是从MCE贷款给JCE。这个问题最后演变成在五年期限到期后,如果已向MCE(而不是投资者)付清贷款数额,那会发生什么事情呢?由于配额倒退,投资者在其去除条件式申请获批之前,很早就已经付清了贷款。但在我看来,只要这笔资金用于创造必要数量的就业岗位,以及新的商业企业尚未向投资者返还这笔资金,就应该规定须符合所有的监管要求。但这只是目前存在的一个问题,在投资者的条件式居留期开始之前,较长时间的延迟会使情况变得更糟。
Ebony: We thank you very much for sharing those comments with us today, and operator, we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:非常感谢您在此与我们分享这些宝贵的意见。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from Anna [0:46:30.7 – inaudible] with Global Law Group. Angela:下一位是来自Global Law Group的Anna[0:46:30.7-听不清]。
Linda Lau: Hi. This is Linda Lau, and I’m using an office phone booth to register for a comment. I conclude with what Ron was saying regarding the job creation period. I just don’t know whether people remember, the two and a half years job creation period that is being used right now is really from a time that based on the new [0:47:01.5 – inaudible] memo, that because processing time at that time was six months. So right now, the requirement is that upon approval of the 526, we have two and a half years to complete the job creation, which in consideration of processing time now even though we are aiming at nine to 12 months, but still many cases are pending beyond that. And along the same line, that I would like to maybe step back a little bit. If we can just look at the whole EB-5 program, and we are really looking at the investment side, $500,000 or $1M, and the job creation side. It seems like the trend is moving towards more and more into job creation. Not that it’s not important. It’s very important. But on the other hand, I kept thinking, comparing to many, many other countries; Canada, the UK, the Australian, the European countries today, many of them is just would like to focus on the investment side and understand that the infusion of investment and capital would create jobs. So I would like to ask in terms of recommendation for the regulations that we focus a little bit more on the investment side. And the reason of that is I compare the situation of the 829 and I-751; the marriage case. Remember those times that the marriage case is that in order to remove the condition that you have to wait for two years, and there’s lots of abuse in that relation, I mean in that requirement in marital relationships. So since that was done away with a requirement that you need to show the marriage was ended in good faith. The reason I compare the two is because I do see lots of abuses today in representing many, many of the investments. And not saying that these abuses are happening with all projects, but I do see them. And examples would be that because the jobs need to be created by the end of the conditional period within the condition of the period, then a lot of the investors are at the mercy of the project, not necessary any specific reasons [0:49:26.6 – inaudible] project, but I do see that. For example, it is a long project, all of a sudden being in the first position with the LNCE law, all of a sudden the project would come and say that “Oh, in order to get your job, you need to agree as an investor of the limited partnership to support in it, the law” and this midway after three and four years… Linda Lau:你好。我是Linda Lau,我正在使用办公室电话亭参与评论。关于工作创造期,我的发言是对Ron所述内容的总结。我不知道大家是否还记得,目前采用的两年半工作创造期的确是基于新的[0:47:01.5-听不清] 备忘录,因为当时的处理时间为6个月。所以,现在一旦526申请获批之后,我们就有两年半的时间来完成工作创造。即使现在我们的目标是取得9-12个月的处理时间,但仍有许多待批申请的审查时间超过了这个期限。同样,我也会退一步来思考。如果我们审视整体的EB-5项目,我们真的只是看到了投资方面(500,000美元或100万美元)与工作创造方面。似乎人们正趋向于更加关注创造就业机会。我不是说这不重要,事实上这非常重要。但另一方面,我不断在想,相比许多其它国家;像今天的加拿大、英国、澳大利亚和欧洲国家,其中很多都专注于投资方面,并了解注入投资和资本将有助于创造就业机会。所以,我想建议我们的法规更多一些地关注投资方面。这是因为我对829申请和I-751申请与婚姻案例进行了比较。我记得那时的婚姻案例就是,很多人为了免去必需的两年等待期,都滥用了这种关系,我是指对婚姻关系的要求。所以,那时要求结束这样的婚姻关系必须证明是善意的处理方式。我对两者进行比较的原因在于,我意识到如今有太多的投资代表都存在很多弊端。我不是说所有项目中都有这样的弊端,但我确实见到了这些现象。举例来说,在限定期限的条件范围内,由于必须在条件期限结束之前创造出就业机会,很多投资者都因此受制于投资项目,而并非是项目的[0:49:26.6-听不清] 任何特定原因,我的确是见到了这些事例。就比如说一个长期项目,该项目突然成了LNCE法关注的重点,该项目突击来袭并宣称,“哦,为了使你得到工作,你需要同意首先成为支持项目的有限合伙投资者,这是法律规定”,这中间经过三四年后……
Ebony: I’m sorry, you’re fading in and out on the call with your comments, so we’re starting to have trouble hearing you, but we do appreciate your feedback. We unfortunately, like we said at the beginning, won’t be able to comment on any specific projects or cases, but we definitely appreciate you sharing your comments with us today. Ebony:抱歉,您现在的通话声音时隐时现,我们开始听不清您的意见了,但还是感谢您的信息反馈。遗憾的是,正如我们一开始说的那样,我们无法对任何具体的项目或情况做出回应,但我们很感激您在此与我们分享宝贵的意见。
Linda: Okay. Thank you. Linda:好的。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you. Operator, we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:谢谢。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from Michele Buchanan with Stone Law Firm. Angela:下一位是来自Stone Law Firm 的Michele Buchanan。
Michele Buchanan: Hi. This is Michele Buchanan. It’s actually Stone, Grzegorek & Gonzalez. It’s just too long to read to the operator. So I had a couple of comments about proposed regulations. One is to consider changing the definition of a troubled business with respect to how net loss is determined. I would suggest that the methods that are used to determine that law should include not only general accepted accounting principles, but also international financial reporting standards, or another comprehensive basis of accounting. And the reason there are several because Gap is typically used by very large companies or for credit investment purposes, and it’s not really used by small to medium sized businesses. And so to convert their records to be based on Gap would be, could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Michele Buchanan:你好。我是Michele Buchanan。我所属的公司名叫Stone, Grzegorek & Gonzalez。这个名称对接线员来说太长了。我想对拟定的条例提出几点意见。其中一点就是考虑更改亏损企业的定义,即确定净损失额的方式。我建议那些用于确定适用法律的方法应该包括一般公认的会计原则,以及国际财务报告准则或是全面的会计基准。有上述多项准则的原因在于,Gap通常用于非常大型的公司或信贷投资目的,但不会真正地用于中小型企业。因此,要想转换他们基于Gap的记录,往往需要耗费数万美元。
And also, my understanding is that Gap will be phased out within the next few years in favor of the international reporting standards. So that’s a suggestion. 此外,我认为在未来几年内,Gap将会因为要采用国际财务报告标准而被逐步淘汰。这只是一个建议。
And also, this is a bit esoteric, but with regard to TEA designation, currently the authority to designate TEA’s based on high unemployment is limited to states and agencies appointed by the states. I would suggest that the regulations might be amended to give that authority to all of the territories included in the definition of the United States at ATFR215E, and also to federally recognize Indian nations. Okay? That’s my comment. Thank you. 另外虽然指定TEA显得有点深奥,但目前能够基于高失业率来指定TEA的部门仅限于各州以及各州委任的相关机构。我建议可以修订法规,使符合ATFR215E美利坚合众国定义范围内的所有领土,以及联邦政府认可的印第安领地都可赋有这种权力。这不行么?这就是我的意见。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you. We appreciate the feedback. Operator, we’re ready for the next caller. [Pause] Do we have anyone else in the queue? If not, could you please remind them how to queue you if they would like to make a comment on the call? Ebony:谢谢。感谢您的意见反馈。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。[暂停]我们还有其他人在线上排队等候吗?如果没有,能否请你告知想要发表意见的人员如何排队参加会议评论?
Angela: Once again, if you’d like to make a comment, please press ‘star’ then ‘one’. Angela:再次提醒,如果您想发表意见,请按下*号键和1号键。
Ebony: We’ll hold just one more moment to see if we have any additional comments. Ebony:我们会再等待一段时间,看是否还有其他人要发表意见。
Angela: Our next comment comes from James Wolf with Lipman & Wolf. Actually I’m sorry. We’ll go to David Morris with Visa Law Group. Angela:下一位是来自Lipman & Wolf公司的James Wolf。真是万分抱歉。让我们先接通Visa Law Group的David Morris来电。
David Morris: Hi. David Morris, calling from Visa Law Group, Washington, D.C., AILA EB-5 committee. Thank you for having the call. My first comment was that we spent a lot of time with Lester & Mayorkas in an iterative process to get the 2013 policy memo done. And while it didn’t cover everything, it did a pretty good job covering a lot of stuff that we as stakeholders had questions about. So as you ponder implementing some regulations, we would ask I think that you made sure that what we worked out in the policy memo becomes part of that as the core. David Morris:你好。我是来自AILA EB-5委员会华盛顿特区Visa Law Group的David Morris。谢谢接通我的电话。我首先要说的是,我们在迭代程序中花了很多时间与Lester & Mayorkas合作,一同完成2013年的政策备忘录。虽然该政策并非面面俱到,但却涵盖了我们利益相关者想要咨询的很多内容。所以当你还在思考是否执行一些法规时,我认为应该问你是否确定已将我们的政策备忘录作为核心内容。
And then secondly, invite an iterative process again to get us to that same type of mutually agreeable way of logically implementing the program. 其次,应该再次通过迭代程序,使我们双方都同意有条理地执行项目。
The second comment that I have talks more about the processing times, and then the release of escrow. So currently, a lot of regional centers, or most regional centers have an escrow system that says that funds can be released after one to three 526 petitions are approved, and that makes a lot of sense to have that system. It means the project has been approved. But what doesn’t make sense is the services current processing times for 10 to 20 months. My suggestion would be that if a project has I suppose a hundred investors and what they’re seeking, and that 50 investors have already filed 526’s and we have received numbers for those, that the CIS should give some adjudication priority to this project, and at least review three cases to allow for the release of the escrow. So I call this like a 50% rule. It shows that the project is right, that there’s funds available. The alternative would be that 50 to 100 cases sit in review for the 10 to 20 months; that’s the current thought process. And following that current policy, funds are not deployed, which clearly inhibits the construction activities. That’s what it’s underlying. As well as the job creation being delayed. So rewarding those regional set of projects that attract 50% or more of the investors to it, with those cases filed with the service, should give I think the service a reasonable basis to give adjudication fees for the first, let’s say three cases to allow for the release of escrow so those funds can be put to work. Thank you much. David Morris. 第二条建议更多地是关于处理时间和托管释放。目前,很多或多数区域中心都设有托管系统,据称该系统可在一至三份526请愿书获批后释放资金,这也使其更有意义。这意味着项目已经获得批准。但是,当前的处理时间长达10-20个月却没有意义。我的意见是,如果一个项目有一百名投资者,这也是他们所期望的,其中50名投资者已经提出526申请,而且我们也收到了相应数量的申请,那么CIS就应该在一定程度上优先审查该项目,并至少审查三个案例以便于托管释放。我把这称为50%规则。事实表明项目无可挑剔,并且具有可用资金。另一种情况是,10-20个月期间有50-100份待审查的申请;这就是当前的思维过程。遵循现行的政策,将不会得到资金部署,这显然会妨碍建设活动。这就是根本影响,而工作创造也会被延迟。所以,应对能够吸引50%或更多投资者的区域项目予以奖励,这些项目都已归档时,我认为这首先会使服务具有收取审查费用的合理依据。例如,三个案例就允许托管释放,以使这些资金能够投入使用。非常感谢。我是David Morris。
Ebony: Thank you very much. We appreciate you sharing comments with us today. And operator, we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:谢谢您。感谢您在此与我们分享宝贵意见。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: As a reminder, to make a comment please press ‘star one’. Our next comment comes from Rana Jazayerli with Dilworth Paxson. Angela:在此提醒,如果您需发表意见,请按下*号键和1号键。下一位是来自Dilworth Paxson的Rana Jazayerli。
Rana Jazayerli: Hi. Yes, thank you. This is Rana Jazayerli with Dilworth Paxson in Washington, D.C. I wanted to just comment on the issue of fraud from the perspective of the investor. We’ve talked a lot and my [0:56:01.8 – inaudible] and suggested in terms of making sure that the regional centers are accountable, and that there’s some sort of monitoring of what’s going on. The issue though becomes when one, when a regional center gets through and issues a fraud, the investors are left in a position of being held in limbo. If they cannot show that their funds have been properly invested, obviously they can’t show that the jobs have been created. And if they’ve done everything that they were supposed to do, nothing would destroy the credibility more of this program than a situation such as that, which has unfortunately happened in the past. Most of these investors end up in limbo, and so to the extent you could possibly address it in the new regulations. If coming up with some sort of revenue or some sort of definitive guidance or status for individuals who do find themselves to be victims of fraud, and as a result are affected, again their 526’s have already been approved and who were already present in the United States. I know there’s a Chicago case got a loss of [0:57:05.0 – inaudible]. That was a great case, the USCIS got involved with it, the FCC and the FBI. But the end result was you were able to free the $147M, and that was ultimately returned to the investors. So the situation I’m talking about is one where the funds have disappeared, and there’s no way to return them to the investors, and they’re out $500,000 plus, and they no longer have funds to be able to go to another regional center and to invest. So that would be my comment. Rana Jazayerli:你好。嗯,谢谢你。我是来自华盛顿特区Dilworth Paxson公司的Rana Jazayerli。我想从投资者的角度,探讨一下欺诈问题。我们对此已经谈了很多,我的[0:56:01.8-听不清]提议以确保各区域中心负有责任,并可在一定程度上监测进展情况。当某个区域中心通过审查并进行欺诈时,投资者就会处于困境。如果他们不能证明已对资金进行妥善投资,显然他们也无法证明已经创造出就业机会。如果他们已经做好一切应有的准备,那么相比任何其它因素,这种情况将对项目的可信度产生最大的破坏性。不幸的是,过去发生了这种情况。多数相关投资者最终都陷入了困境,所以在某种程度上,新法规中可能会提到这种问题。如果为投资者提供某些收益,或是明确的指导或身份,使其能够发现自己变成了欺诈行为的受害者并因此受到影响,但他们的526申请已经获批并且自己已经身处美国。我知道芝加哥有一个案例,投资者损失额达[0:57:05.0-听不清]。这是一个大事件,USCIS、FCC和FBI都已介入。但最终只能解套1.47亿美元,并将其返还给投资者。以上所说的是资金消失的一种情况,没有办法将这些资金返还给投资者,相应数额超过了500,000美元。那些投资者没有资金可用于另一区域中心的投资。这就是我的意见。
Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing your feedback with us today. We appreciate you calling. And operator, we’re ready for the next comment. Ebony:非常感谢您与我们分享宝贵的反馈意见。感谢您的来电。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from Joe [0:57:46.6 – Pin (sp)] with USEDLC. Angela:下一位是来自USEDLC的Joe[0:57:46.6- 嘟]。
Joe: Hi. First of all, I’m glad that Doctor Sargeant representing SBA is in the house. Our regional center works directly with SBA on the SBA cycle for loans, and we have successfully funded 16 of those projects in the past four years. Now my comment is that we would love to see more flexibility and openness as far as the job creation methodology that can be accepted by USCIS, especially when USCIS approved one methodology, and later on it changes the policy. We would love to have early heads-up as early as possible so that we have enough time to fix the problem. With the lack of consistency and the super long processing time, this hasn’t been available to many of the regional centers in the past. Thank you. Joe:你们好。首先,我很高兴代表SBA 的Sargeant博士参加了这次会议。我们的区域中心与SBA直接合作SBA的周期贷款事项,并且我们在过去四年内已经成功地为16个此类项目提供资金。我要说的是,就USCIS可接受的工作创造方法,尤其是在USCIS已经批准以及该方法可更改政策的条件下,我们希望能看到更高程度的灵活性和开放性。我们希望能够尽早收到警告信息,以便我们有足够的时间来解决问题。过去,由于缺乏一致性和超长的处理时间,许多区域中心都无法取得这种帮助。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you. And operator, we’re ready for the next comment. Ebony:谢谢您。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from Yuseff Howard with Progressive Funding Solutions. Angela:下一位是来自Progressive Funding Solutions公司的Yuseff Howard。
Yuseff: Yes, hi. My question, I’m not sure if it was answered or asked. My question is whether or not there have been any thought to giving faster processing times for new regional centers that have existing principals, and also to the same, to the foreign investors who already have possibly work Visas or any other type of Visas to the country. Yuseff:哦,你好。我的问题,我不知道是否会得到解答或回应。我的问题是,更快的处理时间是否惠及目前保有资本的新区域中心,以及可能已经拥有工作签证或任何其它类型签证的外国投资者。
Ebony: Again, at this time today we are not addressing any specific problematic questions, but we are taking feedback. So we appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and we are ready for the next caller. Ebony:再次提醒,在本次会议期间,我们不会对有关任何具体情况的问题做出回应,我们只是在听取反馈意见。所以,我们感谢您在此分享宝贵的意见,我们准备接通下一位的来电。
Angela: Next comment comes from Peter Englander with Portland Development Commission. Angela:下一位是来自波特兰发展委员会的Peter Englander。
Peter Englander: Hi. Thank you for the opportunity. I’d like to suggest reconsideration of the tenant occupancy matter so that retained jobs in growing companies can be counted in addition with the new jobs. Companies that are growing are by definition not shrinking, and thus consistent with conventional understanding in a field of economic development would expand their impact on the local economy. I’d also like to make a comment on targeted employment areas, and extending their time period of effect beyond what is effective, what is currently effectively about one year. This will give greater certainty for a longer period of time for all of these other processes that have been mentioned today to play out. I would also encourage stronger consideration of where these areas exist because where jobs are created aren’t necessarily where people live. And if this can be thought of on a more reasonable approach, I think it would be more effective in the administration of target employment areas. Than you. Peter Englander:你们好。感谢你们给我这个机会。我想提议重新考虑租户就业事项,以便成长型企业中保留的工作岗位能够与新的工作岗位合并计算。根据成长型企业的定义,此类企业的规模不会缩减,从而与经济发展领域的传统认知相符,这将扩大其对当地经济的影响。我也想谈一下目标就业区,以及延长其有效期。目标就业区当前的有效期约为一年。这将为今天谈到的此类所有其它过程,提供更加确定的较长有效期。我也建议更认真地考虑这些区域所在的位置,因为创造出就业机会的地方,并不一定是人们生活的地方。如果能够就此提出更合理的方法,我认为这将使目标就业区的管理工作更加高效。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you. We appreciate your comments. And operator, we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:谢谢。感谢您分享意见。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: As a reminder, please press ‘star one’ to ask a comment. Next comment comes from Ken Halverson with Jetstrip. Angela:再次提醒,如果您需要发表意见,请按下*号键和1号键。下一位是来自Jetstrip公司的Ken Halverson。
Ken Halverson: Yes, my comment is basically regarding the processing times. Some are taking over two and a half years, and we’re not able to recommend this program to anyone else because of the extreme delays that are encountered, and from the California Service Center we’ve received questions that were totally irrelevant and they would keep asking them, you would answer them, and so the delays are a very serious problem I would say with this whole program. Where the rubber meets the road, I know that you’re trying to speed it up and be more responsive to people. At our last stakeholders’ meeting, which was approximately two months ago, those of us that were in queue, at the end it was suggested that we would be able to send an email and get our questions answered in a priority basis, and we were to mention the fact that we were in queue from that teleconference. I did that. That’s two months ago, and I have still not received anything. So the priority system is not working, and without you being more responsive in a timely manner, this program will not go ahead from any people that I know. Thank you. Ken Halverson:是的,我的意见基本上是关于审查时间。有些申请审查都超过了两年半时间,我们无法将这样的项目推荐给其他人,因为期间的处理过度延迟。在加州服务中心,我们被问及完全不相关的问题,那些工作人员会不停地发问,而你只能回答他们。所以,我认为就整个项目来看,延迟现象是一个非常严重的问题。当目标快要实现之时,我知道你们会加快速度并更加积极地响应群众。在我们上一次的利益相关者会议上,大约是两个月前,我们这些人都在排队,但你们到最后建议我们可以发送电子邮件,并会优先解答我们的问题。我们要说明的是,事实上,我们从那次的电话会议之后一直在排队等候。我就是这样做的。两个月前,我仍然没有收到任何反馈。所以优先制度并没有起作用,如果你们并未积极地及时响应群众,这个项目就无法在我所知的群体中顺利进行。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you. We appreciate you calling and sharing your comments with us, and I would just like to clarify that the USCIS public engagement box that we give out is not necessarily for any type of priority, but we will take your question and make sure that it’s routed to the appropriate person for follow-up. So we do apologize that you’ve experienced a delay with your question. But if there’s any question that you still have that is open, please feel free to send it to us again. And again, that box is, and we’ll assist you with any follow-up needed. Thank you, and operator we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:谢谢。我们感谢您的来电以及与我们分享您的宝贵意见。我想澄清的是,我们公布的USCIS公众参与邮箱并非会对任何类型的意见都进行优先处理,但我们会接收您的问题并确保安排适当的工作人员跟进。对于您所经历的问题回复延迟,我们在此向您真诚地道歉。如果您仍有任何尚未得到解决的问题,欢迎再次将问题发送给我们。邮箱地址是。我们会向您提供任何所需的后续支持。非常感谢您。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from John Roth with Roth Immigration Law Firm. Angela:下一位是来自Roth移民律师事务所的John Roth。
John Roth: Yes, hello. I’d like to respond to an earlier comment encouraging USCIS to publish statistics on immigration filings, whether they’re [1:03:39.4 – inaudible]. I think that’s a rather bad idea because those statistics can be misleading. There are regional centers with histories of, cumulative history of no denials, when in fact some of the projects have failed and investors have been moved to other projects. There are also regional centers that have had denials, and they avoided denial by going into federal court. Also, those statistics can be misleading given the ‘Rent-A-Center’ world that we’re in recently. You might have different management companies that had project successes, and those don’t necessarily mean it’s an umbrella. Regional center can take credit for them. Simply they can’t take full credit for them. But the logic point is that investors should be encouraged to focus on the projects, not on the regional centers. The regional centers do have some import because they show they’ve got an experienced and capable management team. But beyond that, I think it’s, well actually I should have left that if you go with a regional center with a history of I-829’s, you the investor are more likely to get a green card [1:04:58.5 – inaudible]. And it’s more to sense to, I don’t think the USCIS should be elevating or exacerbating a situation where you establish regional centers all already have a very substantial advantage in recruiting, and I think if you’re publishing statistics, what you want to have is a situation where it’s difficult for newer and often innovative regional centers to make their mark in our industry. Thank you. John Roth:哦,你好。之前有一位鼓励USCIS公布移民档案的统计数据,无论这些档案是否[1:03:39.4-听不清]。我想对此做出回应。我认为这是一个很糟的想法,因为这些统计数据可能令人误解。有些区域中心从未出现过申请被拒的情况,但事实上是某些项目失败了,而投资者已经被转移到其它项目上。还有一些区域中心出曾出现过申请被拒的情况,但他们通过联邦法院来避免申请被拒。考虑到我们近年来所处的“租赁中心”环境,就知道这些统计数据可能引起误导。你可能有不同的管理公司都取得了项目成功,但并不一定意味着这会成为一把保护伞。区域中心可以把这些成绩归功于自身,但不能完全居功。但理智的看法是,应该鼓励投资者专注于项目,而不是区域中心。区域中心也在项目中做出了一些贡献,因为他们表明了自身拥有富于经验和实力的管理团队。但除此之外,我认为,其实我应该不谈这一点。如果你作为投资者加入了曾处理过I-829申请的某个区域中心,你将更容易获得绿卡[1:04:58.5-听不清]。这样更有意义。如果你建立起的区域中心在人才招募方面极具优势,我不认为USCIS会再改善或弱化这种局势。如果你要发布统计数据,你将使新来者以及通常的创新型区域中心,难以在我们的行业内做出成绩。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you very much for those comments, and operator we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:非常感谢您分享这些宝贵意见。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from James Wolf with Lipman & Wolf. Angela:下一位是来自Lipman & Wolf公司的James Wolf。
James Wolf: Hello. Thank you for this opportunity. My first comment would be to suggest that the USCIS follow the, an attestation like a process that the Department of Labor implemented for labor certification a couple of years ago. The labor department is under a similar situation in adjudicating regular certifications under very complex regulatory schemes, and announcing backlogs. And what I came up with was an attestation process in which the regulatory requirements were essentially the same, but rather than an application which was several inches thick, the application is mainly a check off the box that the applicant has complied with the various laws. And so I think that the EB-5 application process could be streamlined similarly. For example, a box to check off that to the best of the knowledge of the applicant, they are in compliance with securities laws of the U.S., they are in compliance with ACFR, the INA, president decisions, that there’s not been any changes in the economic analysis or offering documents, business plan included with the I-924, and even that the applicant has obtained anti-fraud or national security clearance to an OPaC license. I think a lot of these steps are certainly ones that need to be accomplished by the applicant, but it does not require the government read through pages and pages of offering documents to make that determination. So that’s basically my comment, as to look at the history and the Department of Labor when it faces similar issues with its labor certifications. Thank you. James Wolf:你们好。谢谢你们给我这次机会。我的第一点意见就是建议USCIS遵循一种认证流程,就像劳工部几年前为劳工证进行认证那样。劳工部也处于类似的情况下,需要按照非常复杂的监管方案来审查定期认证和宣布积压案例。在我所想到的认证流程中,那些监管要求基本上相同,但申请无需厚达几英寸的各类材料,而是要有证明申请人已遵循各项法律的最简单记录。所以我认为,EB-5申请流程可以同样地简化。例如,这些记录应证明尽申请人所知,他们遵循了美国证券法、ACFR、INA和总统决策的相关要求,I-924申请应有的经济分析、要约文件和商业计划并未出现任何变动,甚至申请人已经取得OPaC许可证的反欺诈或国家安全通关证。我认为,很多此类步骤都需要由申请人来完成,但这并不需要政府通过查看许多的要约文件来做出决策。通过参照历史和劳工部面对劳动证的相似问题,以上基本就是我的全部意见。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you very much for that feedback. We do want to make sure that we hear comments from everyone who wants to share with us on the call today. So we encourage you to queue the operator if you still have a comment that you would like us to hear today. And operator, we ask that you just remind everyone of how to queue you if they would like to make a comment on the call. Ebony:非常感谢您提供的这些信息反馈。对于所有愿意参与今天会议的人员,我们要确保听取大家的意见。如果您仍有希望在此发表的评论,我们欢迎您排队等候。接线员,我们请你告诉需要发言的人员应该如何排队。
Angela: As a reminder, to make a comment please press ‘star’ then ‘one’. Our next comment comes from Connie Wang with U.S. China. Angela:再次提醒,如果您需要发表意见,请按下*号键和1号键。下一位是来自U.S. China的Connie Wang。
Connie Wang: Hi. This is Wenzhao “Connie” Wang from U.S. China Global Law Group. I would think for fighting the fraudulence or fraud, the best way is to increase the transparency. Currently, we can’t find much information from USCIS’ website, and for now even for those regional centers, we only have the list of regional centers approved. We don’t have any data about the I-526 or I-829 approvals. Of course, I understand what the previous colleague mentioned about the disadvantage for a foundation; those track records to maybe to mislead to the investors about the future performance on those regional centers. But I do think that improving the track record, and to let the public know what is going on with those regional centers is helpful. I think there are ways to prevent investors to totally depend on that record. This is one suggestion I have. Connie Wang:你好。我是来自U.S. China Global Law Group的Wenzhao “Connie” Wang。我觉得,应对欺骗或欺诈的最好方法就是提高透明度。目前,我们无法从USCIS网站获取很多信息,现在即使是那些区域中心,我们也只有已经获批的区域中心清单。我们没有关于I-526申请或I-829申请的任何数据。当然,我了解之前同事提到的基金会劣势;那些跟踪纪录也许会使投资者对区域中心的未来业绩产生误解。但我确实认为,改善跟踪记录和让公众了解区域中心的运作很有用。我觉得有一些方法可以防止投资者完全依赖于跟踪记录。这是我的一条建议。
The other one is for the forms of I-924, I-526 and I-829. Currently there’s also not much information about the details about the adjudication process, and I would think it would be helpful if there would be data or information. Most common are [1:09:58.0 – inaudible] issued by the USCIS for those forms. So in that way, it would help the regional centers, it would help the investors to get that information; how to make the project successful. 另一条建议是关于I-924、I-526和I-829申请表。目前,我们没有关于审查流程细节的更多信息,我认为如果有相关数据或信息将会很有帮助。最常见的是USCIS为这些申请表签发的 [1:09:58.0-听不清]。这种方式将有助于区域中心和投资者获取信息;以及了解如何使项目取得成功。
The other part is for the third suggestion I have for the processing time for I-526 or I-829. Currently on the website, the processing time for I-526 is nine months, which is I understand is actually targeted to the time. I don’t know whether there will be a chance to give the information on practical time, on what the real time is because this is actually pretty misleading, as most of us know that the adjudicating time for I-526 is much longer than that. So I wonder whether there’s some way that USCIS can give the information a range of time for adjudicating the cases. Thank you. 另一部分是我对I-526申请或I-829申请的处理时间提出的第三项建议。目前,网站上的I-526申请的处理时间为9个月,在我看来这只是目标审查时间。我不知道是否有机会得知实际的审查时间,即真正的审查时间。网站上显示的时间非常容易使人误解,因为我们多数人都知道I-526申请的审查时间要长很多。所以我在想,USCIS是否可以通过某种方式,提供有关案例审查的不同时间信息。
Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing your comments with us today. We appreciate you calling. And operator, we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:非常感谢您在此与我们分享宝贵的意见。感谢您的来电。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from Paige [Ellerman]. It’s saying with Frost Brown Todd. Angela:下一位来自Paige [Ellerman]公司,名叫Frost Brown Todd。
[Pause] [暂停]
Ebony: Your line is open. [Pause] We may have lost them. Why don’t we move to the next caller? Ebony:您的电话已接通。[暂停]我们可能和他们失去联系了。为什么不接通下一位的来电呢?
Angela: Next comment comes from Stephen Yale-Loehr with Miller Mayer. Angela:下一位是来自Miller Mayer公司的Stephen Yale-Loehr。
Carolyn Lee: Good afternoon. This is actually Carolyn Lee from Miller Mayer. I wanted to first reiterate David Morris’ earlier point that I believe that engaging in an iterative process or this round of rule-making will be very important, and we trust and hope that USCIS will engage the stakeholder community as it goes about improving existing regulations. Carolyn Lee:下午好。我是来自Miller Mayer公司的Carolyn Lee。我首先想重申David Morris之前的观点,即我认为参与反复流程或这一轮的规则制定将非常重要,我们相信并希望USCIS在改善现有法规时,会兼顾利益相关者。
My comment stems from an observation in the 829 regulations at 216.6, and these regulations are not clear with respect to whether or not job creation requirements are continuing through the adjudication period, or whether once the petition shows that the jobs were created, that if evidence of jobs sustaining is not produced during the course of an RC for example, that that petition has still met the job creation requirement and can be approved. So this of course problem could be exacerbated when we had Visa backlogs, and the petitioner has waited five of six years before filing the petition to remove conditions. So the point here is that I would suggest that the job creation period be fixed, and if the job creation has occurred within say the 2.5 year window, which is a 526 job creation requirement, that the service deem the jobs to have been created for 829 approval purposes, and do not require the jobs to also be maintained or sustained through the 829 adjudication period. 我的意见源自对829申请监管法规216.6条款的观察结果。这些法规并未明确是否工作创造要求在审查期间依然持续,或是例如当请愿书证明已经创造出就业机会后,如果RC过程中没有产生可证明工作机会持续的证据,请愿书仍符合工作创造要求并可获得批准。因此,在我们的签证申请积压时,这种问题可能会恶化,而申请人在六年期限中已经等待了五年,才提交去除条件的请愿书。所以,我建议应该使工作创造期固定化。比方说如果在2.5年期限内已经创造出就业机会,这也是526申请的工作创造要求,则服务机构认为创造该就业机会是为了829申请的获批目的,并且不会要求在829申请审查期间维持或延续这些就业机会。
Ebony: Thank you very much for sharing your feedback with us today. We appreciate those comments. And operator, we’re ready to take the next comment now. Ebony:非常感谢您在此分享宝贵的反馈意见。谢谢您。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from Charles [1:13:56.6 - Platice (sp)] with ELLOC. Angela:下一位是来自ELLOC公司的Charles[1:13:56.6-Platice(SP)]。
Charles Platice: Hello. This is Charles Platice. Thank you also for putting on this event. I would also like to echo what the prior speaker said about the ambiguity of the job creation times, as well as what Mr. Klasko said. I think that’s the priority issue. Another issue I would like to comment on though, is I would ask that you take a close look at the forms to make sure that they truly correspond to the statute in terms of information requested. I believe there are a lot of things asked on the forms, or at least a few things that are probably not relevant to the petition. At least not by statutory requirements of for instance, questions about income at the time of investment, and later gross net, net worth, etc. Charles Platice:你们好。我是Charles Platice。感谢你们举行本次活动。我也想探讨一下之前有人说的创造工作时间的不确定性,以及Klasko先生提及的话题。我认为这是应该优先考虑的问题。我想说的另一个问题就是,我希望你们仔细查看那些申请表,确保它们真正对应所需信息的相关条例。我相信申请人已经询问了有关申请表的许多问题,或者至少是一些可能与请愿书不相关的问题。例如,至少不是法例规定的投资时的收入,此后的毛利、净利及净资产等问题。
Another example would be the percentage of the enterprise you own does not permit for distinctions between financial rights and voting rights. And that’s on the I-526. Thank you. That’s my comment. 另一个例子,就是你在企业中的所有权比例,该比例不允许经济权和投票权之间存在差异。这是关于I-526的申请事项。谢谢。这就是我的意见。
Ebony: Thank you very much for those comments, and thank you for joining today. Operator, we’re ready for the next caller. Ebony:非常感谢您分享这些意见,谢谢您的参与。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。
Angela: Next comment comes from Edward Beshara with Beshara P.A. Angela:下一位是来自Beshara P.A.公司的Edward Beshar。
Sal Picataggio: Good afternoon. This is Sal Picataggio from Ed Beshara’s office in Orlando. My comment has to do with the, from the project perspective, especially in light of some of the earlier comments about recertification of regional centers, and the possibility that some regional centers may no longer exist. My comment would be that, and my suggestion would be that the projects who may already be proving themselves as either preapproved or as otherwise financially business viable, to have some kind of portability also in light of the current trend to render lease regional centers that projects have this kind of freedom to report to a new regional center, or continue to have processing of investor cases in the queue, even if a regional center with no call for the project whatsoever may lose its designation. Thank you for taking our suggestion today. Sal Picataggio:下午好。我是来自奥兰多Ed Beshara办事处的Sa lPicataggio。从项目的角度来看,我想就前面有人提到的区域中心重新认证,以及某些区域中心可能不复存在提一些看法。我的意见和建议是,考虑到当前租赁区域中心的趋势,那些可能已经证明获得预先批准或具有财务运营可行性的项目,可以就此取得某种程度的可移植性。这样一来,即使某处区域中心因为没有参与项目而可能失去指定资格,其它项目也可以相对自由地向新的区域中心报告,或是继续处理那些待审的投资者案例。谢谢你们听取了我们的意见。
Ebony: I’m sorry. We were having some trouble hearing you towards the middle to the end of your comment. Could you please repeat it for us, and just a little bit louder if possible? Ebony:抱歉。我们没太听清您的中间到结尾部分的意见。能否请您尽可能用大一些的声音,再重复一遍呢?
Sal: Of course. Again, this is Sal Picataggio from Beshara P.A., and sorry. I was cutting out a little bit. Again, my comment was on the, from the project’s perspective in light of the regional center recertification as some earlier callers suggested, and also in the trend to lease or rent regional centers where we have preapproved projects or projects that are proven to be viable through possibly I-526 approvals, and my suggestion would be that there be some kind of regulation allowing for portability or deference given to the project itself to allow for any type of pending 526 petitions to continue to be processed in light of some issue with the regional center, that in no call for the project has been a problem. Thank you. Sal:当然可以。我再说一次,我是来自Beshara P.A.公司的Sal Picataggio,抱歉。我把内容缩减一些。同样,我是从项目的角度,考虑到之前有人提到的区域中心重新认证,以及出租或租用区域中心的当前趋势,其中我们已经拥有预批项目或通过可能的I-526审批证明项目可行。我的建议是,应该设立某种监管法规,允许项目本身具有可移植性或服从性,以便区域中心出现一些问题时,比如项目本身没有问题,任何类型的未决526请愿书仍可继续处理进行。谢谢。
Ebony: Thank you very much for repeating that, and thank you for sharing your comments with us today. We’ve had a chance to hear from a lot of you, and we appreciate all the feedback that we’ve heard today. And this concludes our call. I would like to thank everyone for participating, and thank Nick and Doctor Sargeant as well for their remarks. If you happen to have been on the line and didn’t get the opportunity to share your comments, please do email us. Again, at, and we also encourage everyone to visit the USCIS Idea Community at and express any additional comments there as well pertaining to the EB-5 regulatory changes. Thank you very much for joining us today. Have a great day. Ebony:非常感谢您为我们重复了以上内容,谢谢您在此与我们分享宝贵的意见。我们有机会了解您的诸多意见,也感谢您提供这些信息反馈。今天的电话会议到此结束。感谢大家的积极参与,感谢Nick和Sargeant博士和他们的精彩发言。如果您一直在线等候但还没有得到机会来分享意见,请给我们发送电子邮件。我们的邮箱是,我们也欢迎大家通过www.uscisconnect.ideascale.com访问USCIS创意社区,发表任何相关意见和表达对EB-5监管改革的看法。非常感谢大家参加今天的会议。祝你们愉快!

Wright Johnson’s President Aaron Goforth to speak at the BizNow in Washington DC

April 19th, 2014

USCIS Works to Improve the EB-5 Visa Program. Will Congress Follow Suit? by EB5 Investors Magazine CEO Ali Jahangiri

April 19th, 2014

(Congressman Jared Polis and Wright Johnson’s Aaron Goforth)
On February 26, 2014, a wave rolled across the tightly knit EB-5 visa program community as recently appointed program director Nicholas Colucci held a conference call with EB-5 stakeholders, bringing a new level of commitment and energy to a program that has received its share of criticism. For the benefit of the EB-5 program and the nation as a whole, Congress needs to follow suit with a wave of its own.

But First, What Is EB-5?

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with EB-5, the program allows foreign investors the opportunity to obtain a green card in exchange for investing $500,000 to $1 million in a U.S. business venture with the condition that the investment creates at least 10 full-time jobs per investor–jobs created for hardworking Americans. The investors themselves (and their family members who often immigrate with them) do not count towards this number.

What Are EB-5’s Benefits?

The EB-5 program has the potential to provide significant economic benefits to this country, especially to areas that are desperate for economic stimulus. In a case study by economist Dr. Scott Barnhart published in EB5 Investors Magazine, Barnhart examined the total economic impact of a single EB 5 investor, considering the investor’s capital contribution as well as his or her household expenditures. Barnhart used a hypothetical economic model to project that if 6,000 visas were issued through the EB-5 program, 46,124 jobs would be created, $3.8 billion would be contributed to GDP, $532 million would be paid in federal taxes, and $371 million would be paid in state and local taxes. These are projections that are certainly hard to ignore.

So Who Is Nicholas Colucci and What Is He Doing?

Colucci, a no-nonsense type who comes to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from the U.S. Department of Treasury, where he led the financial crimes division, pledged to bring more transparency and resources to the EB-5 program. Colucci is also in the process of hiring more qualified staff to help improve processing times for various EB-5 forms. Currently, the USCIS website reports I-526 petition processing times at nearly 10 months. The I-526 is the investor’s initial application with USCIS that determines whether the investor qualifies for EB-5–it looks at the EB-5 project’s supporting documents and traces the investor’s source of funds to demonstrate that the investment came from a legal source. As of September 2013, there were 7,131 I-526 petitions pending, so the need for increased efficiency is self-evident.

But take note: improving efficiency is not the only goal for processing. Most of the new hires, per Colucci, are economists and securities and immigration attorneys. Not only will USCIS attempt to process forms more efficiently, but it also aims to increase its competency in the due diligence department. After all, it makes no sense and is of little help to anyone in EB-5 to approve a project or investment that is not likely to succeed. Conversely, green-lighting projects that are well planned and likely to succeed will continue to strengthen the program’s image as well as provide much needed benefits to the U.S. economy.

What Can Congress Do?

The answer to this question is simple: Congress can pass legislation that will enable the EB-5 program to grow and become even more transparent, providing support and mechanisms for Colucci’s EB-5 goals to become a reality. The good news is that there are already three pieces of proposed legislation that have numerous overlapping themes and concepts that would help improve how EB-5 operates. The proposals are:

Senator Patrick Leahy (D VT), S 744 “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Mobilization Act”
Rep. Jared Polis (D CO) and co-sponsors Rep. Matt Salmon (R AZ), Rep. Joe Garcia (D FL), and Rep. Mark E. Amodei (R NV), HR 4178, “American Entrepreneurship and Investment Act of 2014″
Rep. Darrell Issa (R CA), HR 2131, “Supplying Knowledge-Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act” (also known as the “Skills Visa Act)

Quotas. In addition to making the EB-5 program permanent, these three pieces of legislation address several key components of the EB-5 program in their own unique ways. First, they address the program’s numerical limits on visas allotted per year. This is extremely important, as the program is on the verge of experiencing a bit of a “log jam.” Presently, the program allows for 10,000 EB-5 visas to be granted each fiscal year. However, that number translates into roughly 3,000 visas granted to the investors themselves–each EB-5 investor is allowed to include his or her spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 on all visa applications given to USCIS, and each additional family member is granted a visa from the 10,000 allotted for the entire EB-5 program. Thus, there are often three or four visas issued per investor. With approximately 7,000 applications pending for investors’ spouses and children, the present quota (10,000 visas) could easily be met for the next two years without any additional applications being submitted. However, if legislation is passed so that the immediate family of an EB-5 immigrant investor is not subject to the numerical cap, the program could see several billion dollars in additional foreign investment capital flowing into the United States and similarly create tens of thousands of new full-time jobs for American workers.

Compliance Standards. Moreover, the proposed pieces of legislation also tighten compliance standards and contain more stringent anti-fraud provisions. Making sure that EB-5 Regional Centers (the entities that serve as conduits for most EB-5 projects) are competently run and operated by reputable people is paramount to the program’s present and future success. Even one or two bad actors can cast a dark cloud over a program that has the potential to provide so many benefits to Americans and the U.S. economy. Additionally, all three pieces of legislation contemplate raising the minimum investment requirement of $1 million, or $500,000 for investments made in a targeted employment area (TEA), which has remained stagnant since 1992. Each proposal includes reform to increase the minimum investment amount in correlation to the Consumer Price Index, resulting in a greater economic impact per each investment made by an EB-5 visa applicant in the future.

During a time when Washington, D.C., is almost completely overcome by gridlock and when comprehensive immigration reform inches from debate to debate with an indefinite timeline, EB-5 is the outlier, garnishing the endangered species known as bipartisan support. And it is not hard to see why the program generally appeals to both parties: EB-5 supports job creation–in fact, 28,000 jobs have been created between 2010 and 2011–and this appeals to any politician who desires re-election. Logically speaking, there is no valid reason why EB-5 legislation should not pass this year. Unfortunately, logic and Congress do not always go hand-n-hand, and the time has come to make our concerns heard in Congress.

What improvements to the EB-5 visa program would you like to see?

EB-5 Regulatory Changes Teleconference – 4/23/14

April 16th, 2014

USCIS Invitation: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Regulatory Changes, 4/23/2014

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss future regulatory changes for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

USCIS is beginning work on revised EB-5 regulations. Regulatory revision has been identified as an important step for the future of the EB-5 Program and is an agency priority. We invite EB-5 stakeholders to provide feedback on EB-5 regulations as we work toward making regulatory improvements to strengthen the efficiency, predictability, and integrity of the EB-5 program.

During this engagement, USCIS officials will listen to your feedback and input on changes to the EB-5 regulations. Feedback and input can be related to:

Methods to combat fraud and abuse
How to improve upon current regulations
Substantive eligibility requirements
Procedural filing requirements

For those unable to attend, we will hold a follow-up discussion in the USCIS Idea Community. We encourage you to become a part of the discussion starting on April 24, 2014.

To register for this session, please follow the steps below:

Visit our registration page to confirm your participation
Enter your email address and select “Submit”
Select “Subscriber Preferences”
Select the “Event Registration” tab
Be sure to provide your full name and organization
Complete the questions and select “Submit”

Once your registration is processed, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details.

If you have any questions regarding the registration process, or if you have not received a confirmation email within two business days, please email us at

We look forward to engaging with you!

Jump on the Wagon to China!

April 11th, 2014

The 2014 EB-5 Business & Investment Exploratory Delegation in June adds the City of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province to the list of destination cities which already included Shenzhen and Guangzhou in Southern China. The 3rd annual trade mission will meet with major emigration agents (such as Worldway Group, Shinyway and others), business executives and investors throughout the trip with Artisan Business Group in China’s major financial center and some of the fastest growing cities in the world.

If your company or Regional Center has a project that is looking to raise EB-5 capital, then this is the delegation you need to sign on. The delegation’s core objective is bringing US business executives to meet in person with their potential EB-5 business partners in China. Whether you have a shovel ready project that needs agents now, or you may have a new project that will need the connections in next few months, this exploratory trade mission gives you the effective platform to form productive working relationships needed to conduct business in China.

For more information about participating in the 2014 Exploratory Delegation to China, please contact us at or log on Very limited space!

Direct Investment EB-5 Seminar in California in April!

March 27th, 2014

Direct Investment Show

Special Promotional discount for WJ clients to the April 24th EB-5 Show in Ft Lauderdale

March 17th, 2014

Online registration:
Promotional Code: artisan

February 26 – Stakeholders Call in Chinese

March 16th, 2014

usual disclaimer that I do not speak mandarin and the translation and transcription was done with outside vendors. I do not represent that either is 100% accurate. The highlighted sections represent sections that were inaudible to the transcriber….


[Begin Audio]

The conference call is now being recorded.

Coordinator: This is the coordinator. Please continue to hold. We will begin in approximately five minutes. Please continue to hold for the conference. Thank you for holding. If you will continue to hold the conference will begin in just a couple of minutes. Again, please continue to hold for the conference. This is the coordinator, please continue to hold we will begin in just a few more minutes. Please continue to hold. Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. During the question and answer session please press star and 1 on your touch tone phone. I will turn today’s meeting over to Mr. Carlos Munoz. You may go ahead, sir.

我是本次会议的协调员,请继续保持通话,不要挂断。我们的会议将在5分钟之后开始。请继续保持此通话。感谢大家一直在线。如果大家不挂断电话,会议将会在几分钟之后开始。再次,请继续保持此通话,不要挂断。我是本次会议的协调员,请继续保持通话,我们将会在几分钟之后进行。请继续保持通话。感谢您的配合,欢迎再次回来。现在所有的参会者都是接听模式。在稍后的问题解答环节,请按*号键和1号键。下面将由Carlos Munoz先生讲话,Carlos Munoz先生,请!

Carlos Munoz: Thank you so much Mia and hello everyone. Thank you for joining today’s teleconference on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program. Again, my name is Carlos Munoz from the USCIS Public Engagement division. And joining me today are colleagues from the USCIS Immigrant Investor program office, our field operations director, and other offices in USCIS. I would like to recognize our main speakers for today’s engagement. We have Dan Renaud, the Deputy Associate Director of the USCIS Field Operations Directorate, Nicholas Colucci, the Chief of the Immigrant Investor Program Office, and Robert Cox, the Deputy Chief of the Program Office.

非常谢谢Mia。大家好。感谢大家参加本次就EB-5移民投资项目的电话会议。再次自我介绍一下,我是来自移民局公众参与部门的Carols Munoz。今天和我一起参加会议的有:移民局移民投资项目办公室的同事们,我们现场运营总监,USCIS的其他办公室。我想跟大家介绍一下本次内容的主要发言者。他们是:Dan Renaud – 移民局现场运作部副总监; Nicholas Colucci – 移民投资项目办公室主任;以及Robert Cox – 移民投资项目办公室副主任。

Before we get started we have a few quick admin reminders. We will start today’s engagement with opening remarks followed by a presentation with updates on the EB-5 Program Office. We will then have a questions and answers session. As the operator indicated, all lines are currently in listen-only mode. We will allow ample time for questions and answers at the end of the presentations. Now, we received a large number of questions in advance of today’s engagement. Our speakers make every effort to incorporate responses to the most common questions in their presentation and we will also address a few additional questions at the end of their remarks. We would like to remind all participants that we cannot address case or fact-specific questions on our engagement. If you are a staff of the member of Congress you are welcome to listen to today’s call but we kindly ask that you please contact the USCIS Office of the State of Affairs for any briefing requests and/or case-specific matters. Also, we will remind everyone that the information provided by USCIS during this phone call is not intended for media attribution. If there are members of the media joining us today you are welcome to listen, but we ask that you please call the USCIS press office at (202) 272-1200. Again, (202) 272-1200 if you need additional information or for on-the-record comments. And now I will turn the call over to my colleague, Dan Renaud, from our Field Operations Directorate. We will begin today’s presentation.

在本次会议开始之前,我们有几点简短提醒。今天的会议将以简短的开场致辞开始,接下来是进一步讲述EB-5项目办公室的更新信息,然后我们会有一个解疑问答环节。正如刚才协调员提到的,所有参与者都是处于接听模式。在讲解之后,我们会留出充足的时间为大家解答疑问。在本次会议之前,我们已经收到了大量的提问。我们的主讲嘉宾将会就他们在讲解中最常见的问题进行汇总并答复,同时,我们也将在他们讲解之后将解决更多的问题。我们想提醒所有的参会者,在本次会议中,我们无法解决任何有关具体情况的问题。如果您是国会议员,欢迎您参加今天的电话会议。但是如果有关简述要求或者具体情况的问题,请联系移民局事物状态办公室。同时,我们提醒大家,在本次电话会议中,移民局提供的任何信息不能用于媒体报道。今天如果有媒体的成员加入我们,欢迎您的参加。但是如果您需要其他更多的信息或者做记录所需,请致电移民局新闻办公室,电话是(202)272 – 202。再次强调,如果您需要任何其他的信息或者做记录所需,请致电移民局新闻办公室,电话是(202)272 – 202。接下来将由我的同事:来自现场运作部的Dan Renaud 开始进行讲解。

Dan Renaud: Thank you, Carlos. Good afternoon, my name is Daniel Renaud and I am the Deputy Associate Director for Field Operations with USCIS. Until recently I was the acting chief of the investor program office. Today I am pleased to welcome you to the first in a new series of quarterly engagements with EB-5 stakeholders. Our goal today is to provide updates on the transition of the investor program from California to headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss the May 30, 2013, calls of memorandum, and to invite comment and discussion related to program rules. The agency’s goal is to administer an accessible and secure immigrant investor program that stimulates the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. The USCIS has taken steps over the past few years to enhance the EB-5 program to increase transparency and efficiency while ensuring security and integrity. The USCIS has realigned the EB-5 program at the headquarters program office with an SES level leader dedicated exclusively to the EB-5 workload. We have infused experienced professionals in the areas of corporate law, immigration law, business, and economics into the process to more effectively manage the complex caseload. We have published a comprehensive policy memorandum to improve consistency and clarity and we have improved vetting and collaboration with federal partners.

谢谢Carlos。下午好,我是移民局现场运作部副总监Daniel Renaud 。不久之前我是投资项目办公室的代理主任。今天我很高兴欢迎您和EB-5项目的申请者们参加首次新季度会议。今天我们的目标是介绍从加州到华盛顿总部投资项目的最新搬迁情况,讨论2013年5月30号电话会议备忘录,讨论并听取关于本项目规则的意见。本机构的目标是管理一个可运作而且安全的移民投资项目,通过外国投资者创造的就业机会和资本投资,进而刺激美国经济。在过去的几年里了,移民局不断采取措施加强EB5项目,在确保安全性和整体性的同时,提高透明度和工作效率。在项目办公室总部,移民局已与专门致力于EB-5工作的SES级别领导人进行EB-5项目重组。我们有在商法、移民法、商业和经济学等领域的资深专业人士,会更有效地管理复杂的案例。我们已经公布全面的政策备忘录,以提高一致性和清晰度,同时也加强了与联邦合作伙伴的审核效率和合作。

Progress has been made but there is much yet to accomplish. Processing times need to be reduced to make the program more effective and accessible for bonafide projects. Filing options need to be improved to reduce the amount of paper required to support each petition. Regulations need to be updated to align with statutes and clarified to improve initial filings. Customer service needs to be improved to ensure visibility into the process and the confidence in our processing times and our decisions. And lastly, stakeholder input needs to be solicited more frequently to ensure the program continues to meet the objectives of the statute. To that end, this event kicks off a series of quarterly engagements on EB-5 issues related to policy, procedure, and guidance.

EB-5项目已经有很多进步,但是仍需完善。需要进一步缩短处理时间,才能使此项目更加有效,从而获取更多有诚意的项目。递案选项有待改善,这样在每个申请书中需要用来辅证的纸张数量才能减少。规则需要更新、与法律保持一致,或者进一步阐述,改进初始递案。客户服务需要改善,确保全过程的可视性和对我们处理进度和决策的信任度。最后,需要经常听取利益攸关者意见,以保证此项目符合法律要求。至此,今天打开了关于EB-5项目的一系列季度会议的序幕,当中会讨论的相关问题 – 政策、程序和指引等都一一解决。

As I said, progress has been made but there is a substantial amount yet to be accomplished. I am pleased today to introduce the new chief of the USCIS immigrant investor program, Nick Colucci. Nick comes to USCIS from the Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes enforcement network. Nick has extensive experience as a manager and leader with both treasury as well as alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives where his work implementing pawnbroker initiative in particular demonstrated his ability to work collaboratively and build coalitions with stakeholder groups and law enforcement agencies. And since then his work has established a new organization to provide bank security acts in-house was highlighted as emblematic of his ability to build coalitions, manage under stress, and manage people through changing priorities and realignment of positions. Nick brings the skills, experience, and the drive to lead the investor program at USCIS. So I would like to turn it over to Nick for his comments.

正如刚刚提到的,虽然该项目已经有了进步,但是仍有大量的工作需要完善。今天我很荣幸向大家介绍移民局投资移民项目的新负责人-Nick Colucci。Nick来移民局工作之前,在美国财政部金融犯罪执法网络任职。 作为一名管理者和领导者,Nick在财务、酒类、烟草、枪支和炸药等方面都有非常丰富的经验,特别是主动完善典当行业,这展示了他良好的协作能力,能够与申请团队和执法机构友好合作。自此,他的工作等于建立了一个新的组织机构,确保了银行室内安全,这更突出了他在建立联盟、克服压力、通过改变优先顺序和职位调整进行管理人员方面的能力。Nick将技能、经验和动力来领导移民局的投资移民项目。所以我想首先让Nick跟大家进行讲解。

Nick Colucci: Thanks Dan, and good afternoon everyone. As Dan mentioned I came to USCIS from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN, an agency within the Department of Treasury. At FinCEN, where I served for five years, I led a division of analysts and federal agents who worked closely with our counterparts in law enforcement and the intelligence community to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud. During this time I learned a tremendous amount about the interagency community and I expect it will assist me greatly in my duties as the chief of the immigrant investor program office. Coming to the office I have concentrated my time on taking a fresh look at the program and would like to share several updates.


First, as of February 14, 2014, all form I-924 applications filed by potential regional centers and all I-526 petitions filed by potential immigrant investors will be adjudicated by the immigrant investor program office in Washington, D.C. With the remainder of the fiscal year, all petitions by entrepreneurs to remove conditions form I-829 and EB-5-related adjustment applications – form I-485 – will continue to be adjudicated by a team in a California service center who will report to me. As of today we have 53 staff in the Immigrant Investor Program Office, also known as IPO, including 20 economists and 25 adjudicators. We have been fortunate to hire very talented, experienced, and diverse staff – about 80% of whom have advanced degrees including 7 PhDs and approximately 20 individuals with law degrees. In addition to our media staff we have a team of colleagues from the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate in office of chief counsel who are dedicated full time to the EB-5 program. This arrangement fosters enhanced communication and collaboration within the program and ultimately increased efficiency.

首先,截至到2014年2月14日,潜在的区域中心提交的所有I – 924类申请和潜在的投资移民者提交的所有I – 526类申请将由投资移民项目华盛顿办公室进行裁定。在本年度接下来的时间里, 符合I– 829类移除条件的企业家申请以及以及与EB-5相关的I – 485类调整申请将继续由加州服务中心的团队负责裁定,他们直接向我报告。截止到今天为止,我们投资移民项目办公室(也叫IPO)一共有53人,其中包括20名经济学家和25名裁定员。我们很荣幸能够雇佣到才华横溢、经验丰富的多元化员工—大约80% 的人员都拥有高学历,我们有7个博士和大约20名法学人才。除了我们的媒体工作人员之外,我们还有一支团队来自欺诈监测和国家安全理事,全职服务于EB-5项目。这样的安排可以加强沟通和合作,最终有利于提高工作效率。

Now I would like to discuss processing times. As of January 31, 2014, our average processing times were form I-526, 11 months, form I-924, 12 months, and form I-829, 11 months. Our website will be updated to reflect these times and our plan is to update the website on a monthly basis to reflect accurate processing times. We will strive to post them prior to the end of the following months. February will be posted not later than March 31st. On a related note, we do expect processing times to increase in the near future in light of the loss of the approximately 35 California service center personnel who adjudicated 526s and 924s; however, we do think this will be a temporary problem until we are able to hire and train another round of adjudicators which we are in the process of doing now. Our goal is to achieve better processing times on 526s and 829s towards the end of this fiscal year and even sooner on 924s.

接下来我想说一下处理时间。截至到2014年1月31日,我们的平均处理时间分别是:I– 526 —11个月, I – 924 —12个月, I – 829—11个月。我们将在网站上进行相应的更新,并计划每月更新网站,体现准确的审核进度。我们尽力在接下来的下个月月底进行公示。2月份的公示最晚不迟于3月31日。有一点需要注意的是,考虑到加州服务中心大约35名负责裁定526申请和924申请员工的裁减,未来一段时间内处理时间有可能加长,但是我们认为这只是一个暂时的问题,将来我们会雇佣和培训更多的审核人员,现在正在着手准备这件事情。我们的目标是在本年度底之前,加快526和829申请处理进程,使924申请处理时间更短。

Next, I would like to provide program-related statistics from the last fiscal year, which has background encompassed October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013. We do plan to post these statistics on our website in the near future. I will begin with I-924s. So as of the beginning of last fiscal year, which again is October 1, 2012, we had 504 applications pending. At the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2013, we had 300 pending. We received 207 through the fiscal year, approved 218, denied 32, and sent requests for evidence on 236. With respect to I-526s, at the beginning of the fiscal year we had 5,018 pending. At the end of the fiscal year we had 7,131. We received throughout the year 6,346, we approved 3,699, denied 943, and sent RFEs on 3,733 cases. For the form I-829, pending at the beginning of the fiscal year was 1,013 and at the end 1,345. We received 1,217 throughout the year, approved 844, denied 44, and RFEs were sent for 418. These will be posted to our website.

接下来我会提供从2012年10月1日至2013年9月30期间的与本项目相关的统计数据。我们计划在不久的将来在我们的网站上发布这些数据。首先,我将从I-924开始讲解。上个财政年度开始时,也就是2012年10月1日, 我们有504例未处理。到上个财政年度末,也就是2013年9月30日,我们有300例未处理。在此财政年度内,我们一共收到了207例申请,218例批准,32例被拒,236发出补件要求。关于I-526,在上个财政年度开始,我们有5018例未处理。到上个财政年度末,我们还有7131例未处理。在此财政年度内,我们一共收到了6346例申请,3699例批准, 943例被拒,3733例发出补件要求。对于I-829申请,上个财政年度开始时,我们有1013例。上个财政年度末,一共有1345例。在此财政年度内,我们收到了1217例,844例批准,44例被拒,418例发出补件要求。我们将会在网站上发布这些数据。

As you may know, you can now submit an I-526 petition in USCIS ELIS. We believe the use of USCIS ELIS will not only reduce paperwork but ultimately increase efficiency within the program. We have already received some standalone 526 petitions in USCIS ELIS and we have been in the process of reviewing these filings and issuing RFEs as necessary. We hope to start adjudicating some now so we can test the system and increase confidences in the system across the stakeholder community. In addition, as some of you may know, we recently released in ELIS a document library that allows regional centers to provide existing investors in new commercial enterprises with electronic copies of documents pertaining their investment including organizational, transactional, and offering documents which can be used by I-526 petitioners to electronically submit their petitions. In the coming weeks the office of transformation coordination will host a webinar to describe the document library’s features. We hope to send additional information to this group soon.


Now I would like to share with you some filing tips when submitting your application or petition. These tips will also help us increase the efficiency of our adjudications. First, there is no need to send in a duplicate copy of the supporting evidence. One is enough and in fact an extra copy not only serves to increase shipping costs and waste paper, but because we must keep the file together at all times it becomes a burden when storing and reviewing the file. Second, we are seeing many translation documents do not comply with the regulations. In short, summary translations are not sufficient. To ensure that the case is processed timely when submitting any foreign language documents, please ensure that certification that complies with the regulations. Third, we are also seeing outdated TEA letters that require us to issue a request for evidence. Next, I would like to remind our I-526 petitioners to clearly indicate in a cover letter or a cover sheet a name, receipt, and ID number of the regional center under which a petition is based along with the name of the new commercial enterprise. And finally, for an I-924 application it would be very helpful if you would state the type of approval you are requesting – hypothetical, actual, or exemplar – in your cover letter to ensure more timely processing. We plan to publish these and additional filing tips on our website in the near future.


Next, as many of you know we are beginning to work on revised EB-5 regulations. This is something we have identified as an important step for the future of the program for some time and it is a priority as a result of the recommendations from the office of inspector general’s audit report, which was released in December. As you may have seen in the office of the inspector general report mostly limited its recommendations to drafting a regulation that would address fraud and national security issues to enhance the integrity of the program. While we agree there is a need to address these issues to the extent permissible under statute to help ensure the program is not used or abused for the wrong purposes, we plan to take a more comprehensive approach and will use the regulatory revision process to strengthen and make more efficient the overall program. Since we are in the very early stages of formulating closed regulatory changes, which of course will be posted for public notice and comment at an appropriate time, we are not in a position to discuss specific changes being considered by USCIS. We would like, however, to use this engagement as an opportunity to obtain valuable feedback from stakeholders on the EB-5 regulations and any proposed changes that you would like USCIS to take into consideration. This is a priority for us given the importance of regulatory changes to the future success of the program, so we welcome your feedback during this call. Specifically we are looking to hear from you not only ideas for USCIS to combat fraud and abuse, but we are also looking to improve upon the regulations and the subject of eligibility and procedural filing requirements contained therein. Our goal is to ensure that the administration of the program and adjudication of EB-5 cases can be more efficient and timely, consistent, and predictable without sacrificing the integrity of the program with the quality of our review. We plan to continue this listing session in a new tool we are using in USCIS called the USCIS Idea Community.


The USCIS Idea Community is a crowd sourcing tool that allows stakeholders to post ideas on a particular topic and others can participate in the discussion by voting on the ideas and comments. This will help us identify issues that are most relevant to all of you, our stakeholder community, and help us a great deal as we shape the regulation. Please look for that email in the near term as well as an announcement about a future stakeholder engagement that will be specific to the regulation.


Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks at the California Service Center, led by Rose Kendrick, the associate center director responsible for the EB-5 program at the California Service Center, for all their hard work and dedication to the program. In addition to continuing to work EB-5 cases all the way up until the transition of the 924s and 526s to D.C. a couple of weeks ago, Rose and her team have been instrumental in helping to ensure the transition of the EB-5 program to D.C. is successful. As we continue to transition the program please note that in the near future I-526 petitions upon intake may be data entered into a different system at USCIS and after that change is made will receive notices that will no longer reflect California Service Center as the center where the case is located. In other words, received notices would not reflect a WAC case number. We want to bring this to your attention so you are not surprised by internal changes that are reflected on I-526 receipt notices.

最后,我需要借此机会感谢负责EB-5项目的副主任Rose Kendrick领导下的加州服务中心所有人员,感谢他们的辛勤工作和对此项目的奉献。几周前,924和526申请过渡到D.C.之前,他们一直处理着EB-5相关的申请,Rose和她的团队对EB-5项目成功过渡到D.C.方面有着巨大的帮助。因为整个项目现在还处于过渡阶段,所以需要注意的是I-526类型请的申请一经接收,可能将数据录入移民局的另一个系统中。过渡完成后,I-526申请将会收到通知,内容是即使申请是加州提交,但加州服务中心将不再作为处理中心。换句话说,收到的通知并不会影响到WAC编号的文件。我们再次提醒各位注意此变化,这样当你收到I-526收讫通知时,不至于因为我们内部的变动而感到疑惑。

I would like to close my comments by sharing with you some thoughts about where I hope to concentrate my efforts as we move the program forward. In short, I plan to focus in three areas: One, continuing to build the program’s foundation; two, increase performance and predictability, and three is enhanced customer service and transparency. I will start with building the foundation and what that really means to me is developing the office the right way from the beginning so we are set up for success. My efforts in this area are related to two categories – personnel and programmatic. As a very new office we have significant challenges ahead. In essence what we are trying to do is reduce the backlog while at the same time expanding the office. Therefore, consistency in everything we do becomes particularly important. With respect to personnel, as I mentioned already we have 53 people on board; however, as we build a foundation we need to continue to hire. In the near term we are expecting a new group of recent hires to increase our number to around 75. Our goal is to be at or near 100 staff by the end of the fiscal year and most of those hired will be adjudicators; however, hiring is only the first step. We are also introducing an aggressive onboarding program so that we can get experienced adjudicators up to speed within five weeks of entering on duty. We are also concentrating on creating other training classes that will serve to foster consistency and adjudications and improve our subject matter knowledge.


With respect to the programmatic work we are working with our office of policy and strategy to put together a comprehensive policy manual. We are also developing a quality assessment and quality control strategy. We have also set up an internal community of interests page specific to the immigrant investor program office where we can share important information and program updates. And finally we continue to seek venues such as biweekly office meetings and roundtables so that our adjudicators and economists can discuss their cases and bounce ideas off of one another. Again, all these things, as well as others, are going to help us ensure the consistency of our decisions.


The second area I plan to focus on is performance and predictability. I discussed earlier where we are with respect to processing times and also noted you will likely see increased processing times in the near future; however, I plan to concentrate a significant amount of my time on driving performance through seeking efficiencies, establishing goals, and rewarding success. I hope that we can share updates on this effort at our next stakeholder meeting. I understand that as important as increased processing times are to all of you that predictability is equally important because of the size and urgency of many of the projects that are being submitted. We would like to be more transparent in our performance and I pledge to seek data that we can share with you in the future to assist you in making critical decisions with more confidence. Finally, I plan to take a look at our customer service strategy in an effort to increase the transparency with which the program operates. At a high level, I would like us to be more accessible, respond more timely, and provide more information rather than less. I believe we can update our website more frequently and include more useful and timely information. I look forward to discussing each area in more detail and with more concrete deliverables at an in-person stakeholder meeting in late spring or early summer.


In closing, I am very honored to have been selected to run this program and work with such a talented staff. I came to the program at an exciting time. Thanks to Dan Renaud, Robert Cox, Rose Kendrick, and many others the program was already heading in the right direction when I arrived. I look forward to working with all of you to determine how we can strengthen the program even more as we move forward. Now I would like to introduce Robert Cox, the acting deputy chief, who will provide a short lead into the policy memo discussion and then move to questions and answers.

最后,管理此项目以及与这么优秀的员工共事是我的荣幸。能够参与此项目让我非常激动。感谢Dan Renaud, Robert Cox, Rose Kendrick以及其他的同事。在我加入之前,此项目已经朝着正确的方向运行。我期待与大家共事,共同决定如何加强此项目,使其不断前进。现在我介绍一下执行副主任Robert Cox。他将简短的介绍政策讨论记录,然后会是问题解答环节。

Robert Cox: Good afternoon. Thank you for joining today’s call and your interest in the EB-5 program. Over the past 14 months USCIS provided additional guidance to our office to enhance the foundational understanding of various EB-5 eligibility criteria and the agency’s official policy interpretation of those criteria. We believe this additional guidance, including the operational memorandum issued on ten occupancies in December 2012 and the EB-5 policy memorandum issued in May 2013 have helped to clarify various eligibility requirements and how the those requirements are to be applied during the course of an EB-5 adjudication. EB-5 is of course a complex program and subject matter and we understand that there are additional issues that require future clarification, whether it is a regulatory change or additional policy guidance; however, we believe the guidance issued in the last 14 months has improved the foundation for administering the EB-5 program in a fair, efficient, and predictable manner. It should also be noted that the guidance, in particular the EB-5 policy memorandum, was posted for stakeholder comment a couple of times and the feedback provided by stakeholders was very useful as USCIS evaluated and developed the EB-5 policy guidance.


As mentioned, USCIS is now in the process of developing the EB-5 policy manual which is designed to consolidate existing EB-5 policy memoranda and the AFM into one comprehensive EB-5 policy guidance document. As Nick mentioned, in addition to developing the policy manual we are eager to launch into revising the regulation since we firmly believe that it is essential to effectively administering the EB-5 program long term. Ultimately we understand that our policy, in order to be effective in terms of administering the program in a fair and efficient manner, must be applied in a timely adjudication of each application and petition. As Nick mentioned, we are continuing to build our staffing model to ensure that we maintain a high level of quality during the adjudicative review process and are able to work through the existing backlog, reduce processing times, and provide a consistent adjudication process timeline upon which qualifying job-creating projects can be structured and resolved in the positive economic impact and job creation intended by the program.


A number of questions were submitted by stakeholders in advance of this engagement. And while we are unable to address each one specifically due to the sheer number of submissions we will summarize some of those questions that we believe have brought us applicability and provide responses before we open the lines for additional comments or questions. It should also be noted that a number of questions pertain to information which have been provided in our opening remarks.


To begin, one of the first questions we will address relates to the types of regional center application. The May 30, 2013, policy memorandum discussed the different types of projects that can be submitted to support an I-924 including hypothetical projects held with an exemplar I-526 form, which can receive deference. The question is if a regional center has an actual project but not enough information to file an exemplar I-526, will USCIS’s approval be the same as it is for a hypothetical project – that is, the regional center’s geographic area and industries need to be approved, but there will be no difference to the project. No, we consider an approval of an I-924 application based on a hypothetical project to be different than an I-924 application based on an actual project would not be the same as an approval based on a hypothetical project. Deference will be provided to determination based on actual projects and our approval notices now expressly describe the extent to which deference will apply. USCIS approved an I-924 application based on an actual project that does not include an I-526 exemplar and a copy of the business has been submitted in support of the I-924 application based on an actual project is deemed compliant with matter of Ho, we will defer to that determination in future petitions involving the same comprehensive business plan absent fraud, willful misrepresentation or an objective mistake of law or fact, the same level of deference also applies to the associated economic analyses submitted in support of an approved I-924 application based on an actual project.


The next question – does a regional center application seeking approval based on hypothetical projects require verifiable details or similar standards for market feasibility analysis or validation of costs and timeline for construction to support assumptions made in the economic analysis or is it enough to present a basically credible, hypothetical business plan? Our response is a reasonably credible sample or hypothetical business plan that provides a general market feasibility analysis, cost estimates, and timeline for construction may provide a basis for establishing eligibility for initial regional center designation. Regional center applications based on hypothetical projects still require an economic analysis with verifiable detail pertaining to how the jobs are going to be created; however, the level of detail and degree to which it needs to be verifiable is not as stringent as it is for I-924 applications based on actual project proposals and a matter of ho compliance comprehensive business plan. Understanding that these are sample projects that are presented only to demonstrate the types of projects that the regional center may pursue to create jobs, the range of assumptions that are acceptable as input into the economic modeling supporting I-924 applications based on sample projects which will not receive deference in later I-526 adjudications are different that those assumptions and inputs that are used to support I-924 applications based on actual projects that may received deference in later I-526 adjudications based on those projects. Existing regulations, however, as noted still require an economic analysis for all regional center applications and those analyses need to provide enough detail for USCIS to verify generally how the jobs will be created.


Next question – what is an objective mistake of fact or law that eliminates deference? Our response – we consider an objective mistake of law or fact to involve a determination where the officer misapplies the applicable eligibility criteria or failed to take into consideration a fact that would have been determinative in the eligibility decision. For example, an objective mistake of law or fact would be present if an officer approved a petition for the reduced investment amount upon a determination that the unemployment level in the targeted area was 125% of the national average rather than the required 150%. Subjective determinations, however, where an officer uses his or her adjudicative judgment to assess the facts and make a determination while applying the correct eligibility criteria would not be considered an objective mistake of law or fact. For example, an officer’s decision that the business plan is comprehensive and credible under matter of ho would likely be a subjective determination and unless such decision is based upon an objective mistake of fact or law would likely be provided deference.


Next question – this question relates to census track, aggregation, will USCIS accept a TEA, Targeted Employment Area, constructed from an aggregation of census tracks using the prescribed Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology from the individual investor or [inaudible – 00:41:32] designation? Our response – when the investor claims that his or her investment is in a new commercial enterprise located in a geographic or political subdivision of a metropolitan statistical area or of the city or town with a population of 20,000 or more usually by aggregating census tracks, the investor must present a letter from the state government certifying that the geographic or political subdivision is a high unemployment area. As stated in the May 30, 2013, policy memo USCIS defers to state determinations of the appropriate boundaries of a geographic or political subdivision that constitutes the TEA. According to 8CFR204.6J6 to show this new commercial enterprise has created or will create employment in a targeted employment area the petition must be accompanied by in the case of a high unemployment area, evidence that the metropolitan statistical area with specific county within the metropolitan statistical area or the county in which a city or town with a population of 20,000 or more is located in which the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business has experienced an average unemployment rate of 150% of the national average rate, or a letter from an authorized body of the government of the state in which the new commercial enterprise is located which certifies that the geographic or political subdivision of the metropolitan statistical area or of the city or town with a population of 20,000 or more in which the enterprise is principally doing business has been designated as a high unemployment area. The letter must meet the requirements of a CFR204.6I. As such a TEA constructed from an aggregation of census tracks to claim that a particular geographic or political subdivision is a high unemployment area would not meet the regulatory requirements absent a state approval letter. This type of TEA designation must be in the form of a letter from an authorized state official.

下一个问题是关于人口普查跟踪和统计的。移民局是否接受个人投资者或者申请人根据劳动统计局规定的人口普查方法得出来的统计数据?我们认为——当投资者声称,他或她投资的新商业企业位于市统计区地理范围或行政分区内,或者城市或城镇人口20,000左右的地区通常可以借鉴人口普查汇总记录。 投资者必须出示一封来自州政府的证明文件,证明所在的地理区域或行政分区是一个高失业地区。2013年5月30日政策备忘录中也提到过,移民局尊重目标就业地区地理区域内或行政分区内的州级决定。根据8CFR204.6J6要求,在高失业率区域,新商业企业在目标就业区域已经创造或将要创造就业的申请,必须同时提供证明资料用以证明新商业企业是位于市统计区下的特定县市或城镇区域内的人口20,000左右的县市,且大部分生意运营主要在国家平均失业率为150%的区域内。或者取得州政府授权机构的证明信——证明该商业企业是位于市统计区下的特定县市或城镇区域内的人口20,000左右的县市,主要营业区域是在指定的高失业率区域内的。证明信必须符合CFR204.6I的要求。因为仅根据人口统计数据得出的目标就业区(TEA)——也就是在特定的的地理区域或行政区域内具有高失业率的地区,但是缺少州政府批准,是达不到法规要求的。特定目标就业区(TEA)是必须从各州取得官方证明文件的。

Next question – what is the standard for determining the geographic range of a regional center? Is the standard more flexible in the expansion context than in the initial filing? The standard for determining the geographic range of a regional center is the same regardless of when or how that regional center geographic request is submitted. USCIS will review the proposed geographic boundaries of a new regional center and will deem them acceptable if the applicant can establish by preponderance of the evidence that the proposed economic activity will promote economic growth in the proposed area. The question is a fact-specific one and the law does not require any particular form of evidentiary showing such as a county by county analysis. In USCIS’s experience, the reasonableness of a proposed regional center geographic boundary may be demonstrated through evidence that the proposed area is contributing significantly to the supply chain as well as the labor pool of the proposed projects. We do understand the value of predictability in the context of associated I-526 petitions. An I-924 amendment with an exemplar presenting the project to USCIS for approval and subsequent deference prior to the filing of associated I-526 petitions allows for a level of predictability for regional centers and investors. We also understand that in order to maximize the value for applicants to file an I-924 amendment with an exemplar prior to the filing of I-526s under that project we need to ensure that our processing times substantially improve. We believe we are making substantial progress towards improving I-924 processing times and believe that IPO continues to increase staff and a similar reduction in I-526 processing times will follow. Again, predictability, consistency, and efficiency in processing in addition to quality and integrity are all important goals for IPO as we administer the EB-5 program.


The next question is the May 30 memo states that a regional center may operate out of its area of operations and any ICS is job creation requirements are met. Does this mean a California regional center may submit a project in New York or must a new area of operations be contiguous to the approved region of operation? Our response – with respect to the question of whether a regional center’s geographic area must be contiguous, the new area of operations must be contiguous to the approved regional center geographic area since it would involve an expansion of the geographic area. Consistent with the form I-924 instructions, USCIS requires that a regional center focus on a contiguous geographic area. A regional center designated to operate in California would not be approved to operate a project in New York and their geographic area would not be expanded to include New York.


Next question – this question relates to the EB-5 program and public works project. The question notes that information supplied on the USCIS website seems to indicate that a commercial enterprise connected with an EB-5 investor must a “for-profit activity” and does this preclude a public works project? Our response – according to 8CFR204.6E the new commercial enterprise is required to be a for-profit entity. In cases where an investor may claim indirect job creation through an investment into a new commercial enterprise associated with a regional center, the actual job-creating entity may be separate from the new commercial enterprise. While the new commercial enterprise may pool investor funds to belong to a separate not-for-profit job-creating entity such as an entity undertaking a public works project the petitioner will still be required to demonstrate that the new commercial enterprise itself is engaging in for-profit activity and that the invested funds are placed at risk for the purpose of generating a return and that the investment into the new commercial enterprise is likely to resolve in the requisite job creation.


Next question – can investors in a project qualify for a $500,000 minimum investment by investing in a new commercial enterprise that will create jobs in a collection of separate TEAs without creating most of the jobs in one of them? Our response – yes, as long as the job-creating entities are principally doing business in the designated TEAs and if the investment is within a regional center, the job-creating entities are located in the geographic area of the regional center. Most of the jobs do not have to be created in one particular TEA if multiple TEAS are involved and the fact-supporting finding that the job-creating entities are principally doing business in the TEAs.


Next question – is there any problem if the developer or the general partner has the option to redeem an investment at a fixed amount or provide property in addition to or in lieu of a fixed amount as long as it is not an option of the investor? Our response – the answer will depend on the specific facts involved and the terms of any agreement. As noted in the May 30, 2013, policy memo, if the immigrant investor is guaranteed the return of a portion of their investment or is guaranteed a rate of return on a portion of their investment, then the amount of a guaranteed return is not at risk. Thus, IPO will review the evidence to determine if there is a risk of loss and a chance for gain and to determine whether there is a promise to return or redeem some portion of the minimum required investment amount. Even if the agreement does not represent a promise or guarantee that [inaudible - 00:50:55] contribution of capital below the minimum required amount, depending on the terms of the agreement there may be questions pertaining to whether the investor has the potential for gain.

下一个问题——如果开发人或普通合伙人以固定资产或地产代替额定金额履行投资,是否可以接受?我们的解答是——将取决于所涉及的具体情形和协议条款。2013年5月30日政策备忘录中提出,如果投资移民者保证返还投资的一部分或保证投资回报率,那么保底投资收益金额并无风险。因此,投资移民办公室(IPO)将审查证据,以确定是否有损失风险和收益机会。即使协议中并没有关于出资与最低所需金额的承诺或保证(- 00:50:55),但是根据协议的条款,可能存在有关投资者是否有潜在的收益的问题。

Next question – provide clarification on sale of regional centers. In regards to the May 30, 2013, memo this clarification regarding this topic was missing from the guidance. Previously USCIS had held that sales were permitted but required amendments and in recent adjudications USCIS seems to be shying away from this position. Clear guidance is requested. Our response – a sale of a regional center entity is not prohibited. Note that the instructions for form I-924 provide that regional centers must notify USCIS within 30 days of a change of address, contact information, regional center principles, contracting agents, or similar changes in the operation or administration of the regional center. Accordingly, if a regional center entity is sold the regional center must notify USCIS of the sale within 30 days and USCIS may require the principles of the new regional center entity to file a form I-924A. The regional center may also file an I-924 amendment to reflect the sale.


Next question – does the formation of a new company after November 29, 1990, and the purchase of assets by that company from another company that went out of business quality as a new commercial enterprise. Our response – the determination of whether a new commercial enterprise has been established will ultimately depend on the facts involved and whether the facts support the claim that the new company is a new commercial enterprise or through the purposes of assets of a prior entity performed on or before November 29, 1990, is merely a reorganized or restructured entity that has not shown the degree of restructuring or reorganization required by 8CFR204.6H2 to constitute a new commercial enterprise. The various factual distinctions noted in the question and to summarize some of those distinctions that were raised – is there a difference in terms of when the assets from the prior business were acquired, whether or not that business was in existence or no longer in existence, whether or not the assets were simply stock, and whether or not the foreign national requiring the assets is entering into a different type of business, those various factual distinctions would be relevant along with others in the analysis; however, the mere fact that an entity formed after November 29, 1990, purchased assets of a prior entity does not in and of itself mean that the entity is not a new commercial enterprise. The nature, timing, and extent of the asset purchased will be evaluated to determine if this is simply as asset purchased in the course of operating and growing the new commercial enterprise or if the asset purchased is more likely than not the acquisition and restructuring or reorganization of an existing business formed on or before November 29, 1990. If the facts show that the asset purchased was more likely than not a purchase of an existing business then the facts will be reviewed consistent with matter of Soficci in precedent decision and other applicable law to determine if the business purchased was restructured or reorganized such that a new commercial enterprise resulted.


Next question – what, if any, limits on bridge financing should investors know about? The May 30, 2013, memo does not mention any temporal or other limits on using EB-5 funds to repay bridge financing. Is there any particular EB-5 related event that must have occurred before bridge financing is advanced for EB-5 funds to be allowed to replace such financing? Our response – generally, the replacement of bridge financing with EB-5 investor capital should have been contemplated prior to acquiring the original non-EB-5 financing; however, even if the EB-5 financing was not contemplated prior to acquiring the temporary financing, as long as the financing to be replaced was contemplated as short term, temporary financing, which would be subsequently replaced, the infusion of EB-5 financing could still result in the creation of and credit for new jobs. Consistent with the policy as set forth in the May 30, 2013, memo, the focuses on the nature of the underlying financing in order to determine that the financing to be replaced by the EB-5 funds is truly bridge or temporary financing or if the EB-5 funds are being used to merely refinance the longer-term debt. If the underlying financing was bridge financing, which is a fact-based determination based on the terms of the underlying financing and the circumstances surrounding the use, application, and plan at the time the financing was obtained to replace it with other long-term financing such as EB-5 funds, then jobs credited through the use of the bridge financing could still be credited to the EB-5 investors. If, however, the petitioner fails to establish that it is more likely than not that the EB-5 funds are being used to replace bridge or temporary financing rather than, for example, to refinance longer-term debt that was not contemplated to be used temporarily then jobs created through the use of the prior financing would not be credited to the EB-5 investors.


Next question – the next question relates to guest expenditures. What is the legal standard for allowing EB-5 investors in a hotel to obtain credit for guest expenditure jobs that the jobs would not be in the area? For example, that the jobs would not be in the area but for the hotel or that the hotel is the primary reason the guests are in the area? The question notes that these standards are different. The hotel might make it possible for someone to stay in the area by offering rooms when other hotels are full but visitors may be coming for some other reason. And the question asks if there is another standard. Our response – USCIS reviews these analyses and projections to determine if they are economically or statistically valid. As such, it is a fact-based specific determination in a market study and supporting evidence and the manner in which that information or data is used in the economic analysis in job creation projection. Thus, an applicant can establish that a hotel and consequently hotel and associated hotel revenues are creditable for job creation through several means. The first of these is unmet aggregate demand. USCIS examines the occupancy rates of hotels in the area when reviewing new hotel projects. If occupancy rates for hotels are high in a particular area a successful argument could be made that a new hotel will serve unmet demand rather than cannibalize existing hotel visitors to that area. If an applicant demonstrates in their business plan and through data and market studies, for example, that high hotel occupancy rates exist the USCIS considers that as evidence that there is unmet demand and that guest expenditures for hotel revenues including restaurants, meeting facilities, and concessions with the hotel, etc., represent new spending and consequently new jobs for the area. USCIS would also consider guest spending, i.e. hotel revenues, from a proposed new hotel in an area as new spending and consequently new jobs for the area if an applicant can demonstrate that they are providing a differentiated product to serve a special market segment. For example, the construction of a hotel to provide facilities for longer-term guests, usually called resident hotels, in an area where none exist supported my market study estimating current and future demand for this market segment would more than likely demonstrate the serving of new demands, hence new expenditures, rather than displacing current visitors. Similar successful arguments have been made for five-star hotels and for budget hotels in areas where one, there is aggregate unmet demand in an area and two, no comparable facilities exist.


USCIS also considers arguments that guest expenditures for hotel revenues represent new spending and consequently new jobs for the area if the new hotel is in response to another facility, for example a sports arena or entertainment venue. The next and last question that we would like to address at this time relates to evidence at the I-829 stage. What evidence does USCIS accept at the 829 stage to support the creation of model derived direct jobs or the justification of the input, i.e. revenue or expenditures, or would it be actual payroll documentation? Our response – direct jobs are identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise into which the investor has directly invested his or her capital. The implication is that the petitioner has some operational control over the employees being counted for purposes of job creation. To show employment creation the principal alien can submit payroll records for the entity, relevant tax documents for the entity, forms I-9 for all employees hired, or any other evidence deemed appropriate by the petitioner. Model-derived jobs describe jobs that are indirect or induced and are established in the creation of a model which usually involves direct jobs as an input. Investors should carefully review the job creation model which they are basing their eligibility and submit evidence appropriate to that model. In other words, the type of evidence need to establish job creation would depend on the model being used. For example, if the model were based on revenue then evidence of revenue would need to be provided. If the model were based on the number of workers per square foot in a particular industry, the evidence should establish that this industry in fact occupies the square footage that the model predicted. USCIS will also accept payroll documentation to support the creation of jobs derived from a model using direct input.

移民局也考虑如果新酒店是因为其他的设施所需,如体育竞技场或娱乐场所,那么客人支出对于酒店的收益可以代表新的支出以及新的就业机会。最后一个问题,我们想讲解关于I-829类的证据。就829类申请,移民局会接受什么证据来证明用模型计算的新实业创造直接就业机会?对于投入的判定是什么,比如收入、支出或者是支付工资的文档吗? 我们的回答是——合格员工在投资者直接投资的商业企业中的直接就业机会是能够识别出来的。言下之意是,申请人对提供就业机会的员工进行业务管理。为了证明创造就业机会,当事申请人可以提供为员工支付的工资记录,相关的税务文件,所有雇佣员工的I-9类表格或申请人认为合适的其他任何证据。模型衍生的工作机会是指基于一个模式的创立而产生的间接行工作岗位,通常直接就业就是当中的投入变量。投资者应仔细审查就业机会的模式,并以其资质以及提交的合适证据判断此模式。换句话说,创造就业机会的证据类型将取决于所使用的模式。例如,如果是基于收入基础上的模式,那么就需要提供收入的证据。如果是基于某一行业中每平方英尺的工人数量的模式,那么就需要提供证据证明此行业实际的建筑面积和预计的模式。若模型是采用直接支出模型的,移民局也会接受工资文档作为证据。

With that, we would like to open the line so you may provide comments and suggestions for future EB-5 regulatory changes as well as to ask questions about the EB-5 programs. In closing, we would like to note – let’s go ahead and open up the lines for questions.


Carlos: Thanks Robert. Thank you so much Nick and Dan and everyone else for listening to today’s presentation. As Robert mentioned we are now ready for the questions and answers session. As we open up the phone lines we would like to remind you to please limit your questions to one per person and to please stay within the topics that we have discussed here today. If you just need general information about the EB-5 program we encourage you to visit our website at or you may email us at Again, we cannot address any case-specific or fact-specific questions on today’s call. Do keep in mind that this is also a listening session and as Nick said earlier we look forward to your feedback on EB-5 regulations and any proposed changes that you would like USCIS to take into consideration. Again, members of the media joining us today – if you have questions please call the USCIS press office at (202) 272-1200. We will not be able to address questions from the media in this public engagement. And another reminder, Congressional staff we kindly ask that you please contact the USCIS office of legislative affairs for any briefing requests and/or case-specific matters. And now Mia, I think we are ready to take the first question.

谢谢Robert。非常感谢Nick,Dan和所有收听陈述的各位。正如Robert所说,我们已经为问答环节做好准备。因为我们是以电话会议的形式进行此次会议,所以我们提醒各位:每人仅限提问一个问题,问题内容需与今天讨论的主题相关。如果您只是需要了解EB-5项目的基本信息,我们推荐您访问我们的网站 ,或发电子邮件至。另外,今天的电话会议无法解决与特定案例或特定事实相关的问题。请记住:这还是一个倾听环节,Nick之前提过,我们希望能够收到您关于EB-5规定的反馈,或者是提出您意见或建议,请USCIS酌情考虑。参与本次电话会议的媒体朋友如有问题,请致电USCIS新闻办公室,电话为( 202 ) 272-1200。我们无法在本次公共会议上解决来自媒体的问题。另外,我们还提醒各位议会工作人员,请联系USCIS法律事务办公室索取基本信息或解决特定事宜。Mia, 现在我们可以收听第一个问题了。

Coordinator: Thank you, if you would like to ask a question please press star and one on your touchtone phone. Be sure to unmute your phone and record your name. Press star and two to withdraw your request. Our first question comes from Linda Lau with Global Law Group. Go ahead.

谢谢。如果您希望提问,请按星号键和1号键。请确保您手机不在静音模式,并留下您的姓名。如需收回请求,请按星号键和2号键。第一个问题由来自环球法律集团的Linda Lau提出,请讲!

Linda: Hi, this is Linda Lowe from California and thank you so much for having this public engagement conference call, which is most helpful. I really appreciate everybody on the call from USCIS to make this available. I have a question regarding tenant occupancy. And in many of the RFEs that the stakeholders have been receiving, and there is a request regarding facilitation of employment, and right now the request is that besides having a market analysis of each of the industries needed for let’s say a big gigantic shopping center with 200 retailers, we are being asked to provide market analyses specific to a type of tenant, meaning that it may be a flower shop, may it be a dance studio, may it be any type of retail, and for a big shopping center it takes two to three years to build so it creates undue burden to a lot of the developers not knowing what to do in advance to solicit tenants who commit to a space for three years in advance. I am asking if there is any way we can have a policy consideration to allow market studies to be generic for a retail space and not on specific tenants.

大家好,我是来自加利福尼亚的Linda Lowe,有幸参加此次公共电话会议,使我受益匪浅。非常感谢移民局各位成员组织此次会议。我的问题是关于租户就业方面。很多申请者收到的补件要求(RFE)中,要求提供促进就业证明,现在的要求是我们不仅需要提供每个行业需求的市场分析,还需要提供具体到每个租户类型的市场分析,比如说一个大型购物中心有200家店,这些店可能是花店、舞蹈工作室或其他类型的零售商店,这就意味着我们不仅要做整个行业需求的市场分析,还要做具体到这200家店的市场分析。大型购物中心需要两到三年才能建成,这就给很多开发商造成了不必要的负担,以至于不知道如何提前三年招揽租户。 我想问对于零售市场有没有可能出台一些政策,即只要求做一般的市场分析,而无需具体到租户。

Robert: Sure, and thank you for the question. As it relates to this question, as the memo I think tried to make clear and as I believe our RFEs try to elaborate and explain, we obviously are looking for additional evidence from the applicant to establish that it is more likely than not that these types of tenants will occupy the space in this context that we are talking about, commercial space and future tenants. The evidence that may be submitted of course is not limited. There is a range or a wide variety of evidence that could be relevant to that determination but from our perspective we’re looking for sufficient evidence to be submitted by the applicant to establish that it is more likely than not that the commercial space being developed will be occupied by the types of tenants that is claimed when those tenants are being used as input into the economic model on which the job creation projections are based. And that is, of course, important for the economic analysis to determine that those job creation projections are more likely so than not or reasonable. So of course it will depend on specific facts involved and the specific evidence that may be submitted by the applicant, but again I believe our RFE should articulate some examples of the types of evidence that may be submitted and may be relevant to establish facilitation of tenant occupancy jobs.


Linda: Okay, thank you. I appreciate the answer. I am reminded of the May 30 memo – actually, December 2013 memo regarding the allowance of a change of tenant makes. So this will go in line with that policy because during the two years of construction there can be lots of changes in terms of tenant mix. I appreciate that you allow us to provide alternative evidence to show that there is a demand for retail in that situation instead of just limited to specific tenants that I get very few of our clients can commit them to lease a space three years in advance. And thank you for your answer.


Carlos: Thank you so much, Linda. I think we are ready for the next question, operator.

Coordinator: Thank you, our next question comes from Henry Chow with the Law Office of Henry Chow. Go ahead.
谢谢,下一个问题由来自Henry Chow律师事务所的Henry Chow提出,请!

Henry: Thank you. My question is related to 526, to prove a source of income. Is there any particular policy towards an offshore company? The offshore company can provide the financial statement but no tax return so the investor is using the funds as the offshore company as income or evidence. That will be difficult to prove with a tax return. So is there a particular policy toward offshore company income?

Robert: In terms of evidence related to source of income, as you know the requirement is that the petition establish and document the past of the income used for the investment and establish that the income was derived from lawful sources. The types of evidence that may be submitted in each case really becomes fact-specific to those individual cases. And certainly in some instances the availability of certain types of documents may not be the same as they are for other cases. There is obviously a variety of reasons that may impact the types of documents that are available, just in terms of the nature of different countries and their laws pertaining to how taxes are filed and recorded and documented. With that said, the burden of proof is on the petitioner to submit sufficient evidence to establish eligibility and in this case that the funds were lawfully derived. So the petitioner will need to decide what evidence is available and may be provided to USCIS in support of their petition to establish that it is more likely so than not that those funds were lawfully derived. So I would refer you to the regulations in terms of a list of the types of evidence that are typically submitted in support of that issue and as the regulations note, any other relevant evidence may also be submitted to establish eligibility on that issue.


Carlos: Thank you so much for your question and I think, operator, we are ready for the next question.

Coordinator: Your next question comes from David Herson with [inaudible -01:12:40]. Go ahead.
下一个问题由David Herson 提出,请!

David: That was pretty quick. Today and this morning in California for those who don’t understand that. My question relates to bridge financing and taking out the bridge financing. In many cases we could have in a construction-type case almost wholly completed at the time of substituting the bridge financing with the EB-5 money. So the question comes about as to the timing of the creation of the jobs. Clearly most of those jobs will have been created because of the cash that has already been spent, but the I-526 may not have yet been filed. So the question is can we pick up those jobs and apply them to I-526s to be filed resultant from the EB-5 bridge takeout investment?

Robert: Yeah, and this question goes back to the question that we addressed a few minutes ago as we went through the questions that were submitted in advance of the call. Again, ultimately this is a fact-based determination but as we review the application our focus is on the nature of that underlying financing, what was contemplated at the time that financing was obtained, and whether this was – for example – bridge financing that was obtained and contemplated based on the replacement of EB-5 funds. If, for example, EB-5 funds were not contemplated at the time the bridge financing was obtained as the policy memo notes that may not necessarily be determinative as long as that underlying financing was truly bridge or temporary financing that was contemplated to be replaced. EB-5 funds can be used to subsequently replace other financings that fell through in terms of replacement financing. But in the general scenario where EB-5 funds are being contemplated at the time that the bridge financing is obtained, our focus or our concern is making sure that the jobs are properly credited to the EB-5 investment funds, understanding that temporary or bridge financing is an important tool in order for these legitimate job-creating projects to proceed, especially given some of the challenges in timing related to the release or availability of EB-5 funds, so as long as there is the associated connection between the bridge financing and the EB-5 funds that are replacing the bridge financing. Per our policy, we believe that jobs may be credited to the EB-5 investors even though the initial financing that was used to start the project and start the job creation was temporary or bridge financing.


David: Thank you. I understood that and I appreciate the very practical and valuable approach. I am being challenged by some people out of country who read the regulations and say to us that the jobs must be created within, the effective work, the approval of the I-526 at 30 months later. In the case I just described, the jobs would effectively have been created quite some time before. If I take your answer on its face then, this is not a problem. Am I correct?


Robert: Yes, thank you for the clarification. We will look into that further and if additional clarification or guidance is needed we will consider that for posting. Thank you.


Carlos: Thank you Robert. Thank you for your question and I think we are ready now for the next question. Operator, the next question please?
谢谢你, Robert。谢谢您的提问,下面请进入下一个问题。接线员,下一个问题准备好了吗?

Coordinator: Thank you. Our next question comes from Jenny Liu with Global Law Group. And as a reminder, if you can be sure to mute your line when it is active. Thank you.
谢谢。下一个问题由环球法律集团 Jenny Liu提出。在此我提醒一下各位,电话接通后,请确保将电话静音。

Jenny: Hi, this is Jenny Liu. I have a question regarding what do you use the information you collect on the I-924A for? And in the past the information collected from the I-924As were used for research and compiling statistics. Is this still the case?
大家好,我是Jenny Liu。我的问题是:收集关于I-924A的信息的用途是什么?之前收集I-924As信息是为了研究和编制统计资料。现在还是 同样的情况吗?

Robert: That is still the case. It is an annual reporting form for collecting data as well as evaluating continued eligibility for regional center designation.

Jenny: I understand, thank you so much.

Carlos: Thank you so much. Operator, the next question please.


Coordinator: Thank you. Our next question comes from Shirelle Fuller with [inaudible - 01:18:21]. Go ahead.

谢谢!下一个问题由Shirelle Fuller 提出,请!

Shirelle: Hi, my name is Shirelle Fuller in Washington, D.C. Thank you for hosting today’s call. I was wondering if one of the questions and answers could be repeated. I didn’t fully understand concerning an investor’s guaranteed rate of return or their guaranteed portion of return. You talked about the promise depending on the terms of agreement. So I was wondering if that question and answer could just be repeated for clarity.
你好,我是来自华盛顿的Shirella Fuller。非常感谢组织今天电话会议的各位。我想其中一个问题是否可以重新解释一下。对于投资者保证返还率这个问题,我没有理解透彻,您提到该承诺取决于协议条款。因此我想您能否重复回答一下这个问题,或加以澄清。

Robert: Absolutely. So again the question, as you know, was related to an option to redeem an investment at a fixed amount. So our response is the answer will depend on the specific facts involved and the terms of any agreement as noted in the policy memo. If the immigrant investor is guaranteed the return of a portion of their investment or is guaranteed a rate of return on a portion of their investment then the amount of the guaranteed return is not at risk. Thus, IPO will review the evidence to determine if there is a risk of loss and a chance for gain and to determine whether there is a promise to return or redeem some portion of the minimum required investment amount. Even if the agreement does not represent a promise or guarantee that erodes the contribution of capital below the minimum required amount, depending on the terms of the agreement there may be questions pertaining to whether the investor has the potential for gain.
当然可以。所以我再回答一下这个问题,该问题与固定金额投资赎回选择相关。因此我们的回答是要根据具体事实和政策备忘录指出的协议条款规定。如果投资者被保证总投资收益率或部分投资收益率,那么确保的收益金额并没有风险。因此,IPO将会审阅有关证据,以确定是否有损失风险或是否有机会收益,同时决定是否有承诺归还或赎回部分最低投资金额。即使该协议并不能代表承诺,或保证投资金额会被侵蚀,以至于低于最低投资额,这取决于协议条款中是否有 投资者是否有收益潜质相关的问题。

Shirelle: Got it, thank you.

Carlos: Thank you. Next question, operator?

Coordinator: Our next question comes from Marty Cummings with Florida EB-5 Investment. Go ahead.
下一个问题由佛罗里达EB-5投资的Marty Cummings提出,请!

Marty: Thank you. Regarding obsolete TEA letters, USCIS will accept TEA status as determined as of the date the 526 was filed based on the most current data available at that 526 filing date. So we have seen RFEs saying that the TEA letter must be updated as of the date that the RFE was issued, which in the past was issued 12 or 18 months after the 526 was filed. We get confirmation that the TEA status was set as of the date the 526 was filed.


Robert: So two things to note and the first is that per precedent decision as well as the regulation, the determination is based on when the funds are committed to the new commercial enterprise or the filing of the 526 petition, whichever is sooner. If you have examples where you believe a request for evidence was submitted that was not consistent with precedent decision or regulation you can of course send that to the Immigrant Investor mailbox noting your concern. Of course, that doesn’t relieve the petitioner of the obligation to respond to the request for evidence by the time indicated, but certainly you can elevate such concerns through the immigrant investor mailbox.


Marty: Well, we were okay because it was still a valid TEA status. But we are concerned that may not always be the case in the future so thank you very much for your answer.


Carlos: Thank you. Operator, we are ready for the next question.


Coordinator: Our next question comes from Martin Lawler, with Lawler and Lawler. Go ahead, sir.

下一个问题由来自Lawler and Lawler的Martin Lawler提出,先生请!

Martin: Yes, hi, this is Martin Lawler in San Francisco. Thank you very much for your very valuable information that you have answered a number of our questions in writing that we have submitted. I was confused about one, though. You talk about the sale of a regional center and are two 924As required, one by the regional center seller and one by the new buyer? Or is one 924A with information about the sale sufficient?

大家好,我是来自旧金山的Martin Lawler。非常感谢您提供的宝贵信息,我们书面提交的问题,您都一一回答。但是我还有一件事不明白。您提到过区域中心转让,需要提交两份924A申请,一份由区域中心卖家提供,另一份是新买家提供吗?或者说是一份有关销售信息的924A申请是否足够?

Robert: It is my understanding that in that context, and as noted in the regulations, USCIS can request sort of at any time the submission of an I-924A outside of the typical annual filing timeline. In the instance where a sale of a regional center occurred and were properly notified within the appropriate time of that sale, it is my understanding that we would or could request the submission of one I-924A or would request submission of one I-924A to update the record regarding the details of the sale.


Martin: All right, thank you very much.


Coordinator: Thank you. Our next question comes from Richard Strauss with Exemplar Law.

谢谢。下一个问题由来自Exemplar Law的Richard Strauss提出。

Richard: Thank you for holding this discussion. This is Richard Strauss from Boston. My question is specific to today’s meeting and it is of director Colucci. It is in regarding the filing tips. I just wanted to ask what was the last filing tip after you discussed the cover letters?

谢谢大家展开的讨论。我是来自波士顿的Richard Strauss。我的问题可以具体到今天的会议,是关于Colucci主席讲的问题。关于递案文件提示,我想问一下,除了说明信,你对递案提交还有什么建议吗?

Nick: The last two filing tips both had to do with cover letters, one discussed on the I-526, a request to indicate the receipt and identification number of the regional center under which the petition is based along with the name of the new commercial enterprise. And the final one was for an I-924, which is it would be helpful if you state the type of approval you are requesting – hypothetical, actual, or exemplar – again, to help ensure more timely processing.


Richard: Thank you very much.


Carlos: Thank you. Operator, the next question please.


Coordinator: Our next question comes from Kevin Wright with Wright and Johnson. Go ahead.

下一个问题有来自Wright and Johnson的Kevin Wright提出,请!

Kevin: Yes, my question relates to exemplar I-924 filings. In the case where you have a state such as New Mexico, for example, which refused to issue a TEA letter until the regional center is first approved, can you get an exemplar filing provided that you provide all the statistical data to prove that the TEA does exist?


Robert: Yeah, we believe that is possible, particularly since the actual TEA determination is made at the 526 stage. So in the exemplar context, obviously, the exemplar could be adjudicated and approved as an exemplar but obviously the 526 petitions filed consistent with that project and those exemplar documents would, in support of their petition, need to submit the TEA designation letter from the state if that is the evidence we are relying upon in order to establish that they are eligible for the reduced investment amount.

Kevin: Perfect, thank you.


Carlos: Thank you Rob. Thank you for your question. Operator, we are ready for the next question.


Coordinator: Our next question comes from Peter Joseph with Association to Invest in the US. Go ahead.

下一个问题由美国投资协会的Peter Joseph提出。

Peter: Hi there, Peter Joseph here, executive director of the Association to Invest in the USA, the national trade association for the regional centers around the country. And thank you for hosting this welcome teleconference today. I do have a specific question with regards to maintaining the investments for 829 purposes. What is required to maintain that investment for I-829 purposes, particularly if an opportunity to refinance or to liquidate came about for a successful project? And this is particularly pertinent give the erratic 526 processing times that we often see and that could really extend the lifeline of the entire duration of the project and the immigration process that goes with it. Hopefully that makes sense and thanks in advance for your answer.

大家好,我是Peter Joseph,美国投资协会的执行董事,该协会是一家为全国区域中心服务的全国性行业协会。谢谢您能组织召开此次电话会议。我有一个具体的问题,是关于维持829目的投资的问题。需要什么来维持I-829目的投资呢?特别是如果有机会二次融资或通过套现获取一个成功的项目。这对于不稳定的526处理时间来说特别合适,因为我们经常看到,飘忽不定的526申请时间真的会延长整个项目持续的时间和移民申请时间。移民程序需要的时间也就加长了。希望这个提问是有意义的,提前感谢您的回答。

Robert: Sure, thank you for the question. The issue of sustainment as it relates to the 829 stage is something that we’re currently reviewing. As you know and as other stakeholders have indicated obviously there are a number of questions that relate to the sustainment requirement and the interpretation of that part of the regulation. There are a variety of factors that may impact that interpretation, particularly as the program may reach a point that some dates are retrogressed in terms of availability. So the issue of sustainment is something that we’re aware of, reviewing, and hoping to issue additional clarification on in the future.


Carlos: Thank you Rob and thank you for your question. We are ready for the next question, operator.


Coordinator: Thank you, our next question comes from Kathy Owens with Virginia Atlantic Regional Center. Go ahead.

谢谢,下一个问题由来自佛吉尼亚大西洋区域中心的Kathy Owens提出,请!

Kathy: Yes, thanks so much. My question is in regards to the regional center operating in a contiguous area. Must the job creation entities be in the contiguous area or is acceptable for the geographic area generated from an economic impact report be continuous or even overlap?


Robert: Yeah, so the job-creating enterprise must be principally doing business within the geographic area of the regional center, as noted in the policy memo. They may still receive credit for jobs created outside of that area, for example indirect and induced jobs that kind of spill outside of that area as long as they are supported and reflected in a statistically or economically valid economic model and projection. But yes, the job-creating entity must be principally doing business within the regional center.


Kathy: I’m sorry, and the answer prior to that was the new area – the question was earlier was the regional center operating outside of its area and according to the policy the new area must be contiguous since it will be an amendment. The question is can the job-creating entity – does it have to be in the contiguous area or can its economic geographic area generated from the economic impact be that contiguous area?


Robert: Yeah, it may be a very fact-specific question and we would like to have an opportunity to kind of think that through a little bit better and make sure we understand the various facts or factors involving your specific question. If you would, we would like for you to send your question to the Immigrant Investor mailbox and we will review and again determine if additional clarification should be issued.


Kathy: Okay, thank you.


Carlos: Thank you Rob. Operator, the next question please.


Coordinator: Thank you, our next question comes from James Mays, with Davis-Wright-Tremaine. Go ahead.

谢谢,下一个问题由来自Davis-Wright-Tremaine的James Mays提出。

James: Yeah, thanks for a very informative session. I have a question about the regional center geographic expansion. And basically we have approved the regional center and are going to expand it to a new geographical area. But the new geographic area, already the project is ready – I have the 526 ready to file. The question is whether we should file an I-924 first or can we file an I-924 and I-526 together? Thank you in advance.


Robert: Sure, just to note we are not in a position of course to give specific advice or case-specific advice. I would simply note as you evaluate what you believe to be best for your situation that from our perspective in terms of operational efficiencies, consistency, and predictability a 924 exemplar filed and approved in advance of 526 petitions, for example, allows for a level of processing efficiency and consistency that may not be available through other processes that are of course available based on whatever may or may not be appropriate for your clients or your situation. But again we cannot give specific advice on how you should file an application.


Carlos: Thank you Robert and thank you for your question. Operator we are ready for the next question.


Coordinator: Thank you, our next question comes from Yasmine Blackburn with Associates. Go ahead.

谢谢。下一个问题由来自Associates的Yasmine Backbum提出,请!

Yasmine: Hello, I [inaudible - 01:33:36] from earlier about obtaining specific TEA designations from the state. We’re in Connecticut and the governor has not designated an actual official to give out TEA designations. There is an individual within the Department of Labor who usually gives them but he is not the official designee. And although we have asked the governor as well as other departments within the Department of Economic Security to designate someone officially, they said that they are just not prepared to do that right now. So the letter that we have from this individual who normally does it, would that be sufficient to begin the process of obtaining the regional center? Or do we need to continue to press for a specific letter from an official designee?


Robert: Sure I would suggest directly to our regulation because it articulates the requirement in that regard. And the regulations do indicate that the designation must come from the governor or their designee.


Yasmine: Right, we know that it’s just that they won’t designate someone specifically and understanding that the climate is changing we want to make sure that we do everything properly rather than receive an RFE or have the investors put money into something that is not going to be approved because we can’t get an official designation. The letter is by someone who has been doing it for three or four years, but the governor won’t officially say yes, this is the person. How do you get around that if the state won’t officially designate someone?


Robert: Sure, and obviously again we cannot give specific advice on the types of evidence that someone should submit to comply with the regulatory requirements. I would simply note that the regulations do provide several options in terms of evidence that may be submitted to establish that an area qualifies as a TEA. So certainly take those into consideration as you evaluate the circumstances and what evidence is available to be submitted to establish eligibility on that issue.


Carlos: Thank you Rob, and thank you for your question. Operator, we are ready for the next question.


Coordinator: Thank you, or next question comes from Mona Shaw with Mona Shaw and Associates. Go ahead.

谢谢,下一个问题由来自Mona Shaw and Associates 的Mona Shaw提出。

Mona: Hello, thank you very much for taking my call. I noticed that you didn’t have any indication for direct projects, they are becoming more and more popular. Is that because you don’t want to discuss direct projects in this particular seminar or because we just didn’t think about it?


Robert: If you have a specific question that you would like us to addressed we are of course more than happy to try to address your question. In terms of questions that we did discuss as noted we obviously received a large number of submissions and tried to respond to those questions that appeared to have the broadest interests and applicability based on the questions that were received. But certainly if you have a specific question we are happy to consider that.


Mona: Thank you. I do have a couple of questions but I will try to keep it very brief. First of all, with the timing you had stated that a 526 petition is currently taking about 11 months. We understand that direct petitions are a little faster and if you could elaborate on that. The second point was relating to the structure – the corporate structure of direct petitions in a loan scenario. And if on these, most of the time when we are setting them up or are generally seeing them they are basically a wholly-owned subsidiary of the original enterprise. We would just like to know if you have any guidance on structures on a direct project and not a regional center project. Thank you.


Robert: In terms of the second part of your question, I don’t believe we can speak to that at this time. it sounds like it kind of involves a specific scenario and certainly we don’t have all of the facts before us in which to determine the extent to which an answer is appropriate or not or what issues may be involved in that analysis based on those specific facts. So I can’t speak to that part of your question. In terms of processing times, we do make an effort to process 526 petitions in FIFO order. We are aware that some processing times have appeared to be inconsistent and we are taking steps to ensure that cases are processed in FIFO order balancing kind of issues related to operational efficiency and commonality among petitions that are filed for projects and around the same time. but again we make an effort to process cases in FIFO order and the processing times that we provided are average processing times for all 526 petitions. Understanding of course there are as many of you are aware petitions that have been pending longer than those average processing times and we’re making every effort within our power to adjudicate those with a sense of urgency, but again without sacrificing the quality of the adjudicative review process.


Mona: We understand. Thank you very much.


Carlos: Thank you for your question. Operator, we are ready for the next question.


Coordinator: Our next question comes from Renna Jaserili from Paxton. Go ahead.

下一个问题由来自Paxton的Renna Jaserili提出,请!

Renna: Hi yes, this is Renna Jaserili in Washington, D.C., with Delworth Paxton. I am actually asking a question of essentially elaborating on one that was previously asked or maybe clarified. And it relates to the issue of a regional center’s investment outside of its designated geographic area. And I think the question is what would you consider to be contiguous? Well we obviously understand New York and California would not be contiguous, but does that mean it has to be literally the immediate county outside of where the geography has been approved, or is it a metropolitan issue meaning the next metro – for example, Philadelphia and New York City? Is there way you can give a little bit more guidance on that given that many people would like to actually begin the projects and submit the 526s but need some clarity to know whether or not that would be an approved project for their regional center.

大家好,我是来自华盛顿的Renna Jaserili,在Delworth Paxton工作。我的问题实际上之前已经有人提问,并做了详细解释。我的问题是关于在指定地理区域外的区域中心投资问题。您如何认定区域是成片的?我们很清楚的明白纽约州和加利福尼亚州不会是成片区域,但这是否意味着区域中心必须是已获批准的地理区域之外的相邻县城? 或是意味着未来地铁的大都市问题?比如费城和纽约。鉴于很多人想尽快开始项目,提交526,但是他们需要清楚地知道在他们区域中心,项目是否会获得批准,您能否在这方面给点意见和建议呢?

Robert: Sure, and the determination of course would be based on the specific facts involved in that request and the evidence that is submitted to support that request. If the geographic area that was requested in your example of New York and Pennsylvania constituted one contiguous area, we would evaluate the evidence consistent with the standard as stated in the policy memo to determine what is the economic impact of the project in that area and is there the type of economic activity that spills out, for example, in that area to support the request for that designated geographic area expansion? And again, that is going to be what ultimately we would look at to ensure that it is a contiguous area and that economic activity that is being proposed supports that request.


Renna: Okay thank you very much.


Robert: Thank you.


Coordinator: Our next question comes from Ollie with the law office of Ollie Ramen. Go ahead.

下一个问题由Ollie Ramen律师事务所的Ollie提出,请!

Ollie: Hello, yes good morning. Thank you very much for this program, it has been very informative. My question or I should say it is just a comment regarding the credibility of the EB-5 program – I represent numerous clients from the Middle East and I have numerous I-526 applications that are pending, I have numerous cases that are pending for more two years and literally these were filed in January of 2012. I have not received anything from USCIS on these cases. I have filed and emailed and emailed and emailed through the website, and just for your information the email responses I am getting are not even proper. I mean, I literally write down the case number and the file number I write down the case was filed, for example, January such 2012. The email response says, ‘We are working on cases filed on or after April 2012.’ And that’s it. And this has become very, very frustrating because the program itself as I can share my experience with you is losing a lot of credibility for many Middle Eastern investors because the word has kind of spread that these processing times are just taking way too long. These families have to schedule their lives around this process. And when we tell them it is going to take a year or 18 months and all of a sudden it is two and a half years or three years until they are done and it makes it very, very difficult. I was wondering if you can share with me anything else I should be doing to try to get some sort of response or resolution on these cases that are pending for such a long time, literally two years.


Robert: Certainly, and we appreciate your comments and your concerns. Obviously I can’t speak to specific cases but I would like to note a couple of things generally, however. And that is that as Nick mentioned in his comments we are aware of the concerns and frustration that has been expressed about the responses that are provided to case status inquiries. We are looking into those communications to determine what is an appropriate level of detail that we should or may be providing in response to case status inquiries. So that is something that we are exploring and may clarify or provide additional detail on in the future. In terms of processing times and your comments related to the program and how it is perceived, again as our opening remarks I think indicated and made clear, as administrators of this program we are well aware of where we stand in terms of processing times and the impact that long processing times can have on some of these projects. And certainly we’re doing everything within our control and ability to identify ways to improve processing times, improve efficiencies within the program, but again without sacrificing the quality of our review or the integrity of the program. We continue to take steps to staff the program and build it to a level where we can not only keep up with processing cases that are being filed but also really starting to reduce the backlog and thus overall processing times. We are exceptionally happy with the staff that we have put into place. They are an extremely talented group of economists, officers, and supervisors. We are looking to continue to build that. Again, we are in the process of bringing more people on board and we are confident that we are going to be able to build this program and reduce processing times and hit some of the processing target goals that we have identified as a program. As you can imagine, that is not something that can occur overnight but we are committed to making that happen. So we appreciate your comments and your concerns.

当然,我们非常感谢您的意见和投诉。通常我不能评说具体的案例,但是我想从整体上指出几件需要注意的事情。那就是Nick在他的评论中提到的问题,我们知道您对状态查询回复的担忧和无奈。我们正在研究申请者与移民局的交流方式,以决定向申请者提供适当的状态查询详情。所以这是我们正在探索的方面,可能在将来澄清或提供更多细节。关于处理时间和您对该项目的意见,我们在开场白中已经指出并做了清楚的解释,作为该项目的行政人员,对于处理时间和较长的处理时间对一些项目的影响,我们清楚的知道我们所处的位置。我们现在尽全力在我们的控制力和能力范围内制定相关方案,以加快处理时间,提高项目工作效率,但是前提是不要牺牲我们的审查质量和项目的完整性。我们将继续采取措施,为该项目配备职员,使其达到一个新的水平,不仅可以跟踪提交案例的处理情况, 还可以真正开始减少积压案件,从而缩短整体处理时间。我们对已经落实到位的工作人员非常满意。他们当中有经济学家、高级管理人员和总监,是一个非常有才华的团队。我们期待继续构建合理的结构。我们正在为该项目配备更多的人员,我们相信我们有能力构建此项目,缩短处理时间,完成我们确认的项目处理目标。您可以想象,这个问题很难在 短时间内解决,但我们现在致力于将该问题在短时间内解决。非常感谢您的建议和意见。

Ollie: Just to followup, we have even had a very few cases that we did receive RFEs, on a few minor points and which we responded to immediately. And now we are waiting over nine months – I mean, even for processing of RFE cases I think you agree with me that nine months is just unreasonable. You would assume that the examiners have covered all the major points and when they send an RFE with only one or two issues and those issues have been addressed by us it shouldn’t take then nine months to get back to us. It is just very frustrating.


Robert: We understand your concern and again we just can’t comment on specific scenarios.


Carlos: Thank you Rob and thank you for your question. And operator we are running a little bit over our time so we will take the next question and then close the conference.

谢谢, Rob。感谢您的提问。我们提问环节已经超过了我们预定的时间,我们回答完下一个问题就结束会议。

Coordinator: Okay, our last question will be from Rebecca Losato with Bank United. Go ahead.

好的,最后一个问题由Bank United的Rebecca Losato提出,请!

Rebecca: Good afternoon. This is regarding bridge financing. I was wondering if a bank can use EB-5 funds as collateral.


Carlos: Just one second, we are consulting on your question. Please hold.


Rebecca: Thank you.


Robert: Thank you for your question. It appears that the question is kind of outside the scope of the call and not necessarily something that we can speak to or provide advice on. But certainly if you want to followup by submitting your questions to the Immigrant Investor mailbox we can maybe provide additional clarification and we can take that into consideration and see if that is a question that we can provide an answer to.


Rebecca: All right. I have already submitted the question there as well. Thank you.


Carlos: Thank you Rob. This concludes the engagement for today. We would like to thank our operator Mia and thank everyone for participating in the call today, especially to my colleagues Dan, Nick, and Rob for their guidance today. If you have a question that we did not have time to address today please email it either to the Investor program office or you are also welcome to email it to our public engagement mailbox at and be sure to reference that you were on today’s phone conference. Again, thank you for joining us and have a great day.