CROWD FUNDING IN REAL ESTATE

July 9th, 2014

BY NANCY DAHLBERG
NDAHLBERG@MIAMIHERALD.COM
You can support entrepreneurs’ apps, gadgets, clothing creations, restaurants — you name it — through the exploding phenomenon of “crowdfunding.” But what can you show for your investment? A drawer full of T-shirts, tote bags and other tokens of appreciation.

Not the kind of rewards most serious investors are looking for.

For wealthy funders — so-called “accredited investors” — some crowdfunding platforms offer an ownership piece of the startup venture they are funding. If the concept becomes the next big thing rather than the next big flop, they could reap a giant return.

Increasingly, those wealthy crowdfunders are turning to a tried-and-true investment class they can see, feel and understand: real estate.

Before crowdfunding platforms came along, only a small fraction of the nine million U.S. accredited investors — those with a net worth of at least $1 million or $200,000 in annual income — had participated in private-investment opportunities, said Joanna Schwartz, CEO of EarlyShares.com, a Miami crowdfunding platform aimed at those very investors. Typically, she said, “they didn’t have access to them unless they knew someone [in the deal], and this is especially true in real estate. This really is about giving direct access to investors in ways they never had before.”

Crowdfunding started with wildly popular donation-based websites such as Kickstarter, where supporters can fund enterprises ranging from a company that makes mermaid outfits to a film about Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti. In the past few years, crowdfunding has become increasingly popular for not-for-profit causes and micro-lending.

Equity-based crowdfunding is more complex — and more controversial.

Though the 2012 federal JOBS Act legalized crowdfunding as a means to raise funds for startups and other ventures, the rules governing such transactions have been released in waves. In September 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission modified securities rules to allow advertising of such deals, which opened the door to crowdfunding platforms being used by more-sophisticated, accredited investors. The final rules governing ordinary investors are expected later this year, but an SEC spokesperson declined comment.

EarlyShares, founded in 2011, and dozens of other companies around the country took aim at accredited investors. By the end of last year, the company had launched its first online fund-raising campaign for the Miami-based peer-to-peer boating company Boatsetter, which has already has raised more than $1 million on the platform and is seeking $2.25 million. A dozen more campaigns are underway for technology, film and entertainment companies and other firms around the country.

And now, real estate deals.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that dozens of real-estate crowdfunding sites have popped up in the past year, including Fundrise and Realty Mogul. Already, these companies have raised more than $135 million in debt and equity for real-estate deals, according to The Journal’s calculations. While that is tiny compared to the more than $700 billion market value of publicly traded real-estate investment trusts, it is the fastest-growing category in the crowdfunding arena, according to Crowdnetic, a firm that tracks crowdfunding data.

That doesn’t surprise Schwartz. “Where else can investors go with a few clicks and get a potentially 7 or 9 percent return on a project that they understand? We’re not saying its riskless — nothing is riskless — but they get it,” said Schwartz, who has a background in commercial real estate finance as well as technology and e-commerce. “Real estate is intuitively understood in a much different way than startup companies are. Investors are chasing yield.”

What will probably prime the pump for real-estate campaigns on EarlyShares is its recent exclusive marketing partnership with Property.com. That’s one of the websites run by Miami-based eRealEstate Holdings, which also runs Condo.com, Houses.com and Location.com. With more than 5 million listings combined, they serve as a national real-estate marketplace for listing, searching, buying, selling and renting single-family homes, condos and commercial property.

“We think we can rapidly scale the crowdfunding platform on [Property.com],” said Richard Swerdlow, CEO of eRealEstate Holdings. Property.com now has 500,000 commercial listings and 150,000 monthly visitors.

Swerdlow’s company is shifting Property.com from its current mission as a search site to a one-stop shop for commercial real estate; the partnership with EarlyShares offers a service it wants to feature. Once the platforms are fully integrated later this summer, visitors will see a prominent “Invest” tab, where they can view and potentially participate in crowdfunding-powered real estate deals on the EarlyShares platform.

“We see [crowdfunded real estate development] as a growing market that is only going to get bigger,” said Swerdlow. “We also think there is a big opportunity in Latin America.”

Jay Massirman, a Miami real estate developer and investor in multifamily projects, is testing crowdfunding for an Orlando project, but admits he doesn’t know quite what to expect. “I’ve been very curious about how it will all work,” said Massirman of Rivergate Companies, who has been in real estate for almost 30 years.

Since he offered investment opportunities in an Orlando multifamily apartment community about a month ago on EarlyShares, he has had interest from 50 to 75 qualified investors. He also held a webinar session through EarlyShares to present the project and answer questions. He is trying to raise $2.7 million, with an investor minimum of $100,000.

“It’s bringing a new access point for capital,” said Massirman, who has fielded investor interest from surgeons from Texas, high net worth investors from the Midwest and busy businesspeople from both coasts. “Now with the advent of crowdfunding, you can log on to these sites and find sponsors like myself who have a track record, expertise. … It’s attracting yield-minded people who are looking for vetted investments.”

Atlas Real Estate Partners in New York is also placing a bet on crowdfunding as it develops a 13,353-square-foot mixed-use building in Miami’s Wynwood arts district. The company is using Washington-based Fundrise for its effort. Atlas managing principal Arvind Chary said this is the third deal Atlas has placed on crowdfunding sites, though it is its first Miami property and its first time using Fundrise.

“Crowdfunding is a creative approach to fund-raising, and Wynwood is a very creative area,” said Chary. “It lines up very well with our product.”

Whether crowdfunding platforms become the go-to dealmakers of the future is yet to be seen. New methods for doing business often come with a learning curve — much like the advent of online stock trading in the 1990s, said EarlyShares’ Schwartz.

“If you look back at online stock trading 20 years ago, all of the same kind of early adopter concerns people raised are the same here,” she said. “Will there be fraud? Will people know how do to it? Will they adopt it?’

Still, she expects the time-saving and financial advantages eventually will prevail. “Going direct, there are a lot of fees we are saving for both sides here.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/06/4221997/developers-turn-to-crowdfunding.html#storylink=cpy

USCIS Posts updated processing times

July 9th, 2014

The new processing times are

I924….. 5.4 months
I526….. 13.2 months
I829….. 8.7 months

Kevin Wright Principal of Wright Johnson Presents at Third Annual Southern California EB-5 Conference

July 9th, 2014

This unprecedented conference will feature a broad range of the most knowledgeable stakeholders in the EB-5 industry. The event will feature U.S. Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Darrell Issa as keynote speakers. Kevin Wright will present with CanAM’s Tom Rosenfeld, Wailian’s Linda Ha, John Tishler of Shepard Mullin, and moderated by Elsie Arias of Stone & Grzegorek on the topic of “Does my project work for EB-5?”

The conference will be heald at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach, CA on July 21, 2014 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Click here for more information

BEA to release a new version of RIMS in 2015

July 3rd, 2014

The following is from the BEA regarding the release of RIMS in 2015….

The Bureau of Economic Analysis plans to release in 2015 a modified economic model to replace the original Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II). Cost savings will be realized because the modified model will be updated less frequently.

Much like RIMS II, the modified model will produce regional “multipliers” that can be used in economic impact studies to estimate the total economic impact of a project on a region.
However, the modified model will be updated with new input-output (I-O) data only for benchmark years. That is — years ending in two and seven. The modified model will become available to customers in 2015 and incorporate 2007 benchmark I-O data and 2012 regional economic data.

Last year, as a result of budget sequestration and reduced funding levels, BEA discontinued updates to RIMS II. Orders for RIMS II multipliers, however, have continued to be accepted because the cost of fulfilling these orders is covered by a nominal processing fee.

After investigating ways to continue to meet the analytical needs of our customers but do so at a lower cost to BEA, the bureau decided to make a modified economic model available. Until the modified model is available in 2015, customers may continue to buy RIMS II multipliers.

Developers Revive Condo-Hotel Concept

July 3rd, 2014

Developers revive condo-hotel concept
By: Bloomberg News July 2, 2014 3:48 pm 0

Rainer Viete, who visits Florida from Venezuela about once a month, said he’s buying an apartment at the Hyde Resort & Residences hotel-condo project near Miami so he can order a meal or rent out his apartment when he wants.
“I love the amenities the building will have — a restaurant that can provide room service, a concierge, maintenance, a person that can clean your place, valet parking,” said Viete, 25, who works for his family’s real estate company in Caracas. The $250 million project, scheduled to break ground in August, is already 85 percent sold.
Developers across the U.S. are reviving a concept that collapsed with the real estate crash in 2008: combining condos and hotels. In cities including Miami, New York and Los Angeles, a rebounding hospitality market is joining with rising demand for luxury homes, spurring developers to construct new full-service hotels and ask premium prices for residential units associated with a high-end brand.
“One plus one makes three,” said hotelier Ian Schrager, who is developing Miami Beach’s Edition, a luxury lodging-and-residential tower with Marriott International Inc., and a similar project on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with Witkoff Group. “When you add condos to a hotel, the sum of the parts is more than the value of each individual component alone. They complement each other.”
Beverly Hills
Also in Miami, Richard LeFrak, the billionaire chief executive officer of New York-based LeFrak Organization Inc., is developing 1Hotel & Homes South Beach with investor Barry Sternlicht. Demand has been so strong that LeFrak is considering another hotel with condos in Los Angeles, he said in an interview.
In nearby Beverly Hills, developer Beny Alagem is planning two Waldorf Astoria condominium towers, to be built after a luxury hotel is constructed adjacent to the Beverly Hilton. In Santa Monica, the city is evaluating a redevelopment plan under which a 16-story residential tower would be added to the existing Fairmont Miramar Hotel.
“You are seeing more and more condos that are associated with a hotel brand,” said LeFrak. Residents need only “make one phone call. ‘Change the linens, put food in my fridge, get my car ready.’ They don’t have to bother with organizing a lot of things. It’s a big draw.”
Steve Nagelberg, a 60-year-old orthopedic surgeon, said such amenities and a high-end brand name attracted him to the Ritz-Carlton Residences in downtown Los Angeles. He and his wife bought a 4,100-square-foot, three-bedroom unit with panoramic views in early 2012. The project was conceived before the current development wave as part of Anschutz Entertainment Group’s 4 million-square-foot L.A. Live entertainment complex.
Parking cash
“No matter how wealthy you are, you are always considering where to park your cash,” Nagelberg said in a telephone interview. “But when I saw the Ritz-Carlton name, I thought, you can depend on this. I knew this type of company would be here not just a year from now, but 20 years from now.”
For developers, adding condos to a hotel project can attract financing that may not otherwise be available, said Bruce Ford, senior vice president and director of business development at Lodging Econometrics Inc., a Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based consulting firm.
“Whenever you do mixed-use, different developers are awarded different phases with different time horizons,” Ford said in a telephone interview. “That provides for different types of income with different returns. That can help attract different types of investors, while it also diversifies your revenue stream.”
Lodging comeback
The U.S. hotel industry has recovered since the financial and property-market meltdown. Room rates in the first five months of this year reached a record, according to Jan Freitag, senior vice president at research firm STR Inc. Through May, the average price for a hotel stay nationwide jumped to $113.58 a night, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the Hendersonville, Tennessee-based company.
Even with rising demand, few new hotels — particularly full-service ones with restaurants, bars and other amenities — have been built because construction financing has been difficult to obtain, Ford said. In the two highest lodging segments, 45 hotels were under construction as of December, compared with 130 at the end of 2007, according to STR.
“It’s still hard to finance a pure hotel play,” Ford said. In big cities, “it’s just very expensive to build. So until the hotel is completed and returns money, you can sell condos and finance the hospitality component. The hotel component in turn will provide you with long-term cash flow.”
Different structures
Condo developments with a hotel can be structured in several ways. In some cases, residences may be connected to the lodging segment only so that owners can take advantage of the hotel’s amenities and benefit from the brand’s prestige. That tends to put a premium on unit prices.
In other developments, known as condo-hotels, a portion of the condos are made available to the hotel when owners aren’t using them, producing revenue for residents.
During the last recession, some buyers of condo-hotel projects incorrectly assumed unlimited property-value appreciation and lodging demand that would supply lucrative returns. During the financial-market meltdown, many projects faltered, said Jim Butler, chairman of the global hospitality group at Los Angeles-based law firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP.
Stalled projects
Casualties included SB Hotel Associates’ Trump International Hotel & Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The project stalled, and some residential buyers sued after Donald Trump pulled out in 2009. In Chicago, the Shangri-La hotel-condo development came to a halt in 2008 after reaching the 28th floor, and the property’s skeleton was unfinished until New York-based Related Cos. resumed construction in 2012.
“Residential and hotel are two very different and separate businesses,” said Neil Shah, president of Hersha Hospitality Trust, a real estate investment trust that owns hotels including the Rittenhouse in Philadelphia. “The differences require extra caution and expertise. In great times you can leverage them together, but the risk is not just financial but also operationally very significant.”
While financing of condo purchases in hotel projects may be less risky than during the last housing boom, other risks remain, including the potential for overbuilding, according to Butler, the hospitality attorney.
No restraint
“Developers will build whenever they can,” he said. “If construction financing comes in within months, there will be an explosion of new projects. That is what we’ve done for 100 years. The only discipline to be had is from the financing side. Developers won’t show any restraint.”
In Miami, Related Group of Florida has four projects under way that include a condo-hotel component, which will make some of the units available for hotel use when vacant. Much of the buyer demand is coming from South American investors, according to CEO Jorge Perez.
Perez, who had to restructure more than $1.5 billion in debt on mostly vacant Florida condos in 2010, is looking to protect himself from potential future downturns by requiring at least 50 percent equity from buyers.
Beachwalk Miami
The $150 million Beachwalk hotel-residential project in Hallandale Beach, Florida, which Perez expects to be completed in 2015, has 300 residential units. Eighty-four of them are purely for condo use, and the rest will be made available to the hotel when residents aren’t occupying them. The units sold out in two months, with an average price of $500,000, according to Perez.
“The money that is coming in from buyers from Latin America and Europe is unprecedented today,” he said in a telephone interview. “When we talked to some of these potential buyers, a lot of them said they were investors. But they also wanted to be able to enjoy their condos and at the same time maximize their income. That’s why we are creating a hybrid product.”
Viete, the Venezuelan buyer at the Hyde Resort — a Related development with Miami-based Fortune International Group — said the ease of renting out his condo was another reason he was attracted to the project. He also liked the property’s Hyde brand, by luxury entertainment company SBE.
“With that kind of name on top of a great project, you will have many interested people in the future if you want to sell,” he said.
That type of thinking is what makes condo and hotel properties so attractive for real estate investors, LeFrak said.
“If there is a high-end hotel brand associated with the condos, then people’s expectations about the quality of service and reliability are elevated,” he said. “The brand has some clout. And that in turn creates a premium and additional value for the developer.”

Read more: http://finance-commerce.com/2014/07/developers-revive-condo-hotel-concept/#ixzz36PLYqzfb

EB5 Workshop

June 24th, 2014

EB-5 workshop July 10th in Newark, NJ will provide a rare networking opportunity for EB-5 projects and regional centers professionals. The one-day workshop on July 10th in NYC/NJ will provide attendees an opportunity to meet and network with highly experienced emigration agents from China. Those in attendance will include Westlead Capital Group, Wailian Overseas Consulting Group, Join Group and China International Overseas Company.

Register today at http://nyeb5.eventbrite.com/.

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 http://www.EB5NewsBlog.org

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 nyeb5.eventbrite.com

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
投资移民项目主任
U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
美国公民及移民服务局
Association To Invest in the United States (IIUSA)
美国投资协会(IIUSA)
Eb-5 Regional Economic Development Advocacy Conference
EB-5区域经济发展宣传会议
May 8, 2014
2014年5月8日
Washington, D.C.
华盛顿特区
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.
今天我计划提供项目的一些最新动态,同时也想用些时间来说明我的背景,因为这是促使我形成项目引导方案的因素。
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.
在过去的20多年内,我曾服务于联邦政府的三个不同部门。这样的工作经历使我了解横跨许多地区、业务类型,以及政府和非政府主导的项目。因此,我更加理解建设性的合作关系能够带来的积极影响。
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:
具体而言,该项目要求ATF完成以下三件事情,以便达成明显提高其合规率的目标:
1. increase its proactive interaction with the industry subgroup;
加强其与产业小组之间的积极互动;
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
ATF对于审计中发现的违规类型,以及业界为避免将来再次发生这些违规行为而需采取的措施,应该提高这两者的透明度;以及
3. dedicate additional resources to auditing these industry members over the next three years.
在未来三年内,投入更多的资源来审计这些行业部门。
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.
第二个经历是我在金融犯罪执法局(FinCEN)的工作,这也是促使我形成EB-5项目管理方案的重要因素。FinCEN是美国针对金融机构的反洗钱监管部门。就在我被任命为FinCEN分析与联络部副主任的同一周内,财政部以及住房和城市发展部的部长,与司法部长共同举行了新闻发布会,宣布了政府的“房贷可负担”计划。该计划旨在为符合条件的屋主提供低利率贷款,以帮助他们保有自己的家园。部长们还宣布FinCEN(尤其是我领导的部门)将负责协调与项目相关的反欺诈工作。
Through my work on this program, I learned two important things:
我通过参与项目,了解到重要的两点内容:
• 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
可以跨部门共享各种资源,尤其是在联手非盈利机构和其它私营企业时,同心协力的工作将会发挥出巨大作用;以及
• 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.
有些非常聪明的人花了很多时间设计出巧妙的欺诈阴谋,在别人最脆弱的时候会毫不犹豫地利用别人。
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.
我在EB-5项目中也开始同样深有体会,因为有许多机构都与该项目相关,例如证券交易委员会、移民和海关执法局及商务部。我提出建议EB-5项目执行迁往华盛顿特区的一个原因,就是为了便于跨部门合作。正如EB-5项目的成功离不开诸位的支持一样,我们也需要与同样是项目利益相关者的其它联邦机构建立起强有力的合作伙伴关系。
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.
现在,对于总会利用别人的那些人,我是这样认为的:我在FinCEN很快就意识到只要是有金钱的地方,就会出现欺诈者。就抵押贷款欺诈而言,我见过许多家庭都在极力挽救自己的家园,但到头来还是被人蒙蔽了。这些欺诈者通常都是组织团伙的一员,声称他们可以帮助困难家庭保住自己的房屋,但他们需要收取约3,000美元的前期费用。当然,在困难家庭在支付费用后,并未取得任何帮助。
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.
我在FinCEN工作了五年,期间我们曾和执法、监管及行业部门联手打击抵押贷款欺诈,以及许多其它类型的欺诈活动,包括但不限于所得税退税诈骗、医疗欺诈行为和针对老年人的诈骗行为。金钱是团伙欺诈的共同目标。当一个目标被骗光所有财产后,这些团伙就会想出另一个巧妙的骗局来转移目标。
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 USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov. 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.
鉴于EB-5项目涉及的款项金额,我们必须对可能的欺诈行为提高警惕。USCIS无法独立完成这项工作。很多时候,你们可以会比我们更先接触到可疑的事项,或是听到或看到一些“令人难以置信的好事”。在此类情况下,请大家务必与我们共享这些信息,并通过投资移民邮箱USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov联系我们。相信大家都明白,发生欺诈行为会使整个项目都受到影响,所以我们首先必须维护和加强项目的诚信度。
So, to summarize, the three things from my past experience I hope to bring to the program include:
因此,根据我以往的工作经验,我希望移民项目能够确保以下三件事情:
• an active and honest dialogue with our stakeholders;
与我们的利益相关者展开积极坦诚的对话;
• a coordinated effort within the interagency community; and
确保跨部门合作;以及
• with the assistance of our stakeholders, to guard against fraud and other transgressions that damage the integrity of the program.
在利益相关者的协助下,谨防有损项目诚信度的欺诈行为和违法行为。
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:
接下来,我想利用剩余时间与大家分享项目的一些最新动态。正如我在2月份第一次参加利益相关者会议时所说的那样,我计划将自己的时间主要用在三个方面:
• building the foundation;
设立基金会;
• customer service and transparency;
确保客户服务和透明度;
• and performance and predictability.
确保项目绩效和可预见性。
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.
关于设立基金会,我们希望截至本月底将拥有75名以上工作人员。这当中并不包括参与项目的首席顾问办公室,以及欺诈检测与国家安全部门的相关人员。上述人数比2月底增加了近40%。我们近期也有一些岗位通告,主要面向经验丰富和刚入行的评定员。我们的目标仍是在本财年末招募到100名或更多的工作人员。
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.
关于客户服务和透明度,我们在过去一个月左右的时间内,一直在集中探讨这方面的问题。具体来说,我们已经开始每月更新各种申请类型的当前处理时间,今后的每个月也会继续进行此类操作。
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.
我们最近还成立了客服团队,以便回应客户通过投资移民邮箱和服务请求管理单提出的咨询问题。利益相关者可以在线自行创建服务请求管理单,或是由我们的客户支持热线代为办理。我可以很自豪地表示,我们的客户咨询响应工作已经超出了国家机构的标准。
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.
最后,由于邮箱不便用于趋势监测和其它类型的分析工作,我们正在寻求便于接收和响应客服咨询的新平台。我相信,这些信息将使我们能够更好地确定可为利益相关者积极提供的更新资讯和建议,以此减少我们将会收到的客户咨询数量,从而将更多的时间用于评定移民申请,同时为客户提供最好的服务。
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.
最后,为了提高操作的透明度,我们也将从2014财年起开始提出年度报告。我希望能够在本历年截止期间提出报告。
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.
同样,我们看到I-829申请(去除条件式投资身份申请)的处理时间也在缩短。你们可能已经在我们的网站上注意到,此类申请的处理时间已经从1月份执行的11个月减少到了9个月。你们可能还会记得,本财年剩余期间的I-829申请都将移交到加州服务中心进行处理。7月份,我们会将这些工作量转移到华盛顿特区的投资移民项目办公室,预计10月1日将完成所有交接工作。
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.
I-526申请(外国企业家移民申请)的处理时间并不令人振奋。今年1月份执行的此类申请处理时间约为10个月,我在3月份获知的最新数据表明其相应的处理时间略超过13个月。但是,我相信我们也会很快在这方面取得工作进展。最近几周内,我们一直在招募评定员,新一轮的招募活动也在进行。对于此前有过USCIS工作经验的新评定员,我们也在采取措施来提高相应培训项目的运作效率。事实上,我们现在已经证实有经验的评定员可以在4-6周内就处理完一份526申请,而在以往这需要2个月以上才能完成。
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.
我们在保证工作质量的同时,也极力使相应工作进度赶上或超过每周接收的申请书数量。这个月,我已经为办公室的全体工作人员设定了该工作目标。我向大家保证,我们将进一步提高处理I-526申请的工作效率。我们的工作人员也都明白,未决请愿书的数量等同于可能的几十亿美元投资于美国经济市场,这将为符合条件的美国人创造出成千上万的就业机会。他们同时也意识到,这意味着成千上万的家庭每天都会查看邮箱,确认移民申请是否已经通过审批,以使他们能够有机会实现美国梦。请务必认识到我们持有极其认真的工作态度,而且在加急处理这些移民请愿书。
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.
最后,在结束讲话之前,我要告诉大家我们正在分析已经签发的RFE通知,以便于提高移民项目的运作效率和可预见性。我与大家在此或通过年度报告分享这些信息,就是希望当你们准备提出新的申请和请愿书时,这些信息能够帮助你们有效避免再收到RFE通知。
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.
在继续谈话之前,我想与大家探讨一个话题。大家知道,USCIS已经并将继续依靠各种经济模型和合理的方法(例如可行性研究),来有力地证明工作创造实体的某一项目将可为该项目中的移民投资者创造出充足的间接就业机会。目前,USCIS利用IMPLAN、REMI和REDYN等经济模型软件的模拟结果,通过审查经济影响分析内容来确定工作创造实体带来的间接就业岗位数量。虽然USCIS认识到这些模型平台是适于估算工作创造结果的有效经济模型系统,但大家知道,移民申请人或请愿人负有举证责任,应该具体说明模型中的各项资源投入和展示工作创造的机制。
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.
注意,持续时间不足24个月的工作机会,将被视为不符合EB-5投资的要求。同样,交易费用,例如由于成交而产生的律师费,带来的工作机会也被视为不符合投资要求。此外,还应注意转让或转移支付也是不符合工作创造要求的费用开支。经济学家将税款、保险费、许可费及相关费用等转移支付归类为重新分配,而不是能够创造经济输出的活动。所以,虽然EB-5投资者的资金可用来支付所有的合法运营费用,但并非所有的企业支出都可视为工作创造的资金投入。因此,我们的经济模型应该说明投入的各项费用,并表明不符合要求的费用支出和转移款项不会被视为工作创造的资金投入。
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.
经济模型分析与直接及间接就业机会息息相关,是导致签发RFE通知的一个常见因素。大家知道,USCIS法规将直接就业机会定义为新型商业企业中的就业机会;然而,经济模型明确区分直接就业机会和间接就业机会。就经济模型而言,直接就业机会是指与项目直接相关的就业机会。例如,经济分析通常将一个项目的建设工作视为“直接就业机会”;如果这些就业机会预计将至少持续2年,那么就可能被视为符合EB-5投资的要求。
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.
基于IMPLAN、REMI或REDYN等模型的任何经济分析都必须足够透明化,以便USCIS能够明确区分直接/间接就业机会的模型计算结果。如果经济影响分析中使用的模型将直接/间接就业机会合计起来,那么为区域中心编制分析结果的经济学家应该演示如何才能将模型结果分解成对应直接就业机会和间接就业机会的不同组成部分。这可能需要使模式运行两次:一次用于计算直接效应,一处用于计算间接效应和诱发效应。在多数情况下,让编制分析结果的经济学家说明应该如何从合计的工作效应中分解出直接/间接就业机会的相关结果就足够了。
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.
此外,编制区域中心分析结果的经济学家还应提供所创造的直接/间接就业岗位数量,这些岗位都可被视为直接/间接就业机会的各自模型输入项。例如,区分建筑支出产生的就业机会,以及由建成的物业持续经营而产生的就业机会。此外,USCIS认同如果所用的经济方法是合理的,那么通过使用经济模型估算出的间接就业机会,以及处于区域中心地理范围之外的间接就业机会,都可被视为符合投资要求。
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.
上述示例将成为我们网站上的评论内容之一。我希望通过分享这个例子,大家可以逐步了解我们评估经济模型的方式,以及你们可以采取一些步骤使模型操作更加透明化,以避免收到RFE通知。对于特定的申请或请愿书以及其它待处理的移民申请,这些方法也可以显著提高我们的工作效率。
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.
最后,在即将结束讲话之际,我想再次感谢大家给我在此发言的机会。我非常期待在未来几个月内能与你们进行对话,同时也希望在我们的项目管理方面,大家可以不断地提出有建设性的反馈意见。只要你们这些利益相关者愿意与我们分享看法和意见,我们就能持续改善项目运作的成果。正如我一开始提到的,我们相互之间也可以进行开诚布公的对话。EB-5投资不只是政府或USCIS支持的一个项目,也是所有EB-5利益相关者的项目。只有通过大家的共同努力,这个项目才能为美国经济、求职者、移民企业家和投资者带来最大的效益。感谢大家今天在此付出的宝贵时间和关注!

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…

Kevin

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.

我知道大家都很期待本次会议,但我在会议开始之前要指出几点简要提示。首先,我想提醒大家正如刚才接线员提到,今天的所有参与者都处于接听模式。但在公开座谈会期间,我们会留出充足的时间让大家提出意见。我们开通热线是为了取得试听反馈。在今天的电话会议中,我们可能就您提出的意见进行一些反馈,但无法回应关于程序或具体情况的问题。如果您是媒体工作者,我们会在活动结束时询问您的需求。如果您存有任何疑问,或是需要有关已录意见的更多信息,请致电USCIS新闻办公室,电话是(202)272–202。如果您是国会议员,有关简述要求或具体情况的问题,请联系USCIS立法事务办公室。

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.

正如大家了解的那样,监察长办公室(OIG)在2013年12月发布了一份报告。报告建议USCIS更新和阐释EB-5项目的相关法规,我们也很赞同这一点。

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.

我们在上次的利益相关者活动中提到,OIG报告针对欺诈和国家安全问题,特地论述了监管和其他改革建议。虽然USCIS认为应该在现有法定权力允许的前提下,解决这些重要问题并进行监管改革,但目前正在采取综合方案[0:03:56.3-录音带剪开]来考虑一系列的变革。修订法规旨在通过阐释实质性的资格要求以及建立一致的程序申报要求,提高EB-5项目的效率和可预见性,同时加强项目的完整性。

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.

我们想要强调的是,USCIS除了使用通告和制定评论规则等方法,也在通过创意社区工具征求公众意见。请注意,最终执行的监管变革可能只是发布于联邦公报的最终规定的[0:05:02.0-听不清]。在最终规定生效之前,绿卡监管法规持续有效。

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.

我们期待在本次电话会议期间听到您的意见,但我们不会回应与程序或任何具体情况论述有关的问题。此外,我们也不会对您的任何建议予以评论。[0:05:21.3-胶带剪出]问题,但在多数情况下,我们仍然非常感谢您的参与。

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.

最后,我们再次强调,我们并非寻求任何团体的意见或已达成共识的建议,而是需要个人对可能的法规修订产生的想法和意见反馈。正如前面提到的,为了提高项目的完整性、运作效率、可预见性和一致性,EB-5法规和指导原则可能有所更改。我们希望通过本次活动了解您对此事的看法和意见。

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.

我曾是一家小型技术公司的老板,我了解监管法规对小企业的重大影响力。我也明白获取资金的重要性。这是我今天参与讨论的原因。

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.

USCIS还需要考虑运作成功的可能性,确保这样有价值的项目将符合基准并确立[0:08:51.4-听不清]欺诈。我和我的工作人员都期待能够与USCIS合作,使EB-5项目在美国投资和就业创造方面取得骄人业绩。请随时联系我们的办公室。我们一定要在华盛顿听到您的心声。谢谢。

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.

Ebony:非常感谢Sargeant博士的发言,感谢您帮助我们启动了今天的座谈会。谢谢。接线员,我们在几秒内将接通第一批来电。Nick,我也要感谢你之前做出了发言。

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.

但在我们开始会议之前,需要再次向在线的各位给出几点提示。如果您是媒体工作者,如有任何疑问或非定向的意见,请致电新闻办公室,电话是(202)272-1200。如果您是国会工作人员或议员,请联系USCIS立法事务办公室。

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.

我们仍要再次强调,我们很高兴能够在今天听到您的心声和意见反馈,但我们不会对有关程序或具体情况的问题做出回应。在此前提下,我们真诚期待着您的意见反馈。接线员,我们即将接通第一次来电。

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.

第二点是关于公司重组概念。公司根据现有的监管法规和Izummi事项,经过重组后可成为商业企业。我认为,这种条例似乎意味着商业模式的变化,例如从餐厅转变为酒吧/餐厅或夜总会餐厅,是唯一允许的公司重组形式。而且我认为,这与《企业法》的规定不符。《企业法》规定多种形式的公司重组都可被认可,新的法律实体可以通过公司重建或公司重组的多种途径形成。在我看来,新的规则应该否定Izummi部分,并且应该采用新规则加以代替,或是采用更贴合《公司法》规定的新法规。

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.

事实上,我还有最后一点需要指出,那就是USCIS应该意识到,只要与有限合伙人合作,那些有限责任公司就可以使移民投资者明确地参与其中,并且仍可认为这些投资者在积极参与组织管理,或是在组织中拥有管理职位。这些就是我的意见。

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

Ebony:非常感谢您在此分享意见。谢谢您的来电。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 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.

我们在广泛施行EB-5项目,而且我们的很多客户一直都很关注526项目
流程和924项目申请的可预见性和审查速度。我知道,这么多年以来,我们一直在谈论可预见性和明确性。但事实上,我们无法在尚未明确那些条例、法规和政策的前提下,就取得可预见性。我相信,一些加急审查方法是快速实现目标的途径之一。我相信,多数项目负责人、区域中心甚至投资者,都愿意支付更多的申请费用和加急审查费。我也知道,大家对其他移民地区的加急审查费不会感到陌生。我认为,施行EB-5项目的地区已经为收取加急审查费做好准备。因为第一,这很可能使USCIS增加工作人员数量,为USCIS团队添加更多的专业人士以便提高运作效率。这些专业人士可以是业务规划专家、经济学家、证券律师、业务分析人士等。我认为,如果我们知道可为EB-5项目预批准备一份924申请并取得快速响应,那么我们现在就有一个通过526请愿书预批的项目,这是预先批准的。当我们接下来开始跟踪526申请时,我们会从526请愿书的项目部分了解到其中的不同之处。526请愿书会使USCIS真正专注于资金来源的认证,因此526审查当然会加快,另外还有526申请审查的加急处理。USCIS的额外工作人员也会负责这一流程。所以在我看来,为了经济的发展和这些EB-5项目的可行性,运作速度至关重要。每个人都愿意在这方面支付更高的加急处理费。我不能代表所有人来发言,但我知道USCIS会这样说,“这笔费用就是用于这样的开支。”他们愿意支付更高的费用,那是因为我们是以非常及时高效的方式来处理项目。这些项目取决于项目审批的可预见性以及投资人的请愿书。所以,我知道大家正在努力确保明确性和可预见性,但我认为USCIS目前能够采取的一种最佳解决方案,就是实现快速的加急审查,更快地审批924申请和526申请。所以,谢谢你们,我们非常欢迎举行这些利益相关者会议。再次感谢你们。

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.

Ebony:非常感谢您来分享意见。我们也很高兴能够有机会与您接触,聆听您的项目体验。所以,再次感谢您的来电和在此分享宝贵意见。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

Angela: Next comment comes from 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; Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov 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.

Ebony:非常感谢您与我们分享这些意见。我在此再次提醒大家,遗憾的是我们今天不会探讨涉及具体情况的任何问题,但我们要确保您的问题得到解答。因此,请将您的问题发送到我们的公众参与邮箱Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov,我们必定会跟进并请适当的人员来给您解答。但我仍要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 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.

Ebony:谢谢。我们很赞赏这样的信息反馈。

Tiffany: Thanks. Tiffany:谢谢。

Ebony: We’re ready for the next comment.

Ebony:请为我们接通下一位。

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.

我想提的第二点,与近期讨论的区域中心再认证费用有关。你知道,目前大约有400家区域中心,其中多数并不活跃。通过与一些区域中心开发商的交谈,我了解到那些活跃的开发商似乎愿意支付相当可观的重新认证费用,通过给调查人员付费来保证项目的完整性,使其能够取得类似H-1B签证的效果。这就是我关于监管法规的两点意见。谢谢。

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

Ebony:谢谢。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

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.

而且,我觉得EB-5投资者很难对项目区域中心进行尽职调查。我在想,同时也希望对于区域中心的业绩表现,USCIS可以发布通过I-924A申请表收集到的数据。

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.

还可以利用SEC要求备案的D申请表。这样一来,投资者就可以进行尽职调查,查看EB-5区域中心及预处理项目的跟踪记录。

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.

我的另一个问题,是关于基建支出的建设工作说明。这些支出的计算方式有何区别?例如,两年内的基建支出基本上分别计算每年创造的工作机会,但实际上营运开支的工作说明可以累计。所以,我认为这就引起了问题。可对多少建设工作说明进行计算?又有多少真的能够通过营运开支来说明呢?我希望USCIS能够澄清这些工作估算模式。

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.

Ebony:非常感谢您在此分享意见。谢谢。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 Mohammed Shaikh with smartbusinessbroker.com.

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…

我的第二个问题就是,526申请的源文件通常并非由源头修订,再由相同实体机构执行。例如,有人会想出虚假的纳税申报表和银行账户。据我所知,USCIS不会单独查明这些信息一般并非来自开证行或开证税务机关,而是源自洗钱数目已经高达几十亿美元的中心。[0:29:43.4-听不清]达200万美元,500万美元或上千万美元。他们借出的数额达几十亿美元。其中的原因很简单,就是因为涉及的多数人员都有特殊后台,包括[0:29:55.0-听不清]或一帮议员,甚至……

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

Ebony:谢谢您[0:30:05.0-听不清]。感谢您的来电。

Mohammed: Hello, I have two more things.

Mohammed:你好,我还有两件事。

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…

Ebony:我们想让你再发表一次意见,但现在有很多来电者正在等候,我们……

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.

Mohammed:好吧,没有问题。最后一个解决办法就是,只要[0:30:21.2-听不清]还在进行,每个人就应公平竞争。如果[0:30:26.0-听不清]岗位只算做直接就业机会和非直接就业机会,签证中心就不该具有非公平优势。他们不仅合法地[0:30:35.2-听不清],还应该出去计算互联网上创造的就业机会,这些都来自直接发展偶尔带来的成果。它们并没有被计入直接就业机会当中。所以,我认为我们应该建立公平竞争环境,使每个人都得到相同的[0:30:52.8-听不清],而不是一组[0:30:54.8-听不清]的区域中心以及另一组[0:30:58.7-听不清]。谢谢。

Ebony: Thank you very much. And operator…

Ebony:非常感谢。接线员……

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.

Ebony:您的电话已接通。[暂停]我们还在和她通话吗?如果不是,我们将接通下一位。
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?

Ebony:非常感谢。您的评论就此结束了吗?

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

George:是啊,谢谢你把这些意见统一起来。

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

Ebony:谢谢。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

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.

Ebony:谢谢您的来电和分享宝贵意见。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

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.

Ebony:您好,您的电话已接通。

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.

Irina:你好。感谢您为我打开麦克风。我想谈谈加急审查。我想说事实上,除了投资者愿意接触更多的加急审查之外,出于政策原因这也是件好事。因为处理时间越长,越会使我们更频繁地选择结束项目融资。我们实际上并不希望因为EB-5项目而发生这样的事情。让我对此进行解释。在12-18个月的处理期间,许多区域中心在获批前都无法进行资金托管,因此他们把资金投入项目。如果USCIS最终拒绝批准项目,许多投资者也不能撤出已经投入的资金,并将其用于我们的确希望创造就业机会的[0:35:50.7-胶带剪出]项目。因此,一旦有了加急审查,当然多数EB-5申请人都会愿意并且能够支付相应费用,我认为就会帮助我们真正实现通过项目创造就业机会的目标。

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.

Ebony:谢谢。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

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.

此外,USCIS需要为直接投资者制定一些法规。例如,净值或员工人数增长40%。这是否从企业收购的实际日期,还是企业的上一季度或是去年算起?企业即将出售时,其员工人数会发生急剧变化。那么我们是从什么日期算起的呢?关于收购现有企业的资产,目前的确没有指导原则。应该根据哪些因素来判断一家公司否是为新的商业企业?真是用尽一切办法仍不可知。

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.

独资经营者的再投资是否可视为独资经营者的资金投资,已有一些定论表明必须对其征税之后,方可允许进行再投资。在其它情况下,就不必这样做,因为无论如何这都属于个人资金。

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.

此外,投资者可从直接投资中赚取的薪资,不应被视为投资回报。你知道,这是在投资者薪资方面,相关法规中需要规定和说明的那些因素。谢谢。

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.

Ebony:感谢您分享意见。谢谢您的来电。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

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.

另外一条建议就是,当局应考虑允许个人投资者提交一份独立申请。备案应当审查投资者的资金来源。例如,如果他们将资金放入一个美国银行账户,并表明资金来源与基于利益的请愿书无关,他们将有兴趣了解资金是否完好,也不必将资金用于某个可能的项目,但后来却发现资金来源无法申请报税。

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

Ebony:抱歉,由于反馈噪音,我们无法清楚地听到您的讲话。

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.

Ebony:我们现在可以听清楚了。谢谢。

Robert: Did you hear the first suggestion?

Robert:你们听清我的第一个建议了吗?

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.

Ebony:非常感谢您与我们分享意见,感谢您的来电。接线员,请为我们接通下一位。

Angela: Next comment comes from 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 Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov, 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Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov。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 Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov, and we also encourage everyone to visit the USCIS Idea Community at www.uscisconnect.ideascale.com 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Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov,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