As the global EB-5 market ramps back up to its pre-pandemic activity level, there is one big “elephant in the room”, meaning a very important subject matter that everyone is ignoring. In fact, it is a GIANT “elephant” and, for all legitimate EB-5 Regional Centers, the single biggest challenge under the new EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act.
The “Elephant” of which I am speaking is, of course, the new registration requirements for foreign migration agents upon which the vast majority of EB-5 projects rely to identify investors. But the “Elephant” is hardly new: for the past decade, the US SEC, USCIS, and other federal agencies have been consistently prosecuting U.S. attorneys and EB-5 Regional Centers for the industry-wide practice of paying “finders fees” to unlicensed immigration brokers. Despite these prosecutions, the practice has continued unabated until, finally, the enactment of the RIA last year codified the requirement that foreign agents 1)MUST file an I-956K with USCIS, 2) have their backgrounds checked by the US government AND 3) U.S. developers using such agents MUST disclose all details of the relationship and payments proactively to USCIS. And these registration requirements are personal, meaning ANYONE associated with the recruitment process must file their own I-956K, not just the main agent.
Finally, to insure enforcement, USCIS has publicly stated that failure to comply with these provisions can mean that the investor petitions associated with such agents could be denied based on agent violations. So the “Elephant” is no longer just a vague threat for foreign migration agents and non-compliant regional centers…it is a very real threat to EB-5 investors themselves.
In contrast to most EB-5 Regional Centers, AVS Regional Center stopped collaborating with foreign migration agents immediately after USCIS and SEC made very specific examples of Regional Centers, which faced multimillion dollar fines. We began by establishing a full time, staffed office in Ho Chi Minh City and in the 7 years that have followed, AVS’ Vietnam Office has grown to be the only direct, transparent EB-5 resource in Vietnam, offering accredited investors solid EB-5 investment projects without third party intervention or dilution of investor capital. AVSRC’s Vietnamese investors work hand in hand with our AVS’ team of immigration professionals in HCMC, in the Vietnamese language, from the first day they contact us until until their U.S. green card is permanent and their funds are divested. The EB-5 process takes a long time; at AVSRC we believe that a direct and ongoing relationship between our EB-5 investors and the Regional Center is critical and what EVERY EB-5 investor deserves!
Don’t let your EB-5 process get trampled: contact our Ho Chi Minh Office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 09188.8.131.52 and find out if AVS EB-5 is right for you and your family.
NOTE: For English language information on AVSRC’s latest EB-5 project, visit https://www.eb5riveroak.com/
Attorney José E. Latour