EB5 Investors Magazine (English Edition) Volume 5, Issue 1 | Page 105

However, for EB-5 purposes these structures in most cases would not meet source of fund requirements under the EB-5 program. In addition, Ukrainian residents are not allowed to exchange more than approximately $5,000 per day in hard currency, which is a marked liberalization of the $500 limit that was in place until earlier this year. As a result, even in the best of scenarios it would take roughly 100 days just to exchange the required amount of local currency to dollars. Generally, the currency and banking regulations in Kazakhstan are liberal enough to not create significant problems for potential EB-5 investors. Nonetheless, there are some limitations that could create some challenges depending on the investor’s circumstances. Most recently with Kazakh investors, it has been noticed that for transactions involving the purchase of real estate above $100,000, a certificate (“свидетельство”) from the Central Bank is required.2 This requirement can be obviated if the investor, for example, simply transfers the funds to his or her personal account overseas from which he then wires the funds to the EB-5 project. Moreover, as noted above, the regulations -- as well as their interpretations by the banks -- seem to vary from time to time and by bank to bank, making long- term planning somewhat difficult. Difficulties in other regional markets are generally less difficult, although the lack of transparency not only for investors but also the banks themselves often leads to unpredictable demands by the banks. And even within one country the demands can vary from bank to bank and their interpretations of the regulations. Thus, investors sometimes inquire at various banks where they have accounts to find the least burdensome options. For example, in the past some banks have required Russian-language translations of the partnership or other offering documents to prove the validity and purpose of the investment. Most investors are very reticent to disclose the immigration component of the EB-5 transaction given the negative political connotations. Therefore, they generally only provide documentation related to the offering and investment which make no reference to the EB-5 program. Given the number of high net-worth individuals in Russia, it is clear that latent opportunities exist to attract greater numbers of EB-5 investors. Vietnam perhaps serves as an example of how the Russian market could also rapidly ascend in the EB-5 country rankings, all the more so given the much larger and more affluent client base to work with in Russia. The most needed steps at this point are concerted efforts by all stakeholders in the EB-5 community to rectify misperceptions about EB-5 in these markets and raise its general market profile and familiarity among agents and investors alike. Charles Raether Charles Raether is the managing partner of AmLaw Group, a boutique business immigration law firm in Miami. AmLaw advises on EB - 5, L-1, EB-1 and other investor and business-related visas. Raether, who is fluent in Russian, has worked in the areas of corporate law, venture capital and private equity. Previously, he worked for a global real estate consultancy in Moscow and Kazakhstan and served at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he oversaw cross-border business development with the markets of the former Soviet Union. EB5INVESTORS.COM 104