EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 - Page 42

TOP IMMIGRATION AT TORNEYS ROHIT TURKHUD IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE R ohit Turkhud was a partner at FLG-FGI, where he headed the EB-5 practice. Turkhud has been practicing U.S. immigration and nationality laws since 1985. He is specialized in employment-based immigration. Turkhud has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) since 1985, and is a frequent speaker at conferences on business immigration issues. For over 6 years, Turkhud hosted a prime-time live immigration show on a national cable network channel in the U.S. He was interviewed by Al Jazeera on the impact of Brexit on EB-5. He was also quoted by regional newspapers in India, and has done an EB-5 segment on an Indian TV channel. HOW DO YOU THINK THE EB-5 PROGRAM SHOULD BE REFORMED? investments and created more jobs than the direct investment option of the EB-5 visa program. Revisit the investment amount. Figure out a way to address the visa numbers issue for China and Vietnam. WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? New trends are, regrettably, not encouraging. There is a dampening of interest in EB-5 visas. Some of the factors that play into this reality include: inability to travel and meet-and- greet investors; inability to determine credibility in person; reluctance based on long waits for migrating to the U.S.; limited value to online meetings to substitute for the lack of in-person meetings; volatility in the global economic and financial markets; challenges with selecting the next investment opportunity from a ‘return of capital’ perspective; possibility of pursuing other visa options such as an L-1 or an E-2 as a stop-gap measure to migrating under the EB-5 category. If the sunset date passes without the reauthorization of the regional center (RC) piece of the EB-5 visa, I believe that could be disastrous for the EB-5 visa program. The RC provisions should be made permanent. The RC program has generated more CLETUS WEBER IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE C letus M. Weber is a partner at Peng & Weber PLLC, a Seattle- based immigration law firm internationally recognized in EB-5 and other U.S. immigration law. He represents EB-5 regional centers, projects and investors in all facets of EB-5. Weber serves on the Board of Directors of IIUSA and previously served on AILA’s national EB-5 Committee. Weber is editor-in-chief of The EB-5 Handbook: A Guide for Investors and Developers (EB5investors. com 2014); senior editor of Immigration Options for Investors & Entrepreneurs, 2nd-4th Eds. (AILA 2010-2019); and invited reviewer of the EB-5 section of Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook, 14th-17th Eds. (AIC 2014-2020). HOW DO YOU THINK THE EB-5 PROGRAM SHOULD BE REFORMED? Congress should reform the EB-5 regional center program to maximize the program’s ability to create jobs for American workers. Most important is simply following original congressional intent to require only one EB-5 visa number per family instead of one visa for the investor and each family 42 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE member. The current sunset date creates a more serious than normal risk of a temporary hiatus but also presents an opportunity to add integrity safeguards and increase the number of jobs the EB-5 regional center program can create every year for American workers. WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? More investors are suing USCIS over unreasonably slow processing times and USCIS’s substantive arbitrariness, such as requiring petitioners to prove the lawful source(s) not only of their own funds but also those of third-party exchangers even though such third parties are merely transferring their value from an unrestricted country to the investor’s home country—not to the United States. Though COVID-19 and related restrictions distract everyone, the minimum investment increase, ongoing backlogs, etc. create larger, longer-term challenges for the EB-5 regional center program and EB-5 investors who are all trying hard to create more jobs for American workers.