EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 | Page 46

TOP CORPORATE AT TORNEYS RONALD FIELDSTONE CORPORATE ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE R onald Fieldstone, chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP’s Global Immigration and Foreign Investment Group, and head of the Firm’s Opportunity Zone Group, practices primarily in the areas of corporate/securities and taxation law. Fieldstone has actively been serving as corporate/securities counsel for multifaceted industries involving EB-5 immigrant visa investor offerings. He represents developers and regional centers in EB-5 matters, currently handling more than 350 EB-5 projects with combined capital raise of nearly $8 billion. He frequently lectureson EB-5 corporate/securities for numerous government-sponsored organizations, industry groups and professional associations. Fieldstone graduated with a B.S., M.B.A., and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? designation due to COVID19 and different methods for economists to determine a TEA classification. In certain markets with a more friendly administration there is an increased demand for the EB5 visa. The headwinds are the June 30 sub setting, new proposed legislation that now has IIUSA support that creates many difficulties, barriers and cost increase although it does greatly improve integrity measures. The consular delays due to COVID is also a major problem. HOW ARE YOU HANDLING THE ISSUE OF REDEPLOYMENT? With great care. We tear it like a new offering whether or not investor consent needs to be obtained. We emphasize independent appraisals or feasibility studies to support the financial assumptions and independence in the loan or equity administration. Also require a detailed immigration update to reflect all the changes over the past 20 months. This is a very complicated question. A few positives: New administration that is much more user friendly. Easier to get TEA CATHERINE DEBONO HOLMES CORPORATE ATTORNEYS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE C atherine D. Holmes is Chair of JMBM's Investment Capital Law Group, and the author of the Investment Law Blog. She has practiced law at JMBM for over 35 years, focusing on investment capital and business transactions. Holmes helps clients worldwide to raise, invest and manage capital from U.S. and non-U.S. investors. She has represented more than 100 real estate developers in obtaining financing through the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, and has represented numerous Chinese investors. Her finance and investment experience includes handling business formations for entrepreneurs, private securities offerings, structuring and offering of private investment funds, and business and regulatory matters for investment bankers, investment advisers, securities broker-dealers and real estate/ mortgage brokers. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? The ability of U.S. project developers to use the EB-5 investment program to raise capital continues to suffer from long waiting 46 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE periods for all EB-5 investors, and particularly those from China, as well as from the substantial increase in the minimum investment amount and changes in targeted employment requirements. EB-5 investors continue to seek only projects in targeted employment areas that qualify for the lower minimum investment amount. Although there are some projects being marketed at the higher minimum investment amount, they are not attracting much investor interest. This means that the number of projects that are able to raise financing under the EB-5 program have been significantly reduced. HOW ARE YOU HANDLING THE ISSUE OF REDEPLOYMENT? USCIS continued to disrupt the EB-5 program with its latest pronouncement that redeployments must be made only in the geographic area of the regional center that sponsored the original project. This has made redeployment more difficult for EB-5 investment funds. Some EB-5 investors from mainland China would prefer to withdraw their visa petitions and receive a return of their capital rather than redeploying. Even though an NCE is usually not contractually required to repay those withdrawing EB-5 investors, the NCE should consider using the proceeds of repayment of their initial investment to repay the withdrawing EB-5 investors.