EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 | Page 66

TOP EB-5 INDUSTRY RISING STARS NIRAL PATEL RISING STARS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE N iral Patel is a partner at David Hirson & Partners, LLP. Patel meets with investors to guide them through the EB-5 process, including source of funds, aging out children, and how the EB-5 visa works in conjunction with other visas. Additionally, Patel formulates strategies for regional center, advises businesses on EB-5 structuring, and to ensure EB-5 compliance. This includes preparing I-526 templates, advising on issues of material change and redeployment, and preparing I-829 templates. Lastly, Patel represents immigrants in federal court at both the I-526 and I-829 stages for applications that have been pending beyond the normal processing times. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE? Before becoming a lawyer, I thought the only way for Indians to successfully immigrate to the U.S. was either through the H-1B program or family-based immigration, which have extremely long wait-times. DENNIS TRISTANI When I came across the EB-5 program, I saw the program as an alternative to the H-1B program and family-based petition. It’s a program that offers flexibility where applicants no longer need to be tied to a specific employer, families can live wherever they choose, and applications can be made in the name of younger adults who wish to come to the U.S. to attend universities. HOW DO YOU THINK THE PANDEMIC HAS IMPACTED THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? High-net-worth individuals who have experienced market loss may be less inclined to invest through the EB-5 market as they search elsewhere for higher returns to recoup their losses. Construction has halted or delayed. Operationally, some projects have had to close during peak pandemic such as hotels. Presidential proclamations have suspended and limited entry into the U.S. from China, Iran, European Schengen area, the U.K., Republic of Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa. Service Centers and the National Visa Center are now operating at limited capacity. U.S. embassies/consulates around the world have been operating at zero to limited capacity. RISING STARS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE D ennis Tristani is a partner at Donoso & Partners, LLC and his primary areas of concentration include U.S. immigration petition filings for investors, entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and high- skilled professionals. Tristani has counseled thousands of EB-5 clients on company organization and corporate structure strategy, business plan preparation, complex source of funds issues and documentation requirements, redeployment and at- risk rules, and TEA designation. Tristani has presented at numerous immigration conferences and seminars in the U.S. and around the world. Tristani received his B.A. from Yale University in 2007, and his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law in 2012. HOW DO YOU THINK THE PANDEMIC HAS IMPACTED THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? The new EB-5 regulations coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the EB-5 industry. USCIS I-526 receipts for Q2-Q4 of FY 2020 totaled just 123 petitions and USCIS I-526 processing times have slowed significantly 66 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE during 2020. EB-5 projects have also gone through difficult times financially due to the economic fallout from the pandemic. On the positive side, the pandemic’s slowdown of consular processing has resulted in an increase in EB-5 visas available in 2021. New EB-5 projects have come to market as the global economy recovers and individuals are looking to the U.S. again for EB-5 investment opportunities. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE? I have been practicing immigration law exclusively since December of 2012 and began practicing in the EB-5 space in December of 2013 when I joined Donoso & Partners, LLC (formerly I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC). I have been very fortunate to practice alongside my mentor in this field, Ignacio Donoso, our firm’s managing partner. I look forward to continuing to help new individual investor and regional center clients navigate the EB-5 process, which I strongly believe will continue to contribute positively to the U.S. economy and workforce, especially during these difficult times.