EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 - Page 33

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY
TOP IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS
JOSEPH BARNETT
WR IMMIGRATION

Joseph “ Joey ” Barnett is a partner at WR Immigration , a full-service immigration law firm , with over a decade of EB-5 experience . He represents immigrant investors seeking permanent residency in the United States through regional centers and direct EB-5 investment . He also represents U . S . developers and regional centers seeking to finance projects with EB-5 capital . Barnett was named a Top 5 Rising Stars in the EB-5 industry by EB5 Investors Magazine in 2020 , currently sits on the EB-5 Investors Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association , and is also on the Editorial Committee at Invest in the USA .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
The new legislation was helpful to update the EB-5 visa program but does not go far enough in addressing some of the major issues at USCIS that hurt the integrity and reputation of the program – namely , ineffective dialogue between the agency and stakeholders to discuss and rectify adjudication issues ; unreasonable processing times ; and relief to pre-RIA investors stuck in the long visa backlog . EB-5 stakeholders will need to be diligent to ensure that USCIS implements the RIA in a way that makes sense to effectuate congressional intent from both immigration and business perspectives .
WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
It appears that many RCs are seeking to raise capital for projects in rural areas or HUAs so as to qualify for the “ set aside ” visas and priority processing for their immigrant investors , but it ’ s unclear how beneficial these provisions in the RIA will be if the per-country caps also limit the number of visas before a backlog occurs . There has been an uptick in the use of unsecured loans to fund the EB-5 investment ( or a portion thereof ). We have also seen a huge increase in the desire for mandamus lawsuits against USCIS for their unreasonable delay of I-829 petition processing to remove conditions , and our firm has been incredibly successful in using the courts to get quicker adjudications on these cases to date .
EDWARD BESHARA
BESHARA GLOBAL MIGRATION LAW FIRM

Edward Beshara is the

Managing Attorney of BesharaPA Global Migration Law Firm . He has offered approvable and successful solutions for EB-5 investors and their families , and EB-5 projects for the past 32 years . Beshara is a member of the IIUSA ( Invest in the USA ) New Investor Markets and Best Practices Committees as well as being on the Advisory Committee and Task Force of the Investment Migration Council ( IMC ) in Geneva , Switzerland . A frequent speaker at EB-5 panels , he is a former adjunct professor in business immigration law at the University of Florida ’ s College of Law . He was the recipient of the IIUSA 2019 Award for Economic Advancement Innovator Award .
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
The RIA has positive and negative aspects . First , the EB-5 investors who have already filed their I-526 petitions with regional centers before June 30th , 2021 , and new EB-5 investors are grandfathered in , even if the regional center program sunsets again . Second , the RIA allows concurrent filing of conditional permanent residency applications with the I-526 petitions whether they are investing in a regional center or direct EB-5 project .
WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
The new trend is that the EB-5 investors are now looking to invest in direct EB-5 projects . Alternatively , there are operators and developers creating separate legal and corporate infrastructures for franchise locations . Investors may want to invest in these franchise locations and allow the developers / operators to manage the operations . The new trend is for the EB-5 project operators as well as investors investing in their own U . S . business , to invest the full amount of USD $ 1,050,000 . The thought process is that location is everything because of the current state of economic affairs in the U . S ., a business to be financially viable requires the best geographical location . A holistic approach to EB-5 investments is the way for the future !
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