EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 - Page 34

TOP IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS
MARK DAVIES
DAVIES & ASSOCIATES

Mark Davies is the founder of Davies & Associates , a law firm dedicated to assisting investors and businesses relocate and grow internationally . Davies has served as investor counsel to leading investment banks and financial intuitions from every continent except Antarctica . He combines this legal experience with an MBA ( real estate finance ) from the Wharton School of Business together with ivy league law degrees from the U . S . and the UK . Recognized by the Bush White House for his service to the U . S . legal profession and the author of legislative reform proposals commissioned by the UK government , Davies has also served as chairman of Lawyers without Borders and sat on multiple other boards for profit and non-profit organizations .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act provides a much-needed move in the right direction for investor protection . While the new disclosure requirements do not sweep away the veil of secrecy that too often conceals conflicts of interests and large financial incentives from investors , they do require some basic and essential disclosures . The increased investment thresholds were higher than we had hoped and will inevitably price some investors out of EB-5 , but the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa remains a viable option to people who are unable to meet the new EB-5 minimum investment level .
WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
The balance is inevitably shifting back from direct EB-5 to regional center EB-5 . We see a surge in demand in India following the reauthorization . The increased investment thresholds do not currently appear to be having a significant impact . Of course , this may be the result of pent-up demand in India , meaning we will not see the true impact of the price rise until a little later . Conversely , in Vietnam and Europe , investors seem deterred by retrogression / backlog and the increased investment amounts . Concurrent filing is proving extremely popular .
JESSICA DENISI
GREENBERG TRAURIG

Jessica DeNisi is a senior associate with Greenberg Traurig , LLP . DeNisi works with developers and investors who seek to use foreign capital under the EB-5 program to fund job-creating projects as well as E-2 treaty investors . Prior to practicing immigration law , DeNisi worked as a tax and business attorney . She completed her undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University and earned an MA in Near Eastern studies from the University of Arizona . She received her JD from Tulane University Law School and a master ’ s degree in taxation from the University of Washington School of Law .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
I ’ m glad we finally have a law passed to provide some stability , and to ensure that all existing investors may continue in the process without worrying about future lapses . I was particularly pleased to see that the new law attempts to provide investor protections and allows for concurrent filing . I hope USCIS will properly interpret some of these provisions to give relief to investors who were defrauded in the past . We ’ ve already seen how USCIS interpretation will pace implementation . Regional centers , NCEs and investors will need to work closely with immigration counsel to wade through some technical issues . I look forward to working with clients on these issues .
WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
There seems to be a tremendous amount of buzz around sponsoring rural projects ; I am eager to see how USCIS interprets the law ’ s mandate to “ prioritize ” petitions for rural areas . Other trends should emerge as we get additional clarity as to how USCIS will adjudicate petitions under the RIA .
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