EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 - Page 37

TOP IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS
ROBERT GAFFNEY
LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT P . GAFFNEY

Robert Gaffney is a

California State Bar certified specialist in immigration and nationality law . Through his law practice in San Francisco , Gaffney has over 35 years of experience counseling a wide range of corporate and individual clients in areas of employmentrelated , investment , and family-based visa matters . Gaffney has significant expertise and a strong practice focus representing individual investors under the EB-5 visa program . He has authored many articles and is a regular speaker at professional conferences and continuing legal education events .
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
The “ integrity ” measures offer the hope of increased transparency on the part of regional centers . Also beneficial to investors are provisions of the new law which subject promotors and migration agents to registration requirements ; require these third-parties to have written agreements with issuers ; to follow USCIS guidelines for immigration and securities compliance ; and fully disclose all fees to investors in writing . Particularly welcome are the provisions which provide certain good faith investors in a troubled project the opportunity to retain their priority date and avoid “ age out ” of dependents by associating with a new entity and filing a petition amendment . The concurrent filing provisions of the new law , and the availability of relief under 245 ( k ) are also particularly important .
WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
As the impact of the pandemic appears to be receding , the EB-5 industry is experiencing a heightened level of globalism with marketing efforts increasingly focusing on previously untargeted parts of the world . Unconscionably lengthy I-526 processing times and continued uncertainty continue to have a negative impact on the utility of EB-5 , and making resource to federal court litigation an increasingly important tool for immigration counsel . Processing delays have given added value to efforts by counsel for offerors and investors to decipher how USCIS may implement the “ reserved visa ” set asides in RIA 2022 and also to the identification of projects which may meet the requirements for expedite or adjudication or priority processing , making the project selection process even more complex than previously .
ENRIQUE GONZALEZ
FRAGOMEN

Enrique Gonzalez is the managing partner of Fragomen ’ s Florida office and a member of the firm ’ s Executive Committee . He has more than 30 years of experience practicing immigration law . He provides legal counsel to entrepreneurs and HNWIs regarding investment-based immigration , including the EB-5 program . In 2013 , Gonzalez served as special counsel on immigration to Senator Marco Rubio , where he was the senior advisor / negotiator for comprehensive immigration reform efforts . Gonzalez earned his JD from Cornell University . He speaks English and Spanish .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
The Act represents the most significant change to the EB-5 program since its initial promulgation in 1990 . There were a number of welcome changes in the new legislation that will provide the program with more certainty and security , such as a five-year reauthorization ; clarity that USCIS has jurisdiction to continue processing cases after the reauthorization expires for cases filed before the expiration of the reauthorization ; and the ability of investors to concurrently file for adjustment of status while their I-526 is pending .
WHAT NEW TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
The most significant trend we are seeing right out of the gate under the new EB-5 legislation is a desire by investors to invest in rural projects that would qualify for : the reserved allotment of 20 % of the annual immigrant visas allotted to the EB-5 classification ; the minimum investment of $ 800,000 ; and priority processing by USCIS . This trifecta of benefits will very likely lead to more rural project offerings but then to an eventual potential backlog for these applicants , and thus possibly even longer processing times for non-rural project applicants . These are the potential unintended consequences of well-intentioned legislation .
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