EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 - Page 67

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY
ROBERT DIVINE
BAKER DONELSON

Robert C . Divine chairs the immigration group of Baker Donelson with offices in 24 U . S . cities , including Washington , D . C . He served from 2004 through 2006 as the chief counsel and , for a time , the acting director of USCIS . Divine is the author of “ Immigration Practice ,” a 1,600- page practical treatise on all aspects of U . S . immigration law . He served for seven years as a vice president of IIUSA , an industry association for EB-5 regional centers . He represents EB-5 developers , regional centers and individual foreign investors , balances immigration and securities considerations , and litigates when necessary .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ? unnecessary paperwork and some frightening government authority . Happily , per USCIS , it will interpret it and grandfather past investors without regard to their regional center sponsor continuing . Requiring full disclosure of all promoter compensation is good , and it will be interesting to see how that affects the market . Visa reserves will be very important but hard to track .
WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK THE PANDEMIC AND THE PROGRAM LAPSE HAVE HAD ON THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
Investors will be more cautious about what can go wrong . Happily , RIA prospectively grandfathers from program expiration new investors who file I-526 before September 30 , 2026 . Investors will be more careful about due diligence of project feasibility and capital stack . But there is pent up demand on all sides .
The RIA imposes admirable “ integrity ” requirements , especially third-party funds administration , but also a lot of
CHARLES FOSTER
FOSTER LLP

Charles Foster is the chairman of the Houstonbased Foster LLP and leads the firm ’ s EB-5 practice group . For more than 40 years , he has represented multinational businesses in the field of immigration law and has been board-certified as a specialist in immigration and nationality law since 1979 . Foster has been involved in the EB-5 program since its enactment in 1990 and has worked closely with the Foster LLP EB-5 practice group for decades . He has also been recognized as a top EB-5 attorney by EB5 Investors Magazine and other organizations for a number of years .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
On balance , the new legislation is a big plus as it gives EB-5 professionals and investors a higher degree of certainty with the five-year extension and it provides more investor protection . However , the USCIS at the highest level must resolve several key issues . The legislation also disappoints in several areas , including the failure to provide more visa numbers .
WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK THE PANDEMIC AND THE PROGRAM LAPSE HAVE HAD ON THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
The pandemic and EB-5 program lapse hurt the EB-5 program short term and long term . Short term , it made the inexcusable CIS backlog in adjudicating EB-5 petitions much worse , particularly the failure of Congress to extend the EB-5 program for almost one year . Long term , it hurt not only the EB-5 industry but the United States . It hurt not only because we lost the benefit of substantial investments in needed projects for almost one year , but also because such a lengthy lapse undermines overall confidence in the EB-5 program , even with the enactment of the new and needed legislation extending the program .
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