EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 - Page 75

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY
TOP EB-5 INDUSTRY RISING STARS
MARJAN KASRA
LAWMAKS

Marjan Kasra is the founder and managing attorney of Lawmaks with offices in New York , Stamford , Dubai and Istanbul , where she and her team of experts specialize in EB-5 practice , with a focus in the MENA region . Lawmaks provides creative solutions to individuals and corporations , in helping them navigate through the complex issues they face with U . S . immigration . Kasra is a board member in IABA ’ s NY Chapter , an active member of AILA , and a committee member of New York City Bar ’ s MENA committee . She is a frequent speaker on Immigration venues related to investment visa categories .

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FOLLOWING THE EB-5 REAUTHORIZATION ?
The changes in the March 15 , 2022 reauthorization program have left EB-5 investors and RCs alike in a “ limbo ” state . As a result , we are seeing an uptick in interest for the direct EB-5 program , which has proven to be more “ stable .” Another trend is with potential investors exploring other options such as L-1 or E-2 visa categories which may , under certain circumstances , allow the investor to apply for adjustment of status , with either an increased investment , or with utilizing EB1-C as the basis . While more complex , said alternatives may serve as viable alternatives for the right investor .
HOW DO YOU THINK THE PANDEMIC HAS IMPACTED THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
With COVID-19 impacting the global markets , many viable pre-COVID investors are no longer in a position to invest the required sum in order to gain U . S . residency through the EB-5 program . That said , majority of foreign investors still believe United States to be a much safer bet due to instability in their own markets , and deficiencies in their government ’ s response to COVID-19 . With the investors shaking off the negative effects of the pandemic , we are seeing a renewed interest , and a more resolved attitude toward immigration to the U . S ., with the hope to reach safer grounds .
RAFAEL LAMBERTI
REINHARDT LLP

Rafael Lamberti is a partner at Reinhardt Savic Foley LLP . Lamberti represents both individual and corporate clients on a wide variety of immigration matters by advising them on all phases of nonimmigrant visa petitions and applications for permanent residency and citizenship . He has substantial knowledge and expertise in employment and investment based nonimmigrant visas . With regard to EB-5 visas , he has advised clients in structuring direct and pooled investments , as well as investments in various regional centers . Lamberti was born and raised in Sao Paulo , Brazil , and he began his life in the United States as an immigrant like many of his clients today .

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FOLLOWING THE EB-5 REAUTHORIZATION ?
With regard to EB-5 projects , we have seen a noticeable change in what kinds of new projects are being structured with more emphasis on rural areas that did not see as much investment as real estate developments , for example . Because of the higher amounts , we see that projects are offering better financial returns to investors . As for the investors themselves , we have seen a lot of clients take advantage of the ability to now concurrently file the adjustment of status application while the I-526 is still pending . This is a significant change since I-526 processing times are still very high , but at least investors and their families can now wait for their approvals in the United States .
HOW DO YOU THINK THE PANDEMIC HAS IMPACTED THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
The pandemic and the subsequent shutdown had a significant impact on several EB-5 projects , however , this impact did not trickle down to investors and their petitions . Since many EB-5 projects were either large real estate developments and / or hospitality properties , the shutdowns and limitations on travel substantially impacted the operations in these two industries . For EB-5 projects that were reliant on on-going operations to sustain their business model , financial projections , and job creations , this impact was devastating . It potentially impacted the viability of the green card applications attached to it , but many other projects already had the jobs created prior to the pandemic , so the impacts were limited to their financial performances .
EB5INVESTORS . COM 75