EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 - Page 79

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY
TOP ECONOMISTS
KIM ATTEBERRY
VERMILION CONSULTING

Kimberly Atteberry is the president of Vermilion Consulting LLC . Vermilion helps varied organizations leverage the benefits of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program . Vermilion Consulting provides expert advice on project feasibility , EB-5 compliant business plans , job creation analyses , and targeted employment area analyses . Prior to Vermilion , Atteberry was the chief economist of U . S . Citizenship and Immigration Services . In 2000 and 2002 , she taught economics and marketing at the United States Air Force Academy as one of a select group of civilian instructors .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
I ’ m relieved that Congress has finally authorized the regional center program for an extended period . Although some of the language in the bill could have been worded more clearly , I believe we now have a set of workable rules for our industry .
My hope at this point is that USCIS steps up and provides clarification with a new , well-considered regulation , and that the adjudication process begins to move again . After that , I hope Congress can work out the visa situation and put the EB-5 program on the same footing as the other immigration programs .
WHAT NEW TYPES OF PROJECTS AND TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
Since the passage of the Act , many clients have approached us to help them apply for new regional center geographies that are considerably larger than what they had before . This makes sense on two levels . First , the larger geographies allow the regional centers to capture rural areas they might not have considered important in the past . The new , legislative emphasis on rural projects is certain to encourage this approach across the industry . Second , with the creation of the “ integrity fund ” and its large annual fee per regional center , it ’ s wise to request as much geography as possible .
JEFFREY CARR
ECONOMIC & POLICY RESOURCES INC .

Jeffrey Carr is president and senior economist of Economic & Policy Resources , Inc . ( EPR ). EPR professionals have worked extensively in the EB-5 industry as economists and business plan writers for over 20 years . In addition to EPR ’ s national economics and business plan writing practice , Carr has lectured on the EB-5 program throughout the U . S . and internationally and has completed more than 325 assignments under the program including impact studies , business plans , TEA analysis , and regional center business plans . Carr also has served on various committees pertaining to key EB-5 issues as part of the IIUSA Public Policy Committee since 2013 .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
All EB-5 professionals were relieved to see the passage of the RIA . The re-authorization of the regional center program and the updates to the rules and regulations were needed . Now the industry has some much-needed long term stability for the regional center program . Most see the integrity measures as being largely workable , especially with the additional clarity on the regional center re-certification issue with the recent Behring lawsuit settlement . There were a few program changes that were “ negatives ” ( such as the end of multi-investor direct EB-5 projects ) and uncertainties remain . However , uncertainties are not anything new to seasoned EB-5 practitioners .
WHAT NEW TYPES OF PROJECTS AND TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
We have recently seen a lot of interest in infrastructure projects and projects that are located in program-referred rural areas . We have also seen more interest understanding which projects would qualify as high unemployment rate TEA projects under the new program rules . However , we also have observed some efforts “ to game ” the new TEA rules . At best , this will reflect poorly on those practitioners . At worst , that gaming will put some EB-5 investors potentially “ at risk ” for obtaining their job creation-based immigration benefits . We are optimistic that these matters will be worked out , and EB-5 will prosper in the future .
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