EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 issue" Volume 9 Issue 1 - Page 81

TOP ECONOMISTS
MICHAEL KESTER
IMPACT DATASOURCE

Michael Kester is partner and lead EB-5 economist with Impact DataSource . Established in 1993 , Impact DataSource , a Texas-based firm , specializes in high-quality economic and fiscal impact research services . The firm began offering specialized EB-5 services in 2010 and has become a leading resource for the industry . Kester leads the firm ’ s specialized EB-5 economics team , which offers EB-5 consulting services , analyses and deliverables that reflect the evolving needs of EB-5 clients and ever-changing requirements of USCIS . The EB-5 team has completed more than 500 comprehensive EB-5 economic studies and assisted clients in obtaining more than a thousand TEA certifications .

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EB-5 REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT OF 2022 ?
While not perfect , the EB-5 RIA of 2022 at least provides the EB-5 program with a long-term framework for stakeholders and investors to work with . It will be interesting to see how
USCIS continues to interpret the new law , and how they will eventually adjudicate cases . The RIA appears to codify the TEA standards ( directly adjacent census tract aggregation only ) from the November 2019 regulations , however the language from the new law related to job creation is more up in the air . Hopefully , USCIS will provide clear guidance on these and other issues in a timely fashion .
WHAT NEW TYPES OF PROJECTS AND TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY ?
Since the EB-5 RIA of 2022 took effect , we are getting more inquiries related to rural projects due to the set-aside provisions . While some projects are moving forward quickly , many are taking a more cautious approach and are waiting to see how the ongoing court cases play out and also how USCIS further interprets and reacts to the new law . Regarding project types , we are continuing to still see many “ run-of-themill ” EB-5 projects ( real estate , etc .) but with the increased focus on rural projects we are seeing more atypical projects , as well .
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