EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1 | Page 53

EB5 Investors Magazine Staff : How did you first get started in EB-5 ?
Rosenfeld : I was fortunate to work at Price Waterhouse ( currently PricewaterhouseCoopers ), both before and after law school . I worked with a highly regarded tax partner who specialized in real estate syndications that attracted international investors . This led to my learning about the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program that was enacted in 1986 . The concept of an investment that could yield immigration benefits was intriguing to me . As this was the time when China and Britain were finalizing plans to transfer Hong Kong to China , an exceptional and timely business opportunity existed . Our experience with the Canadian program was the backdrop for our interest in EB-5 .
Staff : Why did you choose EB-5 as an industry to get into and what made you stay involved in it ?
Rosenfeld : I believe that I was naturally attracted and intrigued by the EB-5 program because I am an immigrant . I was born in Israel to Holocaust survivors who moved to the United States in hopes of finding a better life . I was sensitive to the unspoken concerns of my parents who had uprooted themselves to go to a foreign country with the dream of providing a better life to their children . My personal backstory , along with my business background and professional aspirations , fed my passion for this venture .
Around 1999 , the Canadian government consolidated the individual provincial programs into a federally-administered program that enabled an investment in a five-year zero coupon Canadian government bond . Although we achieved a stellar track record in Canada , we acknowledged that it was time to look for new opportunities .
At the time , there was a moratorium and an internal INS ( predecessor to the USCIS ) review of the EB-5 program , which led to the issuance by the INS of a number of important precedent and regional center decisions . We read everything we could about the EB-5 program and carefully studied the important decisions . We structured a loan program based on Canada , but consistent with these decisions , and introduced it to the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp . ( PIDC ) – the economic development agency for the City of Philadelphia . PIDC was a natural choice for me because I was raised , educated and started my career in Philadelphia . We advised PIDC of the troubled history of the EB-5 program during the 1990s and we agreed to proceed cautiously in order to ensure that we fully disclosed and vetted our plans with the INS .
Staff : What year was this ?
Rosenfeld : I believe this was 2001 . At that time , the INS had just completed its re-evaluation of the EB-5 program and was prepared to adjudicate regional center applications . Morrie Berez was in charge of administering the EB-5 program . Because

Behind CanAm

“ The idea of facing all the challenges of moving to a new country and potentially risking half a million dollars and even your permanent green card status is incredibly daunting .”
The idea of facing all the challenges of moving to a new country and potentially risking half a million dollars and even your permanent green card status is incredibly daunting . I distinctly recall how important immigrating was to my own family and how anxious my parents were of coming here . I have a great deal of empathy for what our investors experience , and this , combined with my interest in the business side of the EB-5 program , was the combination that clicked for me .
Staff : Previously you worked on Canada ’ s Immigrant Investor Program , so what made you switch to EB-5 ?
Rosenfeld : The Canadian program was initially administered at the provincial level and projects were selected , screened and qualified provincially . We represented the provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick and were fortunate to have excellent Canadian partners who introduced us to quality projects that we successfully promoted in Hong Kong and Taiwan .
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of our affiliation with PIDC and the City of Philadelphia , we had the opportunity to openly discuss and ensure our proposed loan structure and regional center business plan was consistent with the INS ’ s interpretation of the precedent decisions . Bob Fina of PIDC and I met with Mr . Berez on several occasions . As an aside , I believe everyone who was involved with the EB-5 program in the first few years of its reintroduction would agree that Mr . Berez was instrumental in revitalizing and restoring trust in the program .
Staff : What are some of the challenges you ’ ve faced either on the project side or the investor side , and how have you worked around them ?
Rosenfeld : Because of its troubled history , there was limited investor interest in the EB-5 program at the time the PIDC Regional Center was approved in February 2003 . We understood the potential of the China market and wanted to introduce the EB-5 program in China . But , obviously , if China ’ s currency restriction policy was going to be a USCIS source of funds concern , we didn ’ t want to waste our time or money in that market . We openly vetted the issue with Mr . Berez , who understood our concern , but indicated that he needed to raise the issue internally and get a determination from more senior
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