EB5 Investors Magazine - Page 88

Continued from page 85 The Chinese development groups benefit by achieving portfolio diversification in the United States at a time when the Chinese real estate market has softened. Similarly, the U.S.-based developers gain access to cheaper capital often higher in the capital stack, and a strong local partner to market EB-5 investments in China at a time when the EB-5 marketplace has become more competitive. Green Energy Will Power Your Green Card “From an immigration compliance standpoint, which is of most critical importance to the EB-5 investor, there is little difference between investing in an EB-5 project developed by an American real estate company versus one developed by a Chinese real estate developer” From an immigration compliance standpoint, which is of most critical importance to the EB-5 investor, there is little difference between investing in an EB-5 project developed by an American real estate company versus one developed by a Chinese real estate developer: the visa program requirements for earning a permanent green card - and ferreting out fraud - remain exactly the same. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) neither expressly nor implicitly precludes a foreign-owned company from participating in the EB-5 program, nor should they. After all, the heart of the EB-5 program is job creation in the United States for American workers. The amount of jobs created by an EB-5 project is the first element both EB-5 investors and developers must ascertain when determining project viability under the Immigrant Investor Program. If the requisite jobs per investor are created, then it is questionable whether a debate should even ensue about the suitability of international developers owning or operating U.S. EB-5 development projects: at the end of the day, all of the jobs resulting from a project are American ones. If anything, additional players on the EB-5 project field could be beneficial in the competition they generate. A greater variety of projects in the EB-5 marketplace would continue to improve the quality of projects available to investors, increasing the likelihood of successful project completion and adding value into the communities that they are intended to benefit. Projects that fail to create the requisite jobs or repay their investors are obviously harmful to the integrity of the program. The reality is that for U.S. real es tate developers, international interest is not a new trend. Canada is the top international investor in the U.S. real estate market.3 Just as many U.S. developers are incorporating EB-5 financing into their project capital stack, it is not surprising that international developers are doing the same. And most significantly, their contributions will still result in the creation of American jobs, along with billions of dollars in foreign investment stimulating the U.S. economy – beyond merely the jobs created by the EB-5 projects themselves. Far from being a cause of concern, international developers investing money and developing U.S.-based projects is a vote of confidence in the United States. As Senator Patrick Leahy noted, “[a]t a time when so much American investment is incentivized off shore, isn’t it nice to see a government program [EB-5] that brings foreign investment onshore?”4 ★ Mahajan, Saurabh, and Surabhi Sheth. Chinese Investment in U.S. Real Estate. Rep: Deloitte Development, Web. 4 Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy at Jay Peak. Patrick Leahy. U.S. Senate, 27 Sept. 2012. Web. . 3 For more information on how green energy can power your green card, please contact us at: Laguilar@americanrcg.com Victor Shum 86 Victor Shum is the president of the Advantage America EB-5 Group, which operates the Advantage America California Regional Center and Advantage America New York Regional Center. He was formerly a partner at the law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler and Mitchell LLP in San Francisco, where he served as the co-chair of the investment capital law group and was a member of the global hospitality practice and Chinese investment group. EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE