While the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is generally the quickest and easiest pathway for a foreign national to gain U.S. permanent resident status, that doesn’t mean the program isn’t complex. Each EB-5 project and each EB-5 investment involves a multitude of factors that an investor must navigate to ultimately emerge victorious with U.S. green cards for themselves, their spouse, and their unmarried children below the age of 21. Questions abound, and on November 10, 2020, investors may finally receive the answers to their pressing EB-5 inquiries.
Starting November 10, Invest in the USA (IIUSA), an EB-5 trade association, is holding a two-week virtual conference on major EB-5 topics, including request for evidence (RFE) and denial trends, redeployment, and challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis. In a typical year, such a forum would be hosted at an in-person venue, but due to the health regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade association has opted to host 2020’s forum online. Featuring guest of honor speakers Sarah Kendall (chief of the Immigrant Investor Processing Office, or IPO) and Charles Oppenheim (chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State), the virtual forum, insists IIUSA, promises to be just as engaging and informative as an in-person event.
The forum spreads five days of EB-5-related presentations and content across two weeks to better fit participants’ busy schedules. Participants need not be IIUSA members to join, but tickets for non-members cost around $200, while tickets for IIUSA members cost $150. One ticket provides access to all panels, so participants may freely choose when to tune in.
IIUSA members have also had the opportunity to send in questions for Sarah Kendall to answer during the forum. The questions touch on a number of EB-5 and IPO topics, such as the follow:
- Why are there incongruencies between the estimated processing time ranges and the historical national average processing times?
- What happens to investors with active EB5 investments who followed the former redeployment guidelines before they were modified in July 2020?
- Why does every EB-5 investor in a project have to submit project documentation even when there have been no changes to the project?
- Does United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) anticipate furloughing employees due to budget constraints in FY2021?
- How will the IPO ensure states and regions with low populations, such as Maine, South Dakota, and Alaska, can continue to enjoy EB-5 regional center coverage in the face of rampant terminations related to activity level?
Interested investors may purchase a ticket and tune in to the virtual forum starting November 10 for a wealth of information on the EB-5 program and the direction of its next steps into a COVID-19-plagued world.