In Part II of our “EB-5 Insights from the Experts” blog series, we spoke with CanAm Enterprises CEO Tom Rosenfeld about his 2020 forecast for the EB-5 market and program. CanAm has been a leading Regional Centers operator in the U.S. for over 30 years and has worked with more than 5,500 EB-5 investors. They have helped create approximately 72,000 full-time new jobs in the U.S.
Below are Tom’s thoughts on the program this year, and if you missed Part I of our blog series kick-off with attorneys Robert Divine and H. Ronald Klasko, please click here.
Q: Do you foresee doing anything different in 2020 that you have not done previously?
CanAm has been in the investment-immigration business for more than 30 years, and the reason we are able to continue to lead the industry today is that we always stick to our principles and values – putting investors and their best interests above everything else.
In terms of providing investment opportunities within Targeted Employment Areas, we adjusted our strategy of project sourcing to reflect the new requirements. In Q1 2020, for example, we partnered with Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors to fund a major infrastructure project in Texas that we believe has a great TEA fit. We have adapted to a different approach to deliver the same high-standard product.
Q: What do you think EB-5 market will look like in 2020?
While we may see fewer regional centers participating in the EB-5 program and raising capital may become more challenging, I am convinced the industry and its key stakeholders will adapt and thrive in this new environment if we unify on visa relief in 2020. Several options to reduce the visa backlog have been floated over the past years. Any of these possibilities would dramatically reduce wait times for backlogged investors.
Q: How has marketing to investors changed?
With the new investment amounts, investors generally tend to be more cautious and rightfully require more evidence and financial information during the initial project screening phase than before. While the information has always been available in our materials, we put more emphasis on project fundamentals and financials in the early stages of client acquisition. We believe it is actually very healthy for the industry as investors can distinguish high-quality projects more easily and in early stages of their immigration process.
Check out our other article about EB-5 Market predictions for 2020 from the EB-5 Insights From Experts blog series.