ILW’s EB-5 workshop was well attended by attorneys and developers. We have enjoyed sponsoring many of these events and learning more about the EB-5 process from the informative speakers. One of the speakers was Ignacio Donoso, of FosterQuan LLC who spoke about 1-526 and source of funds issues. The filing fee for the I-526 is now $1,500 and could go as high as double or quadruple that in the future.  In 2011, 1,563 (81%) I-526s were approved and as of July, 2012, 3,002 (79%) were approved.  Regarding source of funds, typically only the capital contribution is subject to source of funds (SOF) scrutiny.  USCIS has recently been issuing Requests for Evidence (RFE) of the Administration Fees paid by investors to the Regional Center.

Ignacio also discussed the steps to take when filing the I-924 application for Regional Center approval.  The application fee is at $6,230 and takes 6-12 months for a response.  It seems that much of the guidance from the USCIS on applications is found in RFE’s, “regulation by RFE”.  USCIS is asking how the Regional Center is going to operate once it has been approved.  Do they have sufficient financing to bring the projects to market, attract investors and complete the project?  USCIS also requires that evidence be provided of capital committed to the Regional Center’s launch by the principals.

Clifford Morris of Mirzam Investor Green Card, LLC spoke about his experience in the creation of his Regional Center, the challenges of marketing his project overseas, and the lack of the ability to obtain conventional financing.  He mentioned that bridge financing is becoming a more popular option.  He indicated that after working with a bank for several months to set up his EB-5 capital raise escrow account he was introduced to NES Financial.  He said that it was “too good to be true”, but NES Financial was able to set up the account quickly, provide an on-line portal with security, transparency and compliance needed to ensure his investors that their funds were protected during the I-526 approval phase.  He described our client services team as being professional, knowledgeable and providing of a high level of customer service.

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