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March 12 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho

USCIS issued four precedent decisions in 1998 intended to rein in the EB-5 program. One is Matter of Ho.

Matter of Ho holds that an EB-5 project must be accompanied by a credible, detailed business plan. Ho says the plan should include: a description of the business, including products and services; a market analysis; marketing strategy overview; organizational structure and personnel experience; staffing requirements; and sales, cost and income projections, among others.

An I-526 petition or an actual or exemplar I-924/I-526 regional center project must have a Matter of Ho compliant business plan. We work with a number of experienced business plan writers who are familiar with USCIS requirements and can organize their business plans to highlight the content needed to meet the EB-5 requirements.

Interestingly, USCIS regulations do not require a business plan if the jobs have already been created.

Impact of Canadian Investor Program Closure

The 45,000 or so Chinese investor immigrants who are receiving their funds back from Canada will soon have an impact on our EB-5 program. I am already getting calls from these investors.

In the short run, the closing of the Canadian program will provide more investors who will capitalize projects and create jobs in the US – a very good thing.

Although the Department of State (DOS) now says the China EB-5 quota may not be exhausted this fiscal year as had been predicted, the addition of investors who previously tried to immigrate to Canada will increase demand and possibly cause further delays for visa numbers.

Congress can alleviate this problem by: 1) increasing the number of EB-5 visas, and/or 2) eliminating the visa number required for dependents (spouse and children under the age of 21).

It is never too late to begin lobbying your congressional representative and senators, and to remind them of the benefits of this job creation program in their district/state.