32 Reasons Why the End of EB-5 Would Mean the End of the World
by Michael Hunt
The Regional Center portion of the EB-5 program is set to expire on September 30, 2015. Notwithstanding marketing hustlers trying to convince the world that so-called ‘direct’ (i.e. non-Regional Center) EB-5’s are the wave of the future, 98% of EB-5’s are through the Regional Center program. Thus, EB-5 and the Regional Centers are one in the same. What would happen if Congress failed to renew the Regional Center program after September 30th? The below is a list of 32 possibilities. Feel free to contact the author if you have any more to add.
1) I might lose my 1K status on United.
2) I might lose my Gold membership with Hilton. And Hyatt. And Marriott too. My self-esteem would be crushed, because nobody would kiss my *** at airport or hotel check-in counters anymore.
3) I might have to spend more time with my kids.
4) My parents might stop asking me when I plan to get a real job.
5) Pandering to 14th Century notions of the ‘Middle Kingdom’ mentality is good for developing a sense of balance.
6) Xiamen, baby!
7) The ladies at Judy’s and Manhattan’s in Shanghai and Apocalypse Now in Saigon would really miss me. No, really. They would. They said so.
8) Nobody outside EB-5 thinks I need a massage (pronounced MA SA GEEEEEEEEE) at 8:30am on a Tuesday.
9) Those oddly shaped, standard-sized hash browns that appear on every hotel breakfast buffet in China are really tasty.
10) What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
11) I really enjoy attending the same seminar on the same topics with the same people twice a month in the same handful of world locations. Did Idaho’s TEA policy really change in the last week?
12) I really enjoy the FBI, SEC, FDNS, CIA, KKK, Peter Elkins, ABC News, The Washington Times, SMERSH, and SPECTRE calling me about EB-5 matters. If they stop calling, I might not have anyone to talk to anymore.
13) I would really miss the squalid scene of ‘big firms’ who couldn’t spell EB-5 five years posted up in trade show booths peddling their EB-5 wares in Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. “Ni hao. EB wu. Ni yao?”
14) Wuhan in July is quite pleasant.
15) I really enjoy being asked 3-4 times a month to buy an ad or sponsor a “Champaign room” at some conference somewhere. Anything I can do to help.
16) Because spending 65% of my time for 35% of my revenue makes perfect business sense.
17) Riverside, CA really needs another strip mall.
18) Before EB-5, I though RIMS II were something that Snoop Dog put on his old Cadillac. And I thought IMPLAN was an optional cosmetic procedure extremely popular in California.
19) Because not everybody can sell used cars or timeshares. And S&L operators from the late 1980’s need something to do in 2015.
20) I would miss all the free advertising I get from China-based EB-5 groups putting my picture on their website or documents in an attempt to bask in my reflected glory. You see, I never had reflected glory prior to EB-5.
21) Because staying up all night on WeChat and QQ is healthier than staying up all night smoking rock cocaine.
22)Because the world needs more $200 books on EB-5 practice.
23)It’s really funny handing out competitor’s business cards in Guangzhou ‘Xiaojie bars.’
24)It’s also really funny when your competitor’s take pictures of you getting to know the locals in Guangzhou ‘Xiaojie bars.’
25)My Karaoke singing has improved so much it would be a shame to stop now.
26)Working in two time zones, Shanghai time and everybody else time, builds character.
27) We will miss the next great creative “international bank work around” for transferring more than $50,000 out of China at a time.
28) We would also forever miss those ten faithful “friends and family” who are always there for you to circumvent Chinese currency restrictions. Because everybody needs friends and family, but having ten friends and family really shows the love.
29) We would miss those Friday, 7pm conference calls with an Overseas Immigration Consultant and their client, both of whom forget to tell you that they’ve already engaged another “famous EB-5 attorney” to do the I-526.
30)What would the nouveau riche, cash money brothers of EB-5 do with their snazzy, new G6 airplane’s?
31)How else would purple unicorn farm projects get funded?
32)Like the Styx song from back in the day, “I have dozens of friends and the fun never ends, that is as long as I’m buying.”
In all seriousness, years of self-promotion and self-importance have elevated EB-5 beyond all proportion in US immigration law. In any given year, there are nearly as many refugee travel documents issued as there are new I-526 filings. Yet, nobody holds refugee travel document conferences in Shanghai or Beijing at five-star Western hotels. Nobody publishes “The Refugee Travel Document Book” and expects to get $200 for it. So much effort expended for something so pitifully small. On April 1, 2015, the number of new H-1B petitions is predicted to exceed the entire yearly 10,000 EB-5 visa quota by a factor of 14. Yet there are no quarterly H-1B stakeholders meetings, no non-stop H-1B conference circuit, and relatively fewer H-1B specialty publications. Pandering to the Middle Kingdom mentality is optional in H-1B practice, but one is unlikely to achieve 1K status on United in the world of H-1B’s. The EB-5 industry’s infantile sense of self-importance and self-promotion is now backfiring with the FBI, SEC, Chuck Grassley and the press all over EB-5 like a cheap suit. Remember the old saying from our youth: It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
EB-5. Get over yourself. You’re not that important.
Reprinted with permission.
Michael Hunt is the pseudonym of a US-based attorney. He is planning on writing the next great American novel on EB-5. It will be fictional because the truth is always stranger than fiction.