Comment: Impending Changes to EB5 Program

Several important developments are afoot on the EB5 program, on two fronts: Agency/Regulatory and Congressional/Legislative.

1. Agency/Regulatory Front: Incoming director of USCIS, Mr. Cissna was recently asked about the EB5 program at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said that he favored the rule making currently under way. To our knowledge, this is the only time an official nominated by the Trump administration has supported rule making commenced under the Obama administration on a non-trivial matter. Our inquiries with people familiar with the rule making suggest that the rule could be promulgated in the July-December time frame. However, Mr. Cissna's background as Chief of Staff for Sen. Grassley (R-IA) is relevant here. When Mr. Cissna met with Sen. Durbin (D-IL) earlier in June, the only thing they had in common was their hostility to H-1B and L visas. We expect USCIS under Mr. Cissna to focus first on H-1B and L visas, thus pushing back action on EB5 rule making closer to December than July.

2. Congressional/Legislative Front: Congress has always preferred to set EB5 policy and is unlikely to leave it to USCIS. Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) has put together language which is a bill in all but a bill number. To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Cornyn has never put together such a comprehensive effort on EB5 before. This is particularly remarkable because he has been the primary obstacle to EB5 legislation in the past and his going from No to Yes, combined with the fact that he is #2 in the Senate majority party is significant. Mr. Cornyn’s language has 85% overlap with Mr. Grassley's bill (which in turn is backed by Sen. Leahy (D-VT) and by Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA), the chairman of House Judiciary Committee). The entire EB-5 industry appears to be lining up behind Mr. Cornyn's language, the consensus gradually arrived at is real. Eventually a compromise will be needed between the languages of Cornyn and Grassley, but it appears that such compromise is achievable in a relatively short time, especially when political necessity for it becomes clear. Such necessity will be clear as soon as the USCIS rule goes to OMB for publication.

3. Prospects for Congressional Action: The Senate will be tied up with healthcare during June and July. Either healthcare reform will fail in the Senate or it will be sent to a conference committee. A Conference committee would report in the fall but likely not before September 30 in view of the immense political difficulties involved. From August 1 to September 30, Congress will therefore be focused on three critical issues: the budget, raising of the debt limit and tax reform--all three are significant legislation full of minefields and are politically urgent. These could be combined into an omnibus bill which may become a reconciliation measure. When confronted with these three giant issues, it is unlikely that there will be any political oxygen left for a relatively minor issue like immigration--let alone a small part of immigration such as EB5.

4. Our Forecast: (a) We expect Congressional action as soon as the USCIS rule goes to OMB. (b) If that does not happen before September 30, and it likely wont happen before then, Congress will kick the can down the road by another clean extension of the EB5 Regional Center Program. (c) Such a kick will be coterminous with the budget timetable, which could easily be for one more year, i.e. through September 2018.

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Focus: International Students Expos in USA
International students are coming to the US in dramatically increased numbers. The explosion in Chinese, Indian and Korean students started less than a decade ago and continues. For EB-5 purposes students offer good prospects. We have been conducting events since 2014 educating students on EB-5 in New York, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Michigan and California. We are expanding these events to other locations in 2017 to cover the entire USA. For each city we promote the event to multiple campuses across the metropolitan region; this can vary from ten to twenty campuses per city. These are 1 day events that require a short single night stay trip from the sponsoring Regional Center or law firm. During the educational event covering the students' immigration options the sponsor makes a short presentation about their Regional Center or law firm. The event structure allows for plenty of networking opportunities with students. These events are available only to Regional Centers that use Regulation-D or to law firms, and we require clients to consult a securities attorney before signing up for these events.

International Student Expos 2017

  • Los Angeles, CA - March 18, 2017
  • New York, NY - March 25, 2017
  • Houston, TX - April 8, 2017
  • Seattle, WA - May 6, 2017
  • Washington, DC - June 3, 2017
  • New York, NY - June 17, 2017
  • Chicago, IL - July 15, 2017
  • Philadelphia, PA - August 12, 2017
  • New York, NY - September 16, 2017
  • Boston, MA - September 23, 2017
  • San Francisco, CA - October 14, 2017
  • Dallas, TX - November 11, 2017
  • Miami, FL - December 2, 2017
  • New York, NY - December 9, 2017


  • All Day Expo featuring Exhibit Hall and frequent short seminars.
  • Participation includes distribution of all marketing materials, an exhibit table and 2 speaking slots.
  • Please bring brochures, PowerPoint presentation, table displays and business cards.

Regional Center - $3,999 per city; Law Firms - $999 per city

For more information please call: 212-545-0818 or write to or click here.

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Help Wanted: Junior Associate Attorney
Melville, NY – Small growing law firm (20 years) in Melville, NY seeks to hire a full-time Junior Associate Attorney. We are considering applications from attorneys recently admitted to bar or with less than one year experience. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. Only resumes emailed to will be considered. Do not contact the firm directly. Duties: Compile and file routine and complex immigration applications and petitions under senior attorney supervision (H-1B, L-1, O, PERM, family-based processes, etc.), Compose letters to clients, Draft legal memoranda and articles, Support clients in immigration program management and compliance, Attend client interviews, participate in and conduct meetings with clients, Other relevant duties as may be assigned The ideal Associate will have the following: JD required, Member of State Bar Association (NY or NJ preferred), Some business immigration experience preferred, Spanish language fluency required, Fast-learner, strong analytical and problem-solving skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and demonstrated attention to detail, Must be able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment with competing demands when required, Must be comfortable working in a small firm environment, Must be residing within driving distance of Melville, NY. Please send resume to Only resumes emailed to will be considered. Do not contact the firm directly.

Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Florida - A Florida based Regional Center having done several EB5 projects is seeking to team up with an experienced Immigration Attorney for I-526,I-829, I-924, I-924A filings. The Immigration Attorney must have filed successful 526 and 829 cases, should have prompt availability and be ready to travel internationally at a short notice. Boutique law firms and individuals working with larger firms willing to branch out on their own are ok. Interested attorneys please write to:

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