H1-B and EB-5 Visa Comparison (Focus on India)
Floyd Mitchell: [00:01:14] Hello EB-5 investors. This is Floyd Mitchell with eb5eb5.com. Welcome to Episode 5 of the EB-5 investor portal podcast recording on Friday December 1st 2017. Today’s episode is titled applying for an EB- 5 visa as an H1-B applicant or visa holder with special guest and immigration attorney Sam Newbold of Barst Mukamal & Kleiner. Sam heads of BMK’s EB-5 practice group representing individual investors regional centers and developers. Sam has counseled hundreds of individual EB-5 investors and their families through the entire EB-5 process and has one of the highest approval ratings in the industry. Mr. Newbold is a well-established speaker on immigration law topics in New York City and throughout the country. He often presents on topics involving complex immigration issues. Mr. Newbold also serves on the board of directors for the Safe Passage Project, a nonprofit that provides pro-bono legal aid to accompanied minors in the immigration process. He holds degrees from New York Law School and Elon University. He’s admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. He’s a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Newbold has been listed in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Super Lawyers rising star publication which recognizes New York City’s top attorneys under the age of 40. Sam welcome to the show. Today’s topic is covering H1-B applicants and visa holders who may want to learn more about the EB-5 program.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:02:50] Sam can you tell us if individuals seeking a U.S. green card may file an EB-5 petition concurrently with a pending EB-2 or EB-3 application out to USCIS.
Sam Newbold: [00:03:01] Sure we have a number of Indian clients who are here in the United States on H1-B and their employers have filed employment based green cards on their behalf. We call these EB-2 or EB-5 category green cards in contrast EB-5 for example. Indians are subject to a backlog in EB-2 and EB-3 similar to how Chinese are subject to a backlog any EB-5. Basically we only give out a certain number of visas globally and we cap also the number of visas we give out to specific countries every year as well. So because of the interest we have in Indian nationals wanting to emigrate for employment it’s created a very long line in the EB-2 and EB-3 category for Indian nationals who are here in the United States on H1-B visas and they are here continuously on these H1-B visas employed with their employers while they’re waiting for their green cards to come through. Meaning that they’re waiting for their visa number to be current so that they can process and adjust their status from being an H1-B visa holder to a U.S. green card holder. So oftentimes what they do is, they’ll come to us because they’re hearing about EB-5 and there’s no backlog for Indian nationals in the EB-5 category and they’re looking to perhaps pursue you know an EB-5 investment as a way to get a green card because it would be faster than having to wait you know 10 to 15 years maybe for their visa number to become current and processed under EB-2 or EB-3. So one of the questions initially that they ask us is, “can I file an EB-5 petition if I have an EB-2 or EB-3 sort of green card case going with my employer. The answer to that is yes absolutely. These petitions operate totally independently of one another. For example, the investor files an EB-5 petition themselves and the employer is actually the entity that sponsors the immigrant for the green card and files all the paperwork. So they’re the actual person who filed that petition with immigration there. So you have an employment based green card case going and an investment based green card case going and they can totally operate concurrently. They don’t interfere with each other necessarily and they don’t even really have those cases never really crossed paths at all. So the question about whether or not that’s possible is yes it’s definitely possible and we have Indian national clients who have successfully done that. It’s becoming very popular.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:05:32] I would assume that in some cases Sam some of these employees that may be sponsored by their employer might be a little bit nervous about their employer finding out that they are filing in the EB-5 petition after the employer has invested money and time in helping them with their H1-B visa. Have you encountered this? Is this a reasonable concern?
Sam Newbold: [00:05:55] Yeah I mean for some people it might be a sensitive subject and we can totally understand why. The employer has invested in this employee that spent ten or fifteen thousand dollars or so on putting together this petition for them and they’re holding a job offer open to them while this is in process and the employee is waiting for their visa number to become current. There is this sort of level of concern by the employee that maybe if they go off on their own and try to find their own green card it might make them fall out of favor with their employers so to speak so we understand that. And that’s really a case by case thing. You know some employees have great relationships with their employers and their employers may think that’s a great idea. Other employers if they found out about that may not see it that way. So you have to be somewhat aware of the relationship that the employee has and that’s really their decision about whether to do that. An employee is going to know whether or not something like that is going to affect their employment with their employer. So you obviously don’t want to have them pursue something that they aren’t comfortable with, but it’s something to consider for sure. Oftentimes the investor (we’re really talking about Indian nationals here) will go online research about EB-5 and they’ll talk amongst themselves or maybe they have a colleague or a friend or they know somebody that has done this themselves. And they’ll have questions but they’re not quite sure who to contact about that and maybe it might be beneficial for them to contact their immigration counsel for their employer, but again that depends on their relationship with their employer and that may not be a good idea for some people if they feel like it will be a problem. They may want to go seek their own immigration counsel to pursue this. If they don’t necessarily want their employer to know. So, it’s definitely something to think about and we come across that set of circumstances frequently.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:07:45] When the employee files the EB-5 petition, is there some type of notification from USCIS that will go to that respective employees H.R. department? Will their boss find out that they’re filing a second petition concurrently with their H1- B? Is this something that they need to spend any time worrying about in terms of things being awkward at work or upsetting their boss, and things of that nature?
Sam Newbold: [00:08:14] Yeah I mean look, their employers are not really going to know. Let’s liken this to a similar situation, let’ssay that the employee gets married to a U.S. citizen and they file a green card petition that way and they get their green card through marriage. I mean look, life happens and things happen and people’s circumstances change. The employer is not going to know that that person unless they told him they got married for purposes of tax treatment you know HR and things like that. They might find out that way but they’re not going to find out from immigration necessarily that and I-130 petition has been filed by their new U.S. citizens spouse. Similarly, USCIS isn’t going to notify H.R. of their employer that the investor file an EB-5 petition. So no, there’s nothing really to be concerned about there necessarily. It’s quite often that clients of ours who do this concurrent process will go through and file their 526 and adjust their status and they go to work with a green card one day and they just let HR know that “here’s my green card” (laughter) and they find out that way. So you can’t expect to live your life in a vacuum, you know, life changes and circumstances change and this is just an option for people who are looking to pursue it.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:09:26] Can you tell us how an investor would fund their EB-5 investment and what the total amount is. Along with a little bit about the money aspects of this process.
Sam Newbold: [00:09:38] Sure. Well. Ideally if this person has been employed in the United States and they have a good income and they can leverage that income to serve as their investment in the the EB-5 program, that’s a very nice set of circumstances to have. That’s really kind of like the best circumstances where they really just have W-2 income and you’re filing their tax returns as proof of that and things of that nature. That’s a good way for them to document their source of funds. A common scenario that we have with our clients from India in this situation is, they have a house and perhaps they’ve paid off the mortgage on their house and they’ll get a new home equity line of credit for example against their house and use those proceeds to service as their investment principle in the EB-5 program. That’s very common as well and then other clients will combine domestic income that they’ve earned here through employment. Maybe, proceeds from a home mortgage that they’ve gotten in it and possibly a gift from a relative abroad that we can show source of funds from. And then they stitched together that way and all of those scenarios are perfectly fine and perfectly acceptable and provable. And that’s the general way that most nationals from India come up with the funds for the EB-5 program.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:10:58] Do the funds have to come from overseas or can they be funds that are in a U.S. bank account or here in America and can investors use funds from friends and family?
Sam Newbold: [00:11:11] The funds just have to be from a local source. There’s nothing in the regs (regulations) that say that the funds have to come from overseas, they just have to show that they were earned lawfully. So I guess people may think that you know if here in the United States unlawfully or something that you can’t use your income here which would be true because you didn’t really earn that income lawfully because you didn’t have work authorization, but if you’re hear on valid non-immigrant visa status and you’re an H1-B visa holder, you’ve been employed and, it’s all valid, you can you use all that income that was lawfully earned here in the United States, it doesn’t have to necessarily come from abroad. So that rumor is false. You can absolutely use income that’s earned here in the United States. Similarly you don’t even have to be here in the United States but you may own property or investments here in the United States and that income is here in the U.S. That’s certainly lawful as well. So yeah, it doesn’t have to entirely come from abroad or all from abroad. Domestic earnings here in the U.S. as long as they’re lawful can be use for EB-5.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:12:06] Thank you for clarifying that Sam. Can EB-5 investors use gifts from friends or family to make their investment?
Sam Newbold: [00:12:16] Yeah, Absolutely. As long as it’s a true gift. And you know, it’s money that can be sourced and there’s a clear path of funds and there’s clear paper trail and documentation about where the person giving that money got that money from the beginning. Same set of circumstances and burden of proof are required from that person giving the money that the investor would have to show. So you have to provide that documentation as well, so as long as that documentation exists and the source of those funds being gifted can be obtained then absolutely money can be gifted.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:12:50] You mentioned earlier that the EB-5 visa has grown in popularity amongst immigrants from India. Can you compare the EB-5 visa to the H1-B and discuss some of the similarities there or the key differentiators.
Sam Newbold: [00:13:10] Sure. The H1-B program is problematic in some ways. It’s the most common employment based work visa that we have in the U.S. that we offer to people. It’s a visa that requires a specialty occupation, meaning that the job has to be one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree in specific fields that the employer has to have that relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience to be qualified for that position. So it’s really common for people who are coming out of school. They’re here as a student and want to transition into the workforce here to apply for an H1-B. The issue for H1-B is that they’re subject to an annual quota. So there’s only a certain amount of H1-Bs that the government allots for people every fiscal year and those are used up usually within the first week that you can apply for H1-B which is the first week of April. So the government’s response to that issue is to create a lottery system or as basically if you want to be eligible for an H1-B visa with the start date of October 1st in the year, you have to submit your application within the first five days of April to be considered in the lottery and they’ll randomly select 85,000 or so applicants just truly randomly. With the way that the numbers work, last year we had about 200,000 applicants for roughly around 85,000 visas 65,000 roughly for people with bachelor’s degrees in another, carve out 20,000 for for people with U.S. master’s degrees. So do the math. The odds of being selected could be somewhere around 30 maybe 40 percent for people with master’s degrees. That leaves a lot of people out to dry. In terms of being selected, so then what do they do. Right? And then they’re left scrambling. They either have to leave go back to school or find another visa category, so on and so forth. If you are selected in the H1-B lottery, you have the H1-B for up to six years. If you’re from India and you’re looking to transition into a green card, the employer will normally start that process in your fourth or fifth year in the H1-B status and depending on whether or not you’re in the EB-1 or EB-2 category, you might be waiting for another eight, ten or twelve years before you can actually get the green card. So if you add all that stuff together, you know 18 years, maybe 15 years, 12 years depending on the backlog when you combine the time and H1-B status, the wait time and the EB-2 or EB-3 category, just to get a green card. That’s the reason why people from India who are here on H1-Bs and they’re looking for green card options or you know looking looking hard at the EB-5 option because if you’re on an H1-B and you submit a 526 application, that 526 application is taking about 18 to 22 months to adjudicate. Once that’s approved as long as you’ve been maintaining your H1-B status, you can file an adjustment of status which takes about four to six months to adjudicate and you’ve got your green card in hand at that point. So you’re looking at somewhere around 24 to 28 months as opposed to 15 years. There are things to consider as well. The green card that you get with the EB-2 or EB-3 petitions, it doesn’t have any conditions. For example you do have to follow through with the offer of employment and continue to work for that point for a period of time before you could say switch jobs for example. The EB-5 green card that you get is conditioned for two years. So there is a conditional period with the green card and at the end of that two year period you have a 90 day window to submit an 829 application to remove the conditions so that you can get your unconditional regular green card. To fulfill those requirements you have to demonstrate that the jobs that you serve were going to be created have been created, the investment remains at risk and deployed to the project and once you demonstrate that, your regular green card will be issued. So I mean look there are some differences between the benefits that you get. I mean if you pick a good project, the project’s on point, it’s really just a matter of filing it and just making sure that you file it on time and you’ll get your regular green card. But, you know, these the exact conversations that we have our clients. We weigh the pros and cons. We talk about their individual circumstances because everything is case by case. And some people have different concerns than others. But in terms of time that’s kind of what you’re looking at and the reason why EB-5 has become very popular with H1-B visa holders from India.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:17:49] I understand that in some cases both spouses husband and wife are here on work authorization under the H1-B. When it comes to EB-5, does all it takes is just one of the two spouses to be approved under the EB-5 petition and that gets American citizenship for the wife or the husband, the person not applying for the EB-5 because my understanding is, once one Petitioner is approved, so is their spouse and all children under the age of 21. Is that correct?
Sam Newbold: [00:18:29] Yes that’s correct. First off, because they’re here in the U.S. and are U.S. persons, the EB-5 investor has to be accredited. Right. So they have to make sure that their income requirement or their net worth are of a level that allows them to invest as an accredited investor here in the U.S. So those are things that take into account and when we’re talking with clients sometimes it just goes back to the point of maybe they want to do this subtly and sort of under the radar or something. They’ll say “well the person who is the primary beneficiary on the H1-B visa holders may say you know “look, I think it might be hard for me to kind of keep this under wraps and I’m not sure how my employer would think about this. Can my spouse who is here on H4 visa be the primary investment?” The answer to that question is yes. Almost always income is you know joint income as long as that joint income can be sourced. The spouses on the H4 visa can be the primary applicant for the EB-5. And that would include the spouses here on H1-B and also children under 21. And everybody is included in the application and everybody gets green cards. So again another conversation of case by case but it’s a question that comes up quite a bit in that regard because it makes it a little bit easier to have to contain the EB-5 process and keep that sort of like a personal thing within the family that doesn’t really interfere with necessarily the H1-B employment if somebody is trying to be cautious about.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:20:04] The EB-5 industry tends to be very focused on real estate in terms of opportunities for the petitioner to invest. It’s not always real estate, there are other options but can you share with our audience how they may go about finding an EB-5 opportunity to invest in?
Sam Newbold: [00:20:23] Yes sure. That’s, the million dollar or the five hundred thousand dollar question that we always get with with clients is you know, “How do I find a good project?” “Where do I invest?”. “How do I get that information?”, so on and so forth. As immigration attorneys you know we’re not financial advisers we’re not licensed to recommend particular investments, but we do have a duty of service and loyalty to our clients to try and point them in the best direction possible so that they can make the best decisions that they can in ways that they can find out projects are for example working with a broker dealer here in the United States. There are broker dealers out there who have projects that they’ve vetted themselves to provide licensed recommendations and information specifically about that project and talk to the investor about the pros and cons of a particular project and meet their risk tolerances and so on and so forth. There’s new things popping up that are really cool such as the EB-5 investor portal for example where investors can go online and look at projects that are on the portal and learn about those, speak to a broker dealer and find out information about those and then investors can ask their attorneys that they’re working with to perhaps make an introduction to someone at the project. For example if they want to look at a specific project they just make a general introduction to the person at that projects and then let the investor and their financial advisors work with the contact at the project about finding out information and then the immigration attorney is really lying in the wait, they’re there to answer questions related to the project that might be immigration related and to help that part of the process as well so, we’re really good facilitators in that regard. The investor sort of comes to us to give them a general you know road map as to what do they go to next to find that project. And we sort of just hand them off and make key introductions to people and professionals that are able to provide that advice.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:22:25] There are over 1 million foreign students here in the United States. How does EB-5 stack up in comparison to H1-B for foreign students?
Sam Newbold: [00:22:36] It’s definitely an option. I look at it this way. EB-5 isn’t for everyone obviously you know it’s a lot of money. There’s a level of sophistication that’s required in the process. There’s a lot a of documents that are important to read and review and you know for the right student it might be the right opportunity for them. I think if a person is over here from a different country and they’re studying here in the United States and they’re looking to stay and work here beyond being a student, find a job and things like that. The first place that they start is the H1-B. But like I said before, the H1-B is not a guarantee and the odds of being selected in the lottery system that we have right now are not favorable and oftentimes students are left scrambling and families back home are very frustrated with the lack of employment options in the United States especially for citizens of China and India where they don’t have other valuable options for entrepreneurs like E visas and things like that. It could be very difficult to figure out a path upon graduation as to how to get a job, stay here and actually make that educational investment pay off. For example if most foreign students are paying tuition in cash and that cash typically comes from their parents or someone from back home, and let’s say that they’re going to a school, you know that’s going to cost them two hundred thousand dollars over the course of four years in terms of tuition and board anything else that’s being paid out there. When they spend that two hundred thousand dollars on their education, you know their child comes out at 21, 22 years old or whatever and they can’t get a job because they’ve used their OPT, their one year of work authorization that they get as a result of being a student here or they used their OPT extension if they have a STEM degree but at some point they’re going to have to find a long term solution if they want to work in the United States and live in the United States. And it’s H1-B right? Sometimes you have to try over and over and over again, if you’re able to do that. You might not be able to get that and it’s very frustrating. So there’s a lot of uncertainty with that. One potential cure that EB-5 can provide, if you know early on that it could be difficult to get a work visa upon graduation, you might be able to bypass that by participating in the EB-5 program. You know if you’ve spent 200 or 300 thousand dollars in cash on your child’s education, maybe there’s a way for the student to make an investment under the EB-5 program to make sure that they have a green card when they graduate and get to get a job and work wherever they want. Part of the limitations with the H1-B is that it’s employer specific, you can only work for that employer and if you want to switch jobs that new employer has to file a change of employer petition and absorb those costs and it’s just sort of cumbersome some and it’s very fluid. With the green card you can work wherever you want, live wherever you want, on a company if you want. Can’t really start your own company under an H1-B visa so it’s pretty hard to be entrepreneurial and it’s a great way to sort of get the flexibility of the American dream. Be able to do whatever you want upon graduation, you know we would advise students who might be looking to do that. Obviously they have to make sure that they’re accredited and they qualify for the program. But if they do, you know try to do something in their sophomore year for example that way that gives them enough time to process their paperwork. Their petitions get their green card application filed. So that while they’re in OPT upon graduation they might be able to adjust their status and get a green card. Then that solves the whole H1-B problem and they can work wherever they want. Again, obviously it’s not for everyone, as we’re talking about a large investment and things like that but the right applicant EB-5 is a great option for those people that can meet the qualifications.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:26:36] Here at the EB-5 investor portal, our goal is to simplify the process as much as we can. We work with immigration attorneys like yourself, we work with a firm called Proxy Capital Partners. We work with a broker dealer who is an investment banker that does the you know the basically describes the project and goes through the selling of the security with the petitioner. Can you talk a little bit about the various professionals that will be helping the investor on this journey? It can be pretty daunting and seem like a very complicated process. And here at the EB-5 investor portal, we like to do a lot of hand holding, really make sure that the investor understands all of these very key professionals essentially that are going to be surrounding them and working with them through this process. Can you talk a little bit about that Sam and specifically Proxy Capital Partners and why that firm working in tandem with the EB-5 investor portal and an immigration attorney like yourself could be of value and very helpful to the investor?
Sam Newbold: [00:27:50] Yeah sure. The EB-5 process can be overwhelming and trying to understand all the moving parts. You’re dealing with immigration law, securities law, corporate law, finance, investments, things of that nature that can be quite confusing and convoluted and really at the end of the day if you’re contemplating an EB-5 investment, you’re looking to make sure that you can get your principal back at some point and that you can get the green card and you might be happy with that. If you can make a little bit of money along the way, fantastic. You know, but we understand that an at risk investment is just that there’s always a chance that a project could fail. You may not get your money back, you may be able to keep your green card or get a green card at all initially. You need to pick a project but you may not necessarily know how to look for the right things. What we do as immigration attorneys, is we boil a project down to its immigration components and then your financial advisers and a financial team such as a broker dealer can can boil the projects down to their financial characteristics and then just essentially telling you what’s going on in the project from an immigration perspective from a financial perspective, so that you feel like you’re making the best decision possible under the circumstances that will help you achieve your immigration and financial goals. Companies like proxy for example are third party monitors and managers of EB-5 projects and what they provide the investor in the EB-5 ecosystem is an independent obligation so to speak to make sure that the funds that are being placed into these projects by the investors are being used exactly how they’re supposed to be used. That the money’s being tracked. That job creation is being tracked. That expenditures are being tracked and providing access via a portal for the investor to be able to get real time information as to how their money is being used in a project that they can actually have some peace of mind as to what’s going on. I think what’s happened frequently in the past with the EB-5 program and the EB-5 industry is that money is collected by investors and there’s very little contact or relationship moving forward between the project and the investor. Companies like Proxy Capital Partners try to create a better more seamless ongoing relationship with the project, the professionals involved and the investors can make sure that they understand what’s going on. They’re getting updates, they’re getting the appropriate documents that they need, whether it’s tax documents or disclosure documents, in real time, as they’re going through the lifecycle of their investment which could be easily five years or more. Those types of service providers are out there and they’re involved in projects they help give investors and other stakeholders in the EB-5 space, comfort that there is a proper third party administration going on in projects to make sure that the goals that everybody is trying to achieve are actually achieved. So that’s kind of what is going on right now. I think everybody in the industry that really involved in EB-5 support integrity measures with the program nationally. I know that in Washington with proposed legislation this is something that’s at the forefront of everyone’s minds. I think everybody supports that and the EB-5 ecosystem is responding to that. Finding more ways to be accountable with the program, finding ways to make it more organized, more efficient. Now companies like Proxy Capital Partners are providing those services. Immigration attorneys and firms such as BMK have always been conservative in making sure that we’re making the best decisions possible for our clients and you’re finding that regional centers and developers are also being much more involved and organized on how they assemble their teams of who’s involved with the projects. So I think that the EB-5 industry is improving and you know we make sure that our clients know what’s going on and that we’re here to help them along the way.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:32:08] So from my understanding and what you’ve you’ve said proxy Capital Partners has essentially put together some some extra protection tools for the EB-5 investor. I mean I subscribe to EB-5 and I get an update every so often, every couple months or so that says that a project failed or somebody didn’t do the right thing with the money, or you know the industry has has gotten a few black eyes in that regard and so Proxy Capital Partners is basically here to be on the investor side from what from what I’m hearing is that correct?
Sam Newbold: [00:32:54] I think protection tools is a good way to describe it, how you said it. What made a lot of these EB-5 fraud stories possible is that a lot of deals in the past were assembled such that there was a lot of conflicts of interest in the deals meaning that the regional center was the same person or group of people that was the developer and the issuer was the same person as a regional center and the developer and they were all the same people and it was like left hand giving money to right. And I think for these unscrupulous actors who are looking to take advantage of that, it just made it very, very easy to defraud investors or to misappropriate funds inappropriately and Proxy comes in to help eliminate that and also in conjunction with that the advent of more broker dealers coming into the space and encouraging the EB-5 actors such as regional centers, developers to eliminate some of these conflicts of interest have really helped improve the investment environment within the EB-5 program and what proxy’s main purpose is, is to come in and to be an independent third party service provider that has the authority to monitor and help manage the EB-5 capital flow process from intake to deployment and back. These are the types of companies that are able to provide an immediate value-add to an offering because the issuer of these securities able to say “look we have a third party that we don’t control, who has the authority to oversee how this money is going to be used. They’re going to update you on how this money is going to be used. We get in trouble if we don’t use it correctly and they’re able to build a catalog of statistics and data and documents that we can use to make ourselves more compliant with USCIS, to respond to potentially USCIS audits to a SEC or FINRA audits and that we can use to give you continuous updates as to the performance of your investment the use of your funds and how you’re moving along through the process of making an investment and trying to make a return.” So I think that’s what the space is moving towards. So companies like Proxy are specializing in those types of projects that we feel like are the most valuable in the market here at BMK.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:35:36] Per the EB-5 program and the main purpose of your client’s investment in this program is to create 10 jobs, 10 new jobs. And if those jobs aren’t being tracked properly, if you’re not showing proof that those jobs, (not you as the attorney but) the regional center is not showing that those jobs were created properly and are not being tracked properly, that could cause a problem that could prevent the petition from being approved. And so firms like proxy Capital Partners help essentially track how the funds are being dispersed as you mentioned and they make sure that the developer or the regional center that that money is being used properly essentially to create those jobs. Can you talk a little bit about how all of these professionals working together can help track the jobs and help make sure that these really critical aspects of the petition are being handled properly and when all is done right should result in the investor getting a green card when done wrong they will almost always result in a denial?
Sam Newbold: [00:36:57] Absolutely. There is an ongoing requirement that the regional center file annual reports to update immigration as to how the regional center is promoting economic activity to the benefit of the U.S. and they hope to make those filings every year on those forms. They have to report how many jobs have been created in the fiscal year. And on top of that they have to also report to potential USCIS audits so to speak that might be coming up down the road, and site visits and be able to report that information to USCIS firsthand and then as well the investor has to demonstrate that their money is being put to work to employ U.S. workers and when they file their 829 petitions they have to show that their investment has resulted in the creation of at least ten full time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. In order for them to keep their green card. So what happens if the investor can’t prove that? Or the project is so unorganized that they can’t really demonstrate that those jobs have been created or documented correctly or presented correctly etc. Well that investor has their 920 denied and they’re going to receive a notice to appear in immigration court to face deportation. So it’s a huge deal all because of unorganization or mismanagement of information and you have an investor there who might be deported because of that so what broker dealers, third party fund administrators like Proxy Capital Parnets and a good team of professional immigration attorneys financial advisers so on and so forth they help streamline and organize the process, not only for the investor but for regional centers and issuers and developers to make sure that things are running smoothly. It’s not a conflict, everybody wants the same goal. You know, the investor wants the project to move forward and do what it’s supposed to do so that they can get their green card and make a return on their investment and continue to live in the United States. You know, the developer wants to build the projects so that they can profit off of their project and they want to be able to repay their debts and the EB-5 loans are part of those debts. The Regional Center wants to make sure that you know that flow is being done correctly and that they’re able to you know oversee and administer the specific project for investors and everybody is moving towards the same goal, they all want success. But there’s better ways to do it than other ways and having a team of people together that can monitor and track how things are going and be able to generate reports in real time to whoever needs them adds more accountability to everybody involved, adds more peace of mind that everything is moving correctly and that it makes it more likely that the project is going to be successful in the end.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:40:04] And for anyone in our audience that may be looking to apply for an EB-5 visa, can they call you? Are you accepting new clients? Can you help them in this process?
Sam Newbold: [00:40:18] Yeah absolutely. We give free consultations. 15 or 20 minutes by phone by Skype. In person. Let us know. We’re here to answer people’s questions that they may have not only about EB-5 but just immigration in general at BMK, We’re the oldest immigration firm in the country. We do every kind of immigration you can imagine and we’ve always done that since the beginning of our firm. So we had all types of EB-5 cases. Allwhole host of cases all types of immigration cases in general. We’re really good at the interplay between all the immigration categories and what’s going on, so we can give you comprehensive advice with respect to your immigration situation and you know we’re happy to answer questions at any time.
Floyd Mitchell: [00:41:04] I’d like to thank you again Sam, for all of this wonderful information for our audience, for anyone who may be here in the United States on an H1-B and may be considering the EB-5 program, you’ve just given us some really great information and so thank you again. We look forward to having you on the show again real soon.
Sam Newbold: [00:41:26] Absolutely. I really appreciate being on the podcast and thank you.