Our firm was recently interviewed by the @EB-5 Marketplace to discuss a look back on 2021 and share our predictions of what is to come for 2022. (spoiler alert: we have a lot of them).
Looking back, 2021 has been an eventful year to say the least. While we understand that many are disappointed that the RC Program has yet to be reauthorized, we still hold strong with our belief that the Program will be reauthorized in 2022. Despite the effects of the global pandemic and the short-term lapse of the RC Program, we saw the re-emergence of the direct EB-5 program for investors seeking to take advantage of the $500K investment amount and no visa backlog. From our experience, a key (and important) difference is the emergence of more sophisticated direct EB-5 investments that we have structured among RC operators expanding into this field, or institutional/public companies creating pooled investment funds not unlike our RC EB-5 offerings:
Direct investments filling the void left by regional centers is, according to Le, a “necessary and predictable outcome.” As a lawyer active in structuring direct EB-5 investments, Le is just as open to direct investments — so long as the quality of an individual investment is there. “It’s no different than our regional center days,” he says of the vetting process. “We reject the vast majority of projects that come to us.”
This gives us hope that there is room for both direct and RC EB-5 programs moving in 2022 as projects on both sides of the aisle rightfully take their responsibilities and duties to protect their EB-5 investors.
Looking forward, while the big question is when will reauthorization happen, we continue to believe it’s a matter of if, not when. In the meantime, two major positives remain: $500K investment levels and no visa backlog. Of course, the outcome of the Behring appeal and reauthorization may affect both, and it has yet to be seen how processing times at both the USCIS and consulate level will play out.
Either way, we’ll continue to work closely with our clients to navigate them through an increasingly complex process and figure out the best way to help their families finish the journey. We’ve never shied away from challenges and those who have worked with us know that’s when we’re most valuable. Enjoy the last moments of 2021 and we’ll see you all next year.