The USA’s new EB-5 investment immigration visa has become a hot topic among wealthy Chinese businesspeople seeking the relative stability and prestige of America. The attention stems partly from China’s accumulation of investable resources. The other principal reason is the simplicity of gaining an EB-5 visa: the applicants gain green cards by simply investing large sums of money in qualifying US businesses. The result has been a mushrooming of EB-5 investor immigration consulting agencies in China. This article strongly warns against using these Chinese investor immigration agencies. Wealthy Chinese businesspeople would do much better to speak with reputable US immigration attorneys for assistance.
- Corruption. In Guangzhou alone, hundreds of these agencies materialized virtually overnight. Though some of these programs may be legitimate, clearly many of them are not. Typically the goal of these investment agencies is to place the securities fraud attorney Chinese investor with US startup businesses in return for a kickback. As a marketing ploy, these investment kickback centers promulgate inaccurate and false information about the American businesses in which the Chinese client places money. The inaccuracies and falsities go unnoticed due to the lack of official US data resources available in China. Or at least they go unnoticed until the American capital recipients utterly fail.
A timely example is a California-based Chinese firm that recently went bankrupt – and the general manager imprisoned. Only roughly 20 of the firm’s 200 US investment projects passed official criteria.
- Inexperience in Immigration Law. Other Chinese-based EB-5 immigration investment agencies lack sufficient experience in US immigration-related law. Because of the newness of these agencies, few of them have had any US immigration applications pass beyond the initial, conditional green card stages of the green card application process.
- Inexperience in US Economic Markets. The inexperience of these immigration investment agencies extends to the financial side as well. The firms, pursuant to EB-5 visa requirements, assist their clients in investing funds in startup US businesses. But these investment agencies tend to have staff members experienced only in the domestic Chinese markets rather than international or American markets. As such, even some of the well-meaning immigration consulting agencies are effectively blind men leading the blind.
- Speak with a US Immigration Attorney Instead. A better option for intending EB-5 applicants is to speak with an experienced US immigration attorney. American attorneys are carefully licensed and regulated, less likely to mishandle the legal aspects of the EB-5 application process, and better able to locate a reputable US investment agency for financial guidance. Perhaps most importantly, a US immigration attorney can offer advice regarding several investment-related immigration opportunities aside from the EB-5 visa. For example, the EB-1C visa allows businesses owners to immigrate to the United States with a much smaller, more easily controlled investment outlay.