Details? What Details? AILA EB-5 Conference in Las Vegas

I have recently returned from the EB-5 Conference for immigration lawyers (AILA) in Las Vegas. The conference offered a usual array of EB-5 topics and discussions, with the latest information and mindboggling, minute details. As lawyers, we tend to obsess over details — and become paranoia in the process. We tend to lose sleep, or wake up at 3 in the morning with an idea on how to improve a client’s petition. This is good.

But we also tend to lose sight of the big picture. Over the past two years, USCIS has approved more than 85% of the EB-5 petitions. For those investors in Regional Centers, that percentage is higher. From start to finish, the EB-5 process usually takes less than one year. EB-5 has become a relatively painfree, fast means of immigrating to the US. Of course, not many individuals can qualify, but for those who do, it can reduce the stress inherent in any immigration process.

EB-5 favorably compares to the other immigrant options available: a 4–5 year wait for those immigrating through a job offer, as well as Department of Labor and USCIS scrutiny; the tightening of USCIS interpretations of standards in the extraordinary ability category; the extreme difficulty of qualifying for a national interest waiver of the job offer requirement; the recent change in interpretation of the term «employee» in the multinational executive/manager category, making it more difficult to immigrate for owner-operators (those who having substantial shareholdings in the American employer). About the only «mine-free» category for those without a relative in the US is the Diversity Lottery: it has minimal education, financial, and procedural requirements. However, I would not hang my hat on winning: only 1% of Lottery participants actually «win» and receive green cards; on average, more than 10 million apply for the Lottery with only 50,000 receiving green cards. Even for family immigration, the only category of individuals accorded preferential treatment — processing that takes 9–15 months — is for the parents, spouses, and stepchildren of US citizens. The other family categories have quotas, and waits of 3–12 years.

So if you are one of the lucky ones with the financial means to participate in EB-5 and do have other immigration options, don’t sweat the details or the long wait. Consider EB-5.

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