EB5 Investors Magazine (English Edition) Volume 5, Issue 1 - Page 69

DeCicco sees source of funds in India as a specific challenge. “Much of the wealth comes from ancestral property that has appreciated greatly in recent years,” he said. “Often, there is little or no paperwork. In addition, there is still a large cash economy in India. That is why finding an immigration attorney who specifically has experience with Indian source of funds is very important to the investor and to us as the regional center.” Another challenge, according to Cook, is the uncertainty about the minimum investment amounts and potential legislative changes facing the EB-5 program. The minimum investment amount could rise to $800,000 or as high as $1.35 million under proposed reforms from congress and the White House. New rules also could result in stricter criteria for defining economically distressed areas. Cook said he sees a pause coming to the market as investors consider whether they’re willing to accept the increase in investment amounts. Cook notes that Indian clients are engaged, ask great questions, read everything and take a great interest in making sure they’re not making a bad investment. “The good news is the Indian market after this initial pause … will continue to grow because Indian investors will do direct investments or the market will respond with regional center opportunities.” INDIAN INVESTORS NOT AFRAID TO SCRUTINIZE THE MARKET DeCicco points to the sophistication of Indian market investors, who in the past had a difficult time believing the program wasn’t a scam. “We have moved past that. But now they are applying that same skepticism and scrutiny to the quality of the projects themselves, the principals and track record of the regional center. They are asking questions about how many I-829’s we have had and most importantly, how many investors have we repaid.” India, Kapuria said, is a complex country with multiple languages spoken and a corresponding number of differing cultural subtexts. It also has one of the largest set of millionaires, providing ample opportunity to grow the market. “It will grow more, but regional centers (and) issuers need to spend more time educating the market and building a base of brokers.” EB5INVESTORS.COM 68