EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 5, Issue 2 - Page 64

TOP IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS past 10 years of his practice to EB-5 law. His interest in EB-5 developed during the late 1990’s, when his business clients’ growth led to his initial direct EB-5 filings. His firm is one of the first law firms in the country to handle EB-5 applications, and later regional center submissions. He also has assisted developers and projects to review immigration strategies for their organizations and business enterprises. Silver is a longtime member of AILA and IIUSA. DARREN SILVER Founding Partner Darren Silver & Associates LLP D arren Silver is the founding partner of Darren Silver & Associates LLP. Silver’s career of more than 20 years has focused exclusively on the field of immigration with an emphasis in business and investment immigration. Prior to founding his firm, Silver worked with USCIS, where he audited policy guidelines and helped create field guides that are still in use today. Silver has devoted the WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE OF THE EB-5 INDUSTRY LOOKS LIKE? I am optimistic about the future of EB- 5. Until recently, many regional centers played by their own rules. Investors truly did not understand the process behind the investment. However, over the past two years I have seen positive, dramatic changes in the industry. Government scrutiny combined with self-regulation has elevated project quality. Presently, USCIS is still muddling through a mixed bag of very good and some not-so-good projects. Over time the “not-so-good” will be sorted out and USCIS will recognize signs of project different job-creating enterprises. Stone successfully represented some of the first investors in the EB-5 program, and assisted with litigation to help families marooned by program changes in the late 1990s. He also worked closely with immigration officials and drafted key legislation that fueled the renaissance of the regional center program. Stone served for five years as chair of the AILA EB-5 Committee and organized the first nine EB-5 industry conferences. Drawing from broad experience in business transactions and litigation, Stone has published dozens of EB-5 articles covering numerous interdisciplinary topics. LINCOLN STONE Partner Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP L incoln Stone is a partner at Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP. He has 25 years of experience with the EB-5 program, including specializing in solutions for denials, terminations, complex litigation and business reorganizations. He has successfully helped several thousand EB-5 investors and completed EB-5 compliance work aiding U.S. organizations in raising nearly $5 billion in EB-5 capital for more than 200 63 EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE OF THE EB-5 INDUSTRY LOOKS LIKE? Early on, the EB-5 program was a three- year process with reasonable adjudication times and abundant visas. The main concern was unpredictability about agency adjudications. Several factors complicated the EB-5 practice, but none so much as agency processing times and visa backlogs. Investors are consequently exposed to more risks than congress ever intended. Whether for redeployment after quality and legitimacy. The result will allow for faster adjudications and overall more predictability for investors. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? I fell into the EB-5 world quite on accident. In the mid-1990s, my law practice was heavily involved with investment visas, such as the E-2 visa. A small number of my E-2 clients were looking for green card options. I took it upon myself to learn about the little-known EB-5 category. I realized that some of my E-2 investors were also eligible for the EB-5 program. When the regional center boom began seven years ago, I was fortunate to be one of the few immigration lawyers who had experience in this area. a successful initial investment, salvaging the immigration case after business failure, a terminated regional center or diversion of funds, USCIS should provide clear, fair policies to protect investors. I hope to see USCIS comprehensively review policy prioritizing EB-5 investors who have shaped their dreams around the EB-5 success. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? I became involved with EB-5 investors in 1991 when I was an associate attorney practicing business and immigration litigation. Most EB-5 clients then were from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. Substantial effort went into shaping EB-5 opportunities to compete with the Canadian investor program, which was dominated by foreign migration agents promoting short-term, low-risk loans. Now, the EB-5 program is a tool for large- scale project finance. Whether the model is venture funding or project finance, new and transformative capital investment should be welcome. However, confusion about policy objectives continues to plague the EB-5 program as stakeholders seek to formulate a winning narrative supporting its permanence.