The Advanced EB-5 Industry Conference, co-hosted by IIUSA member firms Saul Ewing LLP and JTC Group in Miami, FL, convened a diverse group of industry leaders, reflecting the program’s rejuvenation and evolving dynamics.
IIUSA’s Central Role
Invest in the USA (IIUSA) played a crucial role in the event’s success, with the association’s Executive Director, Aaron Grau, and Director of Policy Research & Data Analytics, Lee Li, participating in panel discussions. They offered insights on the latest trends in the EB-5 marketplace, as well as updates on industry statistics. Their engagement as event speakers underscored IIUSA’s dedication to educating the industry and advancing the EB-5 sector. Additionally, IIUSA President Bill Gresser (EB-5 New York State Regional Center) served as a keynote speaker during the luncheon, discussing IIUSA’s commitment to fostering industry growth and integrity.
(Aaron Grau, IIUSA Executive Director, discussed the impact of EB-5 at the event.)
A Convergence of Expertise
The conference was a melting pot of ideas and experiences, featuring an impressive lineup of experts and thought leaders. Participants discussed the program’s regulatory advancements and its emerging role in project financing against the backdrop of a tighter real estate financing landscape. Jill Jones, general counsel of JTC, commented on the new energy stemming from the program’s extension, “There is a new energy, and the energy comes from the fact that we finally have a real extension of the regional center program.”
Navigating Changing Financial Dynamics and USCIS Policies
A key focus of the conference was the program’s changing role in the financial landscape and the challenges posed by USCIS policies. Roberto Contreras IV of Houston EB-5 Regional Center and IIUSA Director pointed out, “If EB-5 dollars are coming into the project at a cheaper rate than the senior debt, then technically, the more EB-5, the merrier.”
However, the conference also highlighted some of the challenges within EB-5. Most notably the issues regarding USCIS policies affecting investors and the industry, and their lack of motivation to resolve such problems. Ron Klasko of Klasko Immigration Law Partners LLP and an IIUSA member noted, “They’re (USCIS) adamant about not having any dialog about EB-5 issues.” This highlights only one of the industry’s struggles with navigating federal policies and their implications for investors. Further discussions at the conference reflected a collective determination to address this issue and more as the industry works towards a more efficient and investor-friendly environment.
“Optimism And A Few Frustrations Voiced At EB-5 Conference” by Nathan Hale, Law360
The EB-5 investment visa program, which faced an uncertain future less than two years ago, looks primed to capitalize on a series of favorable developments and despite some notable pain points, industry leaders said at a conference Thursday in Miami.
The consensus at the Advanced EB-5 Industry Conference, co-hosted by JTC Group and Saul Ewing LLP, was that Congress’ reauthorization through 2022’s EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act has delivered a more robust regulatory structure that should… READ MORE