Visa Program for Wealthy Foreigners Has ‘Serious Security Challenges,’ Homeland Whistleblower Says

  A senior federal agent became the first insider Wednesday to publicly expose what she said were serious national security concerns surrounding a controversial immigration program that has been providing Green Cards to wealthy foreigners. Senior Special Agent Taylor Johnson said her Homeland Security investigation uncovered visa applicants from China, Russia, Pakistan and Malaysia who … Read moreVisa Program for Wealthy Foreigners Has ‘Serious Security Challenges,’ Homeland Whistleblower Says

A first of its kind Immigration Heritage Month launch by World Way in China

Worldway Group is launching the first-ever heritage month across 7 cities in China including Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong and Macau.This is in response to Chicago City Council’s decision in 2014, to assign June as the Immigration Heritage month, which threafter is observed in over 100 cities and towns of the United States. Worldway … Read moreA first of its kind Immigration Heritage Month launch by World Way in China

Gorman & Co. completes the purchase of Amerock building

Gorman & Co. that plans to turn the Amerock factory building into a 160-suite hotel and conference room, completed the purchase from the City of Rockford. According to the contract approved by Rockford City council, Gorman bought the building at $25,000.  Gary Gorman, the CEO of the company specializes in historic buildingsand revitalizing urban neighborhoods. The … Read moreGorman & Co. completes the purchase of Amerock building

July 2015 Visa Bulletin: Cutoff Date for EB-5 Retrogression Moves Forward to September 1, 2013

The Department of State’s (DOS) July Visa Bulletin brings some good news for China indicating that that the EB-5 immigrant visa category will advance by four months for China, from May 1, 2013 to September 1, 2013. EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a … Read moreJuly 2015 Visa Bulletin: Cutoff Date for EB-5 Retrogression Moves Forward to September 1, 2013

Long-delayed Capitol district project back on track

Shamrock Development President, Mike Moyaln stated that the long-delayed $205 million Capitol district project is back on track and is expected to open in 2017. He said that the scope of the project has not changed. Between 10th and 12th Streets, Capitol Avenue and the Interstate will rise a 333-room Marriott hotel, 226 rental apartments, … Read moreLong-delayed Capitol district project back on track

CanAm’s EB-5 loan fully repaid

CanAm Enterprises, LLC announced that its project, an EB-5 loan of $100 million to a major film studio in Los Angeles, was fully repaid and more than 1,100 investor families have received 100% capital repayment amounting to $555.5 million. The loan was used to fund film and television productions in targeted employment areas in Los Angeles county. “As … Read moreCanAm’s EB-5 loan fully repaid

New York attracts Chinese investment

The real estate market in the city of New York attracts strong financial support from both international and domestic investors. The Chinese investments in particular have been growing rapidly with an investment of over $5 billion into New York  since 2013 from the individual investors. Some of the projects that are attracting this huge amounts of money include Waldorf … Read moreNew York attracts Chinese investment

Congress to reform EB-5 visa program

The Senate Bill 101 introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa aims to reform the EB-5 program. It includes to correct weaknesses like the misdirection of money to prosperous areas.  The senators said the bill would “help to restore the program to its original intent, by ensuring that much of the capital generated … Read moreCongress to reform EB-5 visa program

USCIS I-485 Statistics – January to March, 2015

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published the latest performance data of I-485 Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Below is a summary of the total number of I-485 cases by category. For more detailed statistics including service center and field office data, please click here.  I-485 Applications Performance Data (1/1/2015 – … Read moreUSCIS I-485 Statistics – January to March, 2015

City council approves amendment to PhoenixMart’s planned area development

PhoenixMart‘s amendement to the initial planned area development gets a nod from the City Council. Originally approved in 2012, the developer AZ Sourcing requested various changes which include the reduction of residential units from 993 to 855, changing the name from from PhoenixMart PAD to NALTEC (PhoenixMart) PAD, landscaping changes etc. The $150 million project is funded by EB-5 … Read moreCity council approves amendment to PhoenixMart’s planned area development

How does the upcoming EB-5 program renewal affect projects in New York??

The EB-5 program which offers green cards to foreign investors who spend $500,000 or in some case  $1 million in a project that creates atleast 10 jobs, might undergo some changes in September when it is up for renewal. The changes concerning rules of location could impact projects in New York. As per the program, projects … Read moreHow does the upcoming EB-5 program renewal affect projects in New York??

Atlantic Yards EB-5 Effort Gets Close Scrutiny

Journalist Norman Oder has studied and analyzed Forest City Ratner’s planned $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, New York, a project that three years ago, he reports, raised $228 million through the EB-5 immigrant visa program. Project sponsors, who have already built the Barclays Center Arena and have started one residential tower, are now working towards … Read moreAtlantic Yards EB-5 Effort Gets Close Scrutiny

The Great Employment Giveaway

Subjects: H-1B visa, Immigration, Bachelors Degree, L-1 visa, O-1 visa, TN visa, Work years Since 2000, USCIS starts the fiscal year by giving away about 1 million work-years, in advance, to skilled non-immigrant foreign workers. In the chart below, we see the actual visas granted by year; however, most of these visas do not expire … Read moreThe Great Employment Giveaway

Comparison: “Inequality for All”

Subjects: Income Inequality, Immigration  No, I haven’t seen Reich’s, Inequality for All, but I did notice a similarity between his “suspension bridge” graph and the Census data for the foreign-born in the labor force, covering roughly the same period. It appears to this layman, that income inequality peaked during the era of the robber-baron, i.e., the … Read moreComparison: “Inequality for All”

ABC News: U.S. Gave Visas to Suspected Forgers, Fraudsters, Criminals

To be aired tonight on Nightline (12:35 AM EST) : Officials overseeing a federal program that offers an immigration short-cut to wealthy foreign investors have ignored pointed warnings from federal agents and approved visas for some immigrants suspected of having committed fraud, money laundering, and even one applicant with alleged ties to a child porn … Read moreABC News: U.S. Gave Visas to Suspected Forgers, Fraudsters, Criminals

Issues Raised From December USCIS EB-5 Stakeholder’s Meeting

On December 5, 2014 USCIS held their EB-5 Stakeholder’s Meeting in Washington, DC. This was the first stakeholder’s meeting after President Obama’s Nov. 20 speech relating to his Executive Order. Interestingly, although the USCIS EB-5 Program Chief Nicholas Colucci stated that the Executive Order would have “no direct impact” to the EB-5 Program, at the same time … Read moreIssues Raised From December USCIS EB-5 Stakeholder’s Meeting

USCIS Director Mayorkas under investigation for role in EB-5 visa approval

According to sources at the AP the Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which overseas the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program, Alejandro Mayorkas is under investigation by Homeland Security’s Inspector General Office for his role in helping secure a visa for a Chinese executive and along with other officials at USCIS may have … Read moreUSCIS Director Mayorkas under investigation for role in EB-5 visa approval

Q&A on SEC and USCIS Joint Investor Alert Regarding EB-5 Fraud

On October 1, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a joint investor alert (Joint Alert) regarding recent investment scams exploiting the EB-5 program. Separately, the SEC announced its second major enforcement action against a regional center for perpetrating a fraud on investors. The first such action against Intercontinental … Read moreQ&A on SEC and USCIS Joint Investor Alert Regarding EB-5 Fraud

FBI: Texas EB-5 Visa Regional Center a Ponzi Scheme to Defraud Mexican Investors

Texas based EB-5 visa regional center USA Now is under investigation by the FBI for suspicion of money laundering, wire fraud, the transportation of stolen property and operating as a scheme to defraud wealthy Mexican nationals of their investments.  Search warrants indicate that the FBI has been investigating the EB-5 regional center for over a … Read moreFBI: Texas EB-5 Visa Regional Center a Ponzi Scheme to Defraud Mexican Investors

Use of Broker-Dealers in EB-5 Offerings

From time-to time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission decides to remind everyone about what is necessary to comply with a provision of the securities laws. A recent example of this occurred last week when the SEC announced a settlement (in the Matter of Ranieri Partners, LLC and Donald W. Phillips; File No. 15243; March 8, … Read moreUse of Broker-Dealers in EB-5 Offerings

Protecting the Integrity of the EB-5 Investment Market – Hotel Lawyers on EB-5 Issues

Last month, the EB-5 investment community was shocked by the SEC enforcement action against the Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago, alleging that the sale of $145 million of EB-5 investments intended to be used to fund a huge convention center and hotel complex near Chicago O’Hare Airport, was a complete fraud. This is an … Read moreProtecting the Integrity of the EB-5 Investment Market – Hotel Lawyers on EB-5 Issues