New EB-5 Resources (CDFA WebCourse, IIUSA Forum, Economic Impact and Analysis, Policy Memo, Best Practices)

Even I learned a lot last week at the 3rd Annual IIUSA EB-5 International Investment & Economic Development Forum in Las Vegas. For those of you not able to attend, here are some key take-aways.

  • The IIUSA Best Practices Committee unveiled a draft form of a “list of best practices to provide guidance to regional centers seeking to conduct business in a manner that will foster the growth and success of the EB-5 program.”  This document represents a year of hard work by a team of A-list players in the EB-5 field. It’s practical and detailed, providing a voice of thoughtful experience on topics from RC oversight and project selection to conflicts of interest, securities issues, escrow, jobs issues, agents and marketing, investor relations, and more. I’ve been dreaming of a best practices document like this, and can hardly wait for IIUSA to finalize and publish it. For now, I believe it’s only available in print in the Forum Handbook (available for purchase in the IIUSA store). Update: the list is now available on the IIUSA blog.
  • Speaking of the Forum Handbook from the IIUSA conference, it also includes the following excellent articles:
    • “Essay on the Search for a Legal, Logical, Economic, or Policy Basis for USCIS’s ‘Tenant Occupancy’ Policy on Selectively Withholding ‘Credit’ for EB-5 Job Creation” by Cletus Weber and Paul Sommers. This scholarly study is a must-read for anyone concerned with analyzing recent output from the USCIS economists. It is still in draft form, but Dr. Sommers invites comments and plans to submit the revised article for journal publication.
    • “USCIS EB-5 Training Materials 2008 to 2011” by Suzanne Lazicki (yours truly). I analyzed over 2,000 pages of materials used by USCIS to train immigration service officers for adjudicating EB-5 cases. The article includes a detailed index to the 2010/2011 training materials as published by IIUSA.
    • “EB-5 I-829 RFEs and Denials: New Analysis of What USCIS Looks for” By Sonia Sujanani, Stephen Yale-Loehr & Robert C. Divine. All regional centers should review this article as a refresher course on what USCIS looks for at the I-829 stage.
    • “EB-5 Financing for hotel development: Using guest expenditures to calculate job creation for hotels” By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group®. A definitive treatment of the guest expenditures topic, and with insights for demand analysis in other industries. This study was also picked up by Hotel News Resource.
  • Anyone involved in advocacy for the EB-5 program should order the IIUSA-commissioned EB-5 Regional Center Program Economic Impact Assessment and Forecast. I was extremely impressed by the summary of sources, methodology and results presented at the forum by David Kay of the Minnesota IMPLAN Group.  For those who need good data and analysis of the recent economic impacts of the EB-5 program, this report is a truly unique and unprecedented source.
  • CDFA (Council of Development Finance Agencies) has organized an Intro EB-5 Finance WebCourse, to be held Sept. 18-19, 2013, 12-5pm daily. The topic line-up looks great, and I’d encourage everyone researching the EB-5 option to sign up. Those interested in development finance generally should also note the CDFA Online Resource Center.
  • I’m intrigued by the “Seven C’s of EB-5 Investing” and the “EB-5 Project Scoring Index” being developed by Greg Pope, who is thinking about EB-5 underwriting from a lending professional’s perspective. I talked to Greg at the conference, and he welcomes feedback from the community.
  • The 5/30/2013 EB-5 Adjudications Policy Memo was a hot topic at the IIUSA Forum, with a tone of cautious optimism prevailing.  For additional commentary on nuances and implications of the memo, I recommend H. Ron Klasko’s recent posts on “New USCIS EB-5 Policy Memorandum Mostly Gets It Right” and “New Ground Forged by the May 30, 2013 EB-5 Policy Memorandum (Part 2)”
  • I was pleased to confirm at the IIUSA Forum that it’s not just my mom and some spammers checking the weblog hundreds of times a day — I actually have real EB-5 fans. To all my loyal blog.lucidtext.com readers, you’re welcome!

About Suzanne (www.lucidtext.com)
Lucid Professional Writing provides writing and editing services for businesses and scholars, and specializes in assisting clients to prepare business plans for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

One Response to New EB-5 Resources (CDFA WebCourse, IIUSA Forum, Economic Impact and Analysis, Policy Memo, Best Practices)

  1. E. Alcantar says:

    Great Job!

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