Last week I attended Southern California’s EB-5 Conference with Congressman Lamar Smith in Newport Beach, CA. It included an array of the most prominent stakeholders in the EB-5 space as panelists during the event.
Chairman Lamar Smith started the conference with Q & A’s followed by panels on securities compliance for EB-5 Regional Centers. The delay in processing times for I-924 & 1-526 were a recurring theme, and conference speakers were hopeful that improvements would be seen in reducing the waiting times but acknowledged that the issuance of RFE’s and other delays showed no immediate signs of letting up.
While some Regional Center principals have decided to forgo utilizing escrow accounts for their EB-5 capital raises as a way to get funds released into their projects sooner, panelists agreed that the majority of newer or unproven Regional Centers would have a difficult time raising funds without an escrow in place as immigrants are increasingly demanding an escrow be in place to mitigate the risk of sending their funds overseas and having them immediately released into the project prior to I-526 approval.
Successful Regional Centers (and NES Financial clients) USA Continental and New York Regional Center, set up tables at the conference displaying information on their latest projects. NES Financial was singled out by at least one panelist as the “EB-5 Escrow Provider of Choice” and was the only such service provider in attendance.
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