Thursday, January 16, 2014


Last year I predicted that a growth industry in my law practice would be USCIS notices of intent to revoke regional center designations.  A huge number of regional centers are inactive, failed or failing.  The annual audit, even if complied with by the regional center, will show no activity.  Regional centers that do not submit the annual audit to USCIS in late December risk receiving one of these notices to revoke.
These notices are going to come out of the EB-5 Unit in droves because so many regional centers are doing nothing.
Tyically there are three sound ways to counter one of these notices to revoke.  You can gin up an EB-5 project quickly and find the investors for it, which is very problematic and not likely.  You can affiliate with a successful regional center and glom on to another regional center's project -- not likely, but possible.  Finally, you can hire a manager who has successfully run another regional center or other regional centers.  There is ample precedent for this.
This is all very tricky business and not for the feint of heart. These approaches are by no means all-inclusive of what can be done in a notice-of-revocation situation, but they are the three main approaches I use.
Typically, regional center principals are real estate developers and spent lots of time and money to set up their regional centers -- often by EB-5 "consultants" who promised them the moon. It is always a shame when things don't work out, but the real estate economy is coming back very slowly, with commercial real estate and apartments leading the way.  Residential housing is still moribund.
Be very cautious when you receive one of these notices of intent to revoke and seek out an experienced EB-5 lawyer to help you respond. There is a lot on the line.