Misleading Marketing/Advertising about EB-5 in the Taiwan market

 

It came to our attention recently that some Taiwan immigration consulting companies have been making misleading statements about a potential increase, in November 2018, to the minimum amount required for an EB-5 investment. This includes public information on websites.

In addition, similar misleading claims have been made to the public via chat applications, as seen below:

At least one consultant has claimed that IIUSA, the EB-5 Regional Center Association, used information posted on its website to make such claims.  Note that IIUSA has not issued an announcement that the US$500,000 investment amount would go into effect in November 2018. IIUSA stated that: “If made final in November, the proposed rule could go into effect by the end of 2018.”  We stress that “If” and “could” are very important here.  The IIUSA Policy Update was as follows:

EB-5 Program Policy Update

Final Rule Announcement Expected November 2018

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has published its Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which contains updated timetables for two proposed EB-5 regulations and advance notice of a third. The regulation of greatest concern is RIN: 1615-AC07, “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization.”

This regulation has moved into the final rule stage and is expected to be published in November 2018, becoming effective soon thereafter.

Significance of Program Modernization Final Rule

If made final in November, the proposed rule could go into effect by the end of 2018. Petitions filed before the effective date of the final rule are expected to qualify under current policy, but once the final rule goes into effect, petitions will be subject to any changes to the EB-5 Program.

We note that currently any change to the US$500,000 investment amount would require the publication of the Final Rule for the related “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization” regulation. This is currently on the “Fall 2018 Unified Agenda action dates,” but action may or may not occur in November. In the past, the timetable for government action on the same regulation has been:  February 2018 and August 2018. In both cases, the relevant U.S. agency, the Department of Homeland Security failed to take any action, and it may miss the current timetable/deadline as well.

In addition, USCIS Director Lee Cissna, speaking in October, did not appear to think that the “EB-5 Modernization” regulations were on the brink of finalization. He said: “So on the main one, the proposed rule that has yet to go final, it is going to go final. We’re just not ready yet. We’re still working on it.” See: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/nativedocuments/USCIS_Cissna_IIUSA_Meeting_and_Statistical_Analysis_Charts.pdf (Page 4)

It can be assumed that immigration consultants in Taiwan who market EB-5 services are aware of these previous delays, and so they should be extremely cautious in making claims on any regulatory changes until that regulation is in fact published as a Final Rule.

Also, even if the relevant regulation is published in November, is will (as a non-major rule) take effect not less than 30 days after publication, and could take effect much later than that. This would mean that the regulation could not go into effect in November.

It seems some Taiwan consultants are and continue to mislead the public on the issue of a potential increase in the EB-5 minimum investment amount.  We view these as pressure tactics to convince potential investors to invest based on a false deadline.

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