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Globevisa participated in the IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum 2024 Panel titled “Post-RIA Investor Markets Overview: New Opportunities.”

Second Right: Siren Chen, Head of the Program Research and Development Department at Globevisa Group

 

Siren Chen, serving as the head of the Program Research and Development Department at Globevisa Group for over a decade, primarily focuses on studying and tracking immigration policies globally, translating them into viable immigration products.

 

In 2022, Chen observed the introduction of the RIA (The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022) and recognized it as an excellent chance to re-launch Globevisa’s EB-5 program. Founded in 2002 in Beijing, China, by Henry and Melvin with a small team, Globevisa initially offered solely a Canada Immigration program. With 22 years of industry experience, the firm now boasts over a hundred immigration programs, 19 offices in mainland China, 19 more outside mainland China, and a staff exceeding 800 members worldwide. Despite the December 2022 relaunch of the EB-5 program, it swiftly rose to become Globevisa’s top program by 2023.

On 21 May, Chen was privileged to attend the panel titled “Post-RIA Investor Markets Overview: New Opportunities” to foster potential collaborations.

 

Revitalization of Traditional EB-5 Markets, How Are They Different Now?

Siren Chen: “I will share insights from an agent’s perspective. Firstly, investors are younger and better educated, possessing proficient English skills to conduct their project research. Transparency is paramount; hence, agents require quality projects. Secondly, the increased $800,000 investment threshold presents challenges for Chinese clients in transferring funds to the US, often requiring assistance from numerous acquaintances. Thirdly, the growing trend of US international students applying for EB-5 stems from the option for concurrent filing. Notably, Chinese investors currently favor rural projects.”

 

How has the RIA affected traditional EB-5 markets, such as China, Vietnam, and other Asian markets?

Siren Chen: “Pre-RIA, the Chinese EB-5 market stagnated, with investors gravitating towards alternative programs in Canada, Australia, and Europe due to extended wait times. However, the introduction of the RIA reshaped investor preferences, with the US emerging as a more appealing destination, thanks to expedited green card processes. Last year, Globevisa’s EB-5 program surged to the forefront, indicating a shifting trend.”

 

What issues/challenges were either solved by the RIA, or what new issues/challenges have been created?

Siren Chen: “The RIA prompted heightened investor interest in the EB-5 program due to its expedited green card acquisition process. Concurrent filing options further bolstered its appeal, particularly for investors already in the US. While the program currently enjoys popularity, its window of opportunity may be limited.”

 

Rural Projects: What Do Investors Think and How Do Agents Promote Them?

Siren Chen: “Investors often perceive urban TEA projects as safer, especially if they lack dependents or have smaller families. However, for time-sensitive investors, rural projects are preferred. At Globevisa, we endorse both rural and urban TEA projects, empowering clients to make informed decisions based on their preferences and timelines.”

 

New EB-5 Entrants: Opportunities and Challenges

Siren Chen: “Presently, the EB-5 program presents lucrative prospects amidst shifting immigration policies worldwide. However, restoring investor confidence in the wake of past program shortcomings remains a challenge. Finding reputable projects remains a priority for agents amidst market uncertainties.”

 

How do investors view new EB-5 RCs and sponsors? Do they look at them at all, or do they default to the well-known brands with long EB-5 track records?

Siren Chen: “While established brands may enjoy greater recognition, newer entrants can thrive by offering robust project portfolios. In the Chinese market, the agent’s reputation often outweighs that of RCs or developers.”

 

Investor Concerns and Perceptions: Pre-RIA vs. Post-RIA

Siren Chen: “Pre-RIA, investor concerns centered on visa backlogs and project credibility. Post-RIA, investors prioritize green card attainment, steering clear of legislative worries. Ensuring project viability and transparency is essential for fostering investor trust.”

 

Has the profile of an EB-5 investor changed post-RIA?

Siren Chen: “Post-RIA, investors are younger and more discerning, conducting thorough project analyses. Enhanced education levels and English proficiency empower investors to make informed decisions.”

 

What are the top 2-3 things investors are looking for in an EB-5 project offering?

Siren Chen: “Investors prioritize projects with USCIS approval or a strong compliance history, robust job creation plans, and expedited processing. Additionally, capital preservation, project viability, and transparent communication are paramount for investor confidence.”

 

Market Outlook on China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Nigeria, S. America, U.S., Others

Siren Chen: “China remains a dominant market for EB-5, with steady client acquisitions indicating promising growth potential. With over 50 clients signed monthly, Globevisa anticipates continued success in the foreseeable future.”

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