As part of an ongoing series of profiles of our Medallion Partners, we recently had the chance to speak with immigration attorney Kate Kalmykov about her assessment of the current EB-5 market. Kate is a partner and shareholder at law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, where she focuses on a wide range of immigration specialties — EB-5 chief among them.
1. Thanks for speaking with us, Kate. Could you briefly describe your practice?
I work with leading developers and regional centers across the country to structure EB-5 financing transactions. I also work with overseas investors seeking to immigrate to the US through the EB-5 program.
2. You’ve worked in a range of immigration specialties. What drew you to EB-5 in particular?
I was always inclined towards business, and real estate in particular, because of the tangible nature of it. I love being able to walk through New York City, for example, and see the many investments I worked to structure that have served as a path for foreign entrepreneurs and investors to enter the U.S.
3. In your experience with investors, what are common mistakes you see?
Investors need to be very careful in doing their due diligence on an investment opportunity and working with an adviser that can identify not only the financial aspects of the investment, but its adherence to the immigration rules and the likelihood of its approval.
4. What’s your opinion of the proposed reforms to the EB-5 program?
I think increased compliance review and reporting are essential to maintain the long-term viability of the program. Investors need to feel secure in making their investment — but more importantly, in basing their families’ future in EB-5.
5. Apart from pending legislative reform, what trends do you see emerging in the EB-5 space?
Increased scrutiny by the USCIS in the review of petitions and in the issuance of immigrant visas. Further delayed processing times and the introduction of new interview requirements.
6. Do you think Chinese investors will continue to dominate the EB-5 applicant pool, despite retrogression?
This is unlikely without retrogression relief.
And what other countries might we see a surge from? Where’s the next major wave of EB-5 interest going to come from?
India and Brazil.
7. Could you say a bit about the value of third-party oversight and administration of EB-5 projects?
Oversight is critical to ensure proper reporting and investor confidence, and also in government reviews. It leads to streamlined processing and faster and more comprehensive adjudications.
For more information about the NES Financial Medallion Program, please visit our Medallion Program webpage.
Information about Kate’s law firm, Greenberg Traurig, can be found at https://www.gtlaw.com/en.
If you have a question for Kate, feel free to reach out to her directly: Kalmykovk@gtlaw.com.