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Laura Foote Reiff Co-Chairs the Business Immigration & Compliance Practice and is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using "Regional Centers" that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying "targeted employment areas" and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura's practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.

Admitted in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice limited to federal immigration practice.

Use of EB-5 as part of the capital stack for an EB-5 project is a highly complicated prospect. Identifying the right Regional Center or forming a Regional Center and structuring the project so that it is compliant with the myriad of USCIS/DHS rules is a daunting endeavor.

The other very real concern for these projects is how to actually find the investors and fill the EB-5 raise. Most of the EB-5 investors come from China, but other countries are beginning to also see their citizens apply for the U.S. EB-5 program.

How does a project successfully source EB-5 investors? This is something that really needs to be considered before diving into the EB-5 world and has been the topic of numerous articles and blogs (visit Greenberg Traurig’s EB-5 insights blog). Businesses need to beware of resorting to “finders” to help locate investors. Except in very limited circumstances, paying a commission or “success fee” to a finder that is not registered as a broker-dealer violates federal and state securities laws. A company that hires a finder, as well as the company’s directors, officers, and owners, can be liable to investors and sanctioned by regulators for such violations.

This article focuses on the potential pitfalls in sourcing investors from immigration and other attorneys or consultants that are not properly registered.


Continue Reading Who Can Source Investors For EB-5 Projects: The World of Finders, Consultants, Attorneys, and Broker Dealers