EB-5 Immigration Lawyers Wear Too Many Hats: Angelo A. Paparelli

EB-5 Immigration Lawyers Wear Too Many Hats: Angelo A. Paparelli

"The EB-5 employment-creation immigrant investor visa category continues to transcend its chutes-and-ladders early history.  This 24-year-old program -- like many young adults of the same era -- seems at last to be maturing in healthy ways.  Foreign investors have become more savvy.  Regulators are more attuned to the need for greater investor protection, as well as clear, consistently enforced rules and predictable adjudicative outcomes(including swift justice for law violators).  Seasoned dealmakers and developers, accustomed to raising substantial project capital from private equity markets, are now entering the field and bringing with them a set of industry practices that include robust law compliance as an inherent element of the fundraising business model.  Yet one practice lingers.  Immigration lawyers continue to wear too many hats.  The Bible and law school teach that serving two (or more) masters is a recipe for trouble.  So why then do so many reputable immigration lawyers think they can simultaneously represent the investor, the regional center and the project developers all in the same EB-5 transaction (while possibly also receiving finder’s or consulting fees on the side for procuring investors)?" - Angelo A. Paparelli, Feb. 10, 2014.