We offer services in the commercial, marketing and music video industries including post supervision, creative direction, behind-the-scene film production, motion graphics, visual effects, editorial, DaVinci Resolve color correction, music composition, song licensing, and post sound design.

CREATIVE & POST
SUPERVISION

BTS FILM
PRODUCTION

VIDEO
EDITORIAL

VFX & MOTION GRAPHICS

COLOR
CORRECTION

POST SOUND & MUSIC
COMPOSITION

About Our Company

Royal Maze Studio a California Group llc, company,  is a full service post production company and content creator with offices located in Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada. We offer services in the commercial, marketing and music video industries including post supervision, creative direction, behind-the-scene film production, visual effects, motion graphics, editorial, DaVinci Resolve color correction, post sound design and music composition.

 

The Studio team has provided creative collaboration and post production elements for many high-profile clients such as: Fox’s TV spots starring NBA’s Jayson Tatum, Klay Thompson and Enes Kanter, Warner Bros’ movie spots for “Wonder Woman”, “Chips”, “Going In Style”, “House”, HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, ABC’s “Scandal”, and FX Network’s “Wilfred” and “Justified”. Others include Disney/Buena Vista, Artisan, ESPN, Toyota, Survey Monkey, Pictures, Disney, Avicii, Nickelback and Train.

COMPANY REEL

CLIENTS

Royal Maze is a full-service post-production company and content creator who have more than 40 years collective experience in providing services to high profile clients in the commercial, marketing and music video industry.

Meet Our Team

Chief Financial Officer

By the age of 27, Tamid Milan had successfully started and created 15 businesses, from Jewelry Stores to Valet parking companies, to commercial production companies. At the age of 30 he started a film production company with his partner and sold it for a healthy profit. For the past 7 years he has owned his own financial company and funded countless operations from Construction, Real Estate and Restaurants to name a few.

 

Mr. Milan has carved his way into the world of finance with financiers, banks and hedge funds. He is now putting his skills into the business of film production. Mr. Milan’s truest passion is to tell stories and create important films that will be both successful and seen by wide audiences. Tamid Is the founder of Milan Pictures.

Creative Director

His career spans over 25 years of experience in producing and writing motion pictures, television, commercials and music videos. From an early age, living across the US and then spending time overseas, Brett learned how to adapt to diverse environments and appreciate the ‘melting pot’ of cultures making up society today.

Brett has a strong background in film production and understands the process of making a movie from the ground up. Some of his most recent production experiences include “Limbo” starring James Purefoy, IFC’s thriller “Feral” with director Mark Young, industry comedy, “the Next Cassavetes”, line producing Sony’s comic book film, entitled “Cross”, starring Vinnie Jones, Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Sizemore, as well as the thriller, “Rites of Passage”, with Stephen Dorff, Christian Slater and Wes Bentley. He managed the productions of National Lampoon’s “Cattle Call”, segment of Jonathan Winters and Robin William’s mocumentary, “Certifiably Jonathan”, gritty street movie – “Overtown” and the cult movie, “Benny Bliss and the Disciples of Greatness”, accepted by the Sundance Music Division. Other producing credits include: Indie- films: “Underdogs”, “The Caper”, “The Party”, Russian action thriller entitled “Montana”, and various other Russian television shows and commercials.

Additionally, Brett has produced a number of commercials and music videos seen on ABC/ESPN, VH1 & MTV. Most recently, he produced cross promotion spots for the NBA and Fox for “the Greatest Showman” starring Klay Thompson, Enes Kanter and Jayson Tatum, and spots for “The Wedding Ringer” featuring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad, as well as the Nickelback music video – “Trying Not To Love You” starring Jason Alexander, and Lenny Kravitz/International DJ Avicii’s – “Superlove” remix. Others include Train – “If It’s Love”, Megadeth – “Headcrusher” and Airbourne – “Blonde, Bad and Beautiful” & “Bottom Of The Well”.

Brett has written a number of screenplays and television shows ranging from inspirational comedies to psychological thrillers, as well as directing short films accepted to the Cannes Film Festival. He has worked as a freelance producer/copywriter for WB’s “Wonder Woman”, “Going In Style”, “Chips”, “the Mummy”, “the House” and Disney/Buena Vista Television on “My Wife and Kids”, as well as “the Tony Danza Show” aired on ABC Network.

He served a three-year-stint as an in-house studio production manager for New Wave Entertainment and is a proud UCLA graduate with a degree in East Asian Studies and emphasis on the Japanese language.

Investor Relations

With over 20 years of experience in Investor Relations, Michael Berkowitz coordinates the participation of both private equity investors and EB 5 investors into our company. Michael has handled investor relations for private companies, small cap companies and start-ups in areas as diverse as sports and entertainment, technology, government contracting and private equity funds. He is particularly attuned to the special needs of EB5 investors, who in addition to their investment goals and the specific requirements of this unique Federal program, need advice and guidance on living in America. As an entrepreneur and business owner himself who has lived overseas, Berkowitz is sensitive to the needs of families seeking relocation, and their questions regarding lifestyle, educational opportunities, cultural, religious and social organizations and more.

Director of Legal Affairs & Client Services

Jonathan started his career as an actor while attending Tulane University in New Orleans as a mechanical engineering major. He did numerous, plays, local and regional television commercials and film, including Warner’s Tightrope opposite Clint Eastwood. Upon graduation, he moved to the Los Angeles Area where he studied at the legendary Loft Studio with Peggy Fuery and Bill Traylor, at the same time he worked his way up with the major production companies from craft service to production supervisor / producer on films and over 200 music videos where he continued producing and educating himself behind the camera, as well obtaining a law degree that has become another valuable asset that he brings to the Company. Jonathan produced and either wrote or guided the story for the following projects: Lions Gate’s release of Tooth & Nail and Cabin Fever II, the theatrical release of the crime drama The Killing Jar, Sony’s action comedies Cross and Cross 2, Sony’s comedy Just Add Water, Voltage’s Rites of Passage, and is currently in production on the action thriller entitled Overtown in Miami Beach. Jonathan advises many independent filmmakers on structuring their projects & contracts.

Director of Post Production Services

Brenton was Director of Post Production Services for 18 years at New Wave Entertainment as liaison to distribution outlets and for L’Esprit, IBM, FOX, ABC, Warner Bros., Capitol Records, Artisan, BMW, Screen Gems, NBC, Palisades Tartan, Carsey Werner, Interscope and more. He managed all aspects of the post production process including operations, editorial, vfx, audio design, color correction, title design, music and deliverables for projects.

Brenton has also been involved in front of and behind the camera for over 25 years. He has had guest starring roles in both film and television. And has appeared in over 50 national commercials.

His producing credits include “Chokehold”, “My First Miracle” and the 2016 American Black Film Festival Audience Award Winner “The Fix. He recently produced the film “Rottentail” based on a graphic novel published by Source Point Press. He has also produced and directed short form projects for NBC, MSN, NBA, Murad Skin Cream and Interscope Records.

Technology & Operation Services

Visionary and entrepreneur with Fortune 500 experience started in the Internet as one of the first employees with Wolfe Internet in Seattle and was instrumental in driving Wolfe in becoming the largest ISP in the Northwest. Executive Co-Founder at LightRealm Communications running Sales & Marketing specializing in colocation, virtual servers, and IP Bandwidth. After selling LightRealm before the Dot Com bust Robert jumped into semi-conductors with a start-up Internet team at Intel and drove business development and marketing with consumers and businesses highlighted by the $300 million Centrino launch. Data Center consulting and Internet Telecom experience led to Business Development at DreamHost driving new standards and products in cloud computing through Ceph Storage, a Linux-based open source distributed storage platform that is transforming the future of storage. Robert has started his own successful apparel company and invented and brought to market a board game. His most recent endeavor is launching Yadagive, the online platform that is transforming the way we give to charity.

Visual Effects & Motion Graphic Supervisor

As a teenager with no professional crew, Carlos started experimenting with 3D animation and filming anything he could get his hands on.

He landed his first big job back in 2005 as a 3D animator in the Disney blockbuster “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. He was the youngest member of the crew at the age of 17. And the only one who needed a letter from his parents to be allowed to work.

After Narnia, he was able to join the best. Working on all sorts of projects, from feature films, music videos and commercials for brands like Pepsi and Claritin, to hit shows like HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, FX Network’s “Wilfred” and as on-set VFX Supervisor for shows like “Justified”, and ABC’s “Scandal” and “How to get Away with Murder”.

Most recently, Carlos has been working on Netflix’s revival of “Mystery Science Theater 3K” and “Wet Hot American Summer”, as well as CBS’ “Bull” and “Scorpion”.

Carlos has written and directed many music videos, short films and web series. His films have been selected in many film festivals in Central America, Los Angeles and Chicago.

EQUIPMENT LEASING

Royal Maze Studios specializes in motion picture digital camera rentals. We take pride in offering exceptional equipment packages to our leasing clients at an affordable price due to longer term agreements. We offer a full line of the most requested lenses including Schneider Cine-Xenars, ARRI/Zeiss Master Primes, ARRI/Zeiss Super Speeds ARRI/Zeiss Anamorphics and Cooke S4s.

Camera packages come with support accessories that meet standard production needs, but can be customized per request.

Sony F55 Camera Package

48 Month Lease: $3,700.00
Replacement Value: $50,000.00

 

  • – 1x Sony PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K Camera in PL
  • 1x Sony AXS-R5 2K/4K External Portable Memory Recorder
  • 1x Sony DVF-EL100 OLED 0.7” Color HD Digital Viewfinder
  • 1x Sony Audio Input Box 1x ARRI Top Plate for Sony F55 – K2.66247.0
  • 1x ARRI Adapter Plate for Sony F55 – K2.66246.0
  • 1x ARRI Bridge Plate BP-8 Set Short, 19mm Rods – K2.47090.0
  • 1x Element Technica 18” Dovetail
  • 1x ARRI Center Camera Handle CCH-2 – K2.73002.0
  • 1x ARRI VF Plug Protection for Sony F55 – K2.66251.0 with VF Cable
  • 1x ARRI Shoulder Pad for Sony F55 – K2.66249.0
  • 1x ARRI Accessory Bracket
  • 1x V-Mount Attachment
  • 1x Canon BC5-5047 Front cap
  • 1x Canon Rear Cap ABS
  • 1x Canon 113mm Lens Shade
  • 1x Canon Lens Shade Front Cap HC-114S
  • 1x Canon 1/4″ Lens Riser
  • 1x Wooden Camera Universal Lightweight Lens Support
  • 1x P-Tap Lens Motor Cable – 12 Pin Hirose
  • 1x Preston Micro Force V+F
  • 1x Oppenheimer Handle
  • 1x Preston Micro Force V+F2 to Canon Cable
  • 2x 15mm Rods -12″ (18″ and 24″ available by request)
  • 1x Jason Cases custom Pelican for Canon 17-128 servo
  • 1x Sony SBAC-US30 SxS Pro+ and SxS-1 Solid State Memory USB 3.0 Reader/Writer
  • 1x AXS-CR1 Compact Card Reader for AXS Media
  • 1x AC Power Cord
  • 1x USB 3.0 Cable
  • 4x Sony SxS Pro+ 128gb Memory Cards
  • 2x Sony AXSM 512gb S24 Memory Cards
  • 1x Miller Arrow 30 Fluid Head (100mm Bowl)
  • 1x Miller 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod
  • 1x Miller Mid-Level Spreaders
  • 1x Tilta MB-T12 Carbon Fiber Clamp-on Matte Box
  • 3x 4×5.65″ Filter Frames
  • 1x Top French flag
  • 1x 15mm LWS rod adapter
  • 1x Adapter Ring Set (134mm, 114mm, 110mm, 95mm, 80mm)
  • 1x Hard Matte Set (16-20mm, 24-28mm, 35-40mm, 50-65mm, 85-180mm)
  • 1x Wooden Camera Zip Focus – 15mm LW
  • 1x Hard Stop Disk
  • 2x Marking Disks
  • 1x Friction Gear
  • 1x .8 Mod 35 Tooth
  • 1x Sony V-Mount Battery Plate Back
  • 1x IDX V-Mount to V-Mount Battery Plate Adapter (P-Tap out)
  • 1x Anton Bauer V-Mount to Gold Mount Adapter Plate
  • 1x Sony 4-pin XLR AC Power Adapter Cord
  • 6x 95Wh V-Mount or Gold Mount Batteries with Chargers
  • 4x 150Wh V-Mount or Gold Mount Batteries with Chargers

RED EPIC-W Helium 8K S35 Camera

48 Month Lease: $7,900.00
Replacement Value: $170,000.00

 

  • RED Weapon Helium Body, w/ wooden camera cage
  • Base Expander module
  • V-lock battery module
  • PL Mount or EF Mount (Motion Mount upgrade available)
  • Lens Options: Zeiss Ultra Primes 5 Lens Set
  • Sachtler Video 20 Tripod or similar
  • RED Sidekick
  • RED Riser Plate and Top Plate
  • Bridge Plate w/ Studio 15mm Mounts
  • Dovetail
  • RED Top Handle
  • 12” Aluminum Rods
  • RED 5″ Touchscreen LCD
  • x4 RED 490GB Minimag SSDs (more available)
  • Red Station SSD Reader
  • Arri FF-4 Follow Focus
  • Arri MMB-2 or similar Clip on follow focus
  • ND Filter Set (.3 .6 .9 4×5.65)
  • Polarizer filter
  • 17″ Director’s Monitor (Sony or Panasonic)
  • On-board AC monitor (TVLogic or SmallHD)
  • O’Connor 1030, 2560, or 2575 Head w/ legs, babies, hi hat
  • Wooden Camera Handheld Rig
  • 6 x RED Bricks w/ quad Charger (more available)
  • RED Weapon Helium AC Power Adapter

LENS SETS

 

Schneider Cine-Xenar III Lense Set
36 Month Lease: $3,300.00
Replacement Value: $55,000.00
Focal lengths – 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 95mm

 

ARRI/Zeiss Master Prime Lense Set
36 Month Lease: $4,600.00
Replacement Value: $90,000
Focal lengths – 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75 mm, 100mm

 

Cooke Mini S4/I Prime Lense Set
36 Month Lease: $4,400.00
Replacement Value: $80,000.00
Focal lengths – 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm, 75 mm, 100mm, 135mm

RED Epic-M Dragon 6k Full Package

48 Month Lease: $5,400.00
Replacement Value: $80,000

 

  • RED EPIC Camera Body
  • RED Side Handle
  • REDMAG SIDE SSD
  • RED Touchscreen 7-Inch Monitor w/ soft bag
  • RED Bomb EVF
  • REDMOTE W/Case
  • (3) 128GB REDMAG SSD
  • (3) 64GB REDMAG SSD
  • REDMAG 1.8” SSD READER (USB 3.0 or Firewire 800)
  • USB 3.0 Cable
  • REDMAG 4-Pack Case
  • (3) REDVOLT Batteries
  • (2) REDVOLT Battery Chargers
  • Red V-Mount Charger
  • Titanium PL-Mount
  • DSMC Canon EOS EF-Mount
  • DSMC Low Light Optimized OLPF
  • Stereo XLR Audio Attachment
  • W.C. Top Plate
  • W.C. Safety Nato 100mm
  • W.C. Top Handle
  • Action Products CALYPSO Camera Riser
  • W.C. 19mm Bridge Support
  • (3) RED V-Mount Batteries
  • IDX V-Mount Battery Plate
  • Element Technica Dovetail
  • 6” CineArm
  • 12” RED Monitor Cable
  • 24” RED Monitor Cable
  • D-Tap to 4-Pin Female Lemo Cable
  • Universal Power Cable
  • (2) Cooke S4/i Mini’s
  • (2) SIGMA 18-35 + 50-100mm PL T2.0
  • O’Connor 2060 with Standards, Babies, and Hi-Hat
  • Teradek Bolt 300
  • TV Logic 5.6″ with Directors Cage
  • Bartech Wireless Follow Focus or Arri FF-5

ARRI Alexa Mini Camera Package:

48 Month Lease: $6,200.00
Replacement Value: $95,000.00

 

  • 1x Arri Alexa Mini Body with All Licenses
  • 1x Tilta Cage with VMount Power Center, Top Handle
  • 1x Arri MVF-1 Viewfinder, Mount, Cable
  • 1x Lens Mount (Choose PL or Canon EF)
  • 4x 128GB CFast Media Cards & Reader
  • 6x VMount Batteries w/ Chargers
  • 1x Arri WCU-4 Wireless Follow Focus Kit w/ Motor
  • 1x Teradek 500 LT Wireless Video Kit
  • 2x Teradek 500 LT Wireless Video Receivers
  • 1x Mattebox
  • 1x 5.5″ TVLogic TrueHD Monitor
  • 1x 23″ Director’s Monitor
  • 1x OConnor 1030D Fluid Head Tripod
  • 1x OConnor Carbon Fiber Standard Legs
  • 1x Aluminium Baby Legs
  • 1x Hi-Hat
  • 1x Bridgeplate and Dovetail
  • 1x Shoulder Rig w/ Dual Handgrips

DRONE DJI Inspire 1 4K

12 Month Lease: $339.
Replacement Value: $2,599

 

  • Perfect for high-level shoots and professional sets
  • Live, wireless HD video transmission via DJI Lightbridge
  • Included professional 4k camera and 3-axis stabilization gimbal
  • Ready-to-fly aerial system
  • Unobstructed 360° shooting

Arri AMIRA Premium Camera Package

48 Month Lease: $6,600.00
Replacement Value: $125,000.00

 

  • Arri Amira Body
  • Amira EVF Electronic Viewfinder
  • EVF Bracket & Cable
  • 12″ Aluminum Rods
  • Articulating Right Handgrip with start/stop trigger
  • Articulating Left Handgrip
  • Top Handle
  • BPA-3 LWS Baseplate w/shoulder pad
  • AC Power Adapter
  • Two V-Lock Batteries
  • Two Position V-Lock Battery Charger
  • Two 120GB CFast 2.0 cards
  • CFast 2.0 Card Reader
  • Miller Arrow Tripod
  • Zeiss CP.2 Compact Prime 5-lens set
  • Arri MB-20 or Arri MMB-2 Clip On Matte Box
  • O’Connor CFF-1 or Arri FF-4 Follow Focus
  • Polarizer

Phantom Flex 4K Basic Camera Package

48 Month Lease: $7,299.00
Replacement Value: $175,000.00

 

  • Phantom Flex 4K Body
  • Abelcine Custom Riser with Aluminum Rods
  • OLED Viewfinder with Solid Camera Leveling Bracket
  • 2x Remote Camera Trigger, “Pickle Switch”
  • Ethernet & Battery Cable KIT
  • 2x Phantom AC Power Supply
  • Gold Mount Battery Plate
  • 2TB Cinemags
  • Cinestation 15″ Retina Macbook Pro 10GE Dual Port Card Chassis over Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt to ESATA Hub AKS
  • iPhantom Wireless Control Package (wireless control of your Phantom 4K from an iPod Touch)

EB5 INVESTMENT PROGRAM

EB-5 is a United States immigration program that offers citizens of other countries the opportunity to seek permanent U.S. residency through job creation in the U.S.    Royal Maze Studios works closely with foreign investors who seek U.S. visas via the EB5 Visa program.  We also work with brokers and attorneys who represent foreign investors, to make sure the process is as easy and streamlined as possible.  Our goal is to insure that qualifying employment opportunities are created from the investment, and that all aspects of the program are complied with in order to assure the investor their visa needs will be met.  Our attorneys specialize in the EB5 program and have an unquestionable track record of success in obtaining visas for qualified clients.

 

The EB-5 Regional Center Program began in the early 1990’s to spur economic growth by giving immigrants a way to obtain permanent U.S. residency through job creation. Administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 program directs foreign investment into projects that revitalize local economies; investors whose money creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers become eligible for a U.S. green card. There are 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas available annually, of which 3,000 EB-5 visas are set aside for foreign nationals who invest in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

 

Under the rules of the EB5 program, all investments are subject to risk and Regional Center projects are not exceptions. Under the law, the Regional Center cannot guarantee profit or the return of an investor’s principal investment. The project has limited operating history and is subject to financing risk. There are no assurances that a member’s petition will be granted or that a member will be able to obtain an immigrant visa or unconditional lawful permanent resident status. Laws, regulations and interpretations of the EB-5 Program are subject to change at any time.

 

The investor, spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 (including adopted children) are eligible to apply for a green card through the EB-5 Visa Program.

 

For investments in areas other than “targeted employment areas,” the minimum amount of investment is $1 million. Investments in “targeted employment areas,” which include most regional center projects, can qualify with a minimum of $500,000.

 

Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that his or her assets were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the investor to prove that his investment funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, property loan, inheritance, gift, loan, or other lawful means.

 

It is helpful to remember the EB-5 visa has two separate paths through US Immigration & Citizenship Services (USCIS). First, you and your family members will be evaluated for “admissibility”, which applies the same to every green card seeker. Criteria that would keep you out of the US include felony criminal convictions, significant health issues, assets gained from illegal means, etc.

 

Second, the EB-5 requires you make an at-risk investment that creates, directly or indirectly, ten US jobs.You are an investor, not a manager, so there’s no requirement to hire these people yourself, work in the business, or even live in the same state as your investment.

 

10 Easy Steps to an EB-5 Visa

 

  • Confirm your eligibility. We need to confirm you as an “accredited” investor in order to show you any of our investment opportunities at Royal Maze Studios. This is required by Regulation D of the US Securities Act of 1933. We understand it asks personal questions about your finances. You can complete the questionnaire on our web site.

  • Select your investment. Once confirmed as an accredited investor, we can show you the details of several investments and you can select the investment which appeals most to you. In general, the investments options are the same, as they are investments into our studio at various stages of its development, where the $500,000 investment is structured with a low interest rate for several years. Note that AS REQUIRED BY THE EB5 PROGRAM, your investment must be “at risk,” and we have structured your investment to absolutely meet this requirement.

  • Hire an immigration attorney. We have a very short list of proven, experienced attorneys we can recommend, but you may use any attorney of your choice, at your own risk. We have negotiated a discount rate with a highly qualified Seattle-based law firm. Typically, legal fees range from $12,000-$25,000, but may be higher, depending on the attorney and the complexity of your family’s case.

  • Prepare your visa petition. Once hired, your immigration attorney will provide you with a list of required documents and information (birth certificates, tax returns, etc.) that usually takes 2-3 months to compile. Usually the most cumbersome is collecting proof that the source of your $500,000 investment was earned legally, which involves tracing the money back seven years.

  • File your petition. Your attorney files your application (your family will be dependents on your application). Expected total costs to date are the attorney fees, the $500,000 to $1 million investment, a $50,000 administrative fee, the filing fee at USCIS and any miscellaneous expenses you’ve incurred in the process (travel, notarizations, etc.). We use $575,000 as the target total cost, but your expenses may vary.

  • We manage your investment. At this point, your investment and immigration diverge. We start managing the investment on your behalf; funding into our post-production facility project reaches certain milestones. You will receive regular reports on the status of Royal Maze Studios- physical build out or expansion, revenues, cash flow, clients, etc. Usually your EB-5 job creation requirements are tied to these developments, and if so, as soon as the  required jobs have been created, we will issue a report regarding same.

  • Wait patiently. Your application will wait in a queue at USCIS for approximately 8-18 months. Current average time is 15 months per USCIS.

  • Interview. Once approved, you will be notified and can make an appointment at your country’s US embassy or consulate for an interview. Once approved, they will provide you with documents to present to US immigration upon your arrival in the US. At that point, you become a US permanent resident (Green Card holder).

  • Confirm your visa responsibilities. Approximately two years after your approval, our company will work with your immigration attorney to prove the job creation. There is a second filing, called Form I-829, to accomplish this. Upon review and approval by USCIS, they will replace you’re conditional green card with the permanent green card which only requires renewal (like a passport) every 10 years.

  • Completion of the investment. The investment continues separately and will be repaid per its own terms. We typically work with an approximately five year term and attempt to return the investment earlier, but each investment is different. The investment must be at-risk per USCIS requirements, and no guarantee can be made as to return of principal or return on investment.

EB5: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prove a lawful source of funds for the EB-5 Investor Green Card?

One of the key requirements for immigrating under the EB-5 immigrant investor program is proving that the investor derived the investment funds from a lawful source. The EB-5 investor must prove the lawful source of funds at the I-526 petition stage, which is the first of three stages in the EB-5 immigration process. Once the I-526 petition is approved, the EB-5 investor does not have to prove again the lawful source of funds. The types of documents that have to be provided in order to prove a lawful source of funds are specific to the financial circumstances of each investor, and so there is no “one size fits all” list or approach.

 

USCIS’s guidelines are evolving over time, and the agency does not typically announce publicly when their guidelines have changed, but rather immigration attorneys practicing in the EB-5 field figure out where the boundaries are by adopting different approaches in different clients’ cases. Also, USCIS occasionally gives some insight into their thinking during stakeholder meetings, public meetings with the USCIS Director, and in liaison meetings with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Nevertheless, in spite of all this secretiveness and arbitrariness, some general guidelines can be discerned from practice. As a general matter, though, it is crucial for the EB-5 investor to retain an immigration attorney experienced in the EB-5 practice, who knows from experience what documentation is likely to suffice for USCIS to approve the I-526 petition.

The overall source of funds

It is necessary to determine the overall source of funds, in other words, how the funds were originally earned. One exception to this requirement is where the funds were inherited. USCIS is not in the practice of requiring proof of how the person who left the inheritance earned the funds originally. By contrast, a gift from a living relative is not an exception, but rather it just refocuses attention on how the gift giver earned the gift funds. It is common practice for a parent or a grandparent to gift the investment funds to their child or grandchild.

 

Whoever originally earned the funds needs to provide evidence of how the funds were earned, whether as salary income from employment, business income, investment income, winning the lottery, among other sources. Documentation can take the form of employment and income confirmations from the employer. In the case of business owners, proof of the existence of their business, proof of the investor’s ownership of the business, financial statements from the business for the past 5 years, and an explanation for how the business owner either started the business from nothing or purchased the business. If the business owner purchased the business, then it needs to be documented how he or she acquired the funds to purchase the business. Similarly, in the case of investment income, the investor needs to document the income from the investment and show how he or she originally acquired the funds in order to make the investment.

 

USCIS expects for the investor to submit personal tax returns from the past 5 years. That being said, the absence of tax returns or insufficient income on tax returns are not fatal to the I-526 petition. If the investor has earned the funds in a country where there is no personal income tax, then it can be explained and documented that there are no personal tax returns for that reason. If the investor earned the investment funds more than five years ago, and so the tax returns for the past 5 years do not show enough income to make a $500,000 investment, then we can explain and document how the investor earned the funds more than 5 years ago, and document where the investor held the funds in the meantime.

 

In some cases, the EB-5 investor comes from a country where there is a personal income tax, but the government only selectively enforces the tax laws, and many citizens of the country do not file tax returns or routinely underreport their income on the tax returns, then such EB-5 investors can still qualify, but it becomes necessary to provide other convincing evidence of how much the person really earned legally, based on bank account statements, invoices, contracts, etc. High-level managers at USCIS have stated in the past that their agency is not interested to enforce the tax laws of other countries by seeing that an investor has paid his or her taxes abroad. The continuing approvals of I-526 petitions for EB-5 investors coming from countries with low rates of income tax compliance such as China and India confirm that this approach still holds at USCIS. Instead, USCIS views the reporting of income on the tax returns as a good indication, though not conclusive, that the income is not being derived from criminal activities, since major criminal activities such as drug trafficking, racketeering, loan sharking, etc., generally entail the use of cash that does not circulate through regular banking channels and is not reported on tax returns. USCIS does look for patterns of transactions that are indicative of money laundering. However, where sufficient evidence is submitted indicating that the investor is earning enough income from legitimate business or other earning activities to make a $500,000 investment, then USCIS routinely approves the I-526 petition, even in the absence of tax returns or with tax returns with underreported income.

 

An EB-5 investor can derive the investment funds from loans, but only under very specific conditions. USCIS accepts investment funds from loans only if: 1) the EB-5 investor is the principal borrower of the loan and is personally liable for repayment; 2) the loan is secured by property belonging to the investor personally; and 3) the property securing the loan has a value equal to, or in excess of, the amount of the loan. USCIS no longer accepts unsecured loans as a source of capital for an EB-5 investment. In the course of 2012 without making any public announcement, USCIS changed its long-standing policy of accepting capital for EB-5 investment coming from unsecured loans.

 

One slightly obscure documentation requirement of the EB-5 program is the following:

 

Certified copies of any judgments or evidence of all pending governmental civil or criminal actions, governmental administrative proceedings, and any private civil actions (pending or otherwise) involving monetary judgments against the petitioner from any court in or outside the United States within the past fifteen years.

 

USCIS looks closely at any such legal actions against the investor to determine whether the legal action indicates that the investor has earned the investment funds from engaging in criminal activities, or has acquired the funds through defrauding individuals who have then filed civil lawsuits against the investor.

Tracing funds from source to regional center project’s account

After documenting how the investor earned his or her investment funds, in general, it is necessary to trace the funds from the investor’s source to the regional center’s escrow account or operating account. If the investor is freeing up the investment funds from selling an asset such as a real estate property, stocks, a business, etc., then it is necessary to document the funds coming in from the sale of the asset, and to trace the funds through whatever accounts they pass on the way to the regional center’s escrow account or operating account.

 

In principle, any investor who legally acquired sufficient funds to make an EB-5 investment can qualify to immigrate under the EB-5 program. However, as with many things in life, “the devil is in the details.” The EB-5 investor has to provide sufficient documentation to the satisfaction of a USCIS examiner that the investor did, in fact, acquire the investment funds legally. It is crucial for the investor’s success in the EB-5 immigration process that he or she engage an immigration attorney, who is experienced in the EB-5 practice area and, from experience, has a good understanding of what USCIS examiners expect and are willing to accept as sufficient documentation of the lawful source of funds.

 

This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities in the Company or any related or associated company. Any such offer or solicitation will be made only by means of the Company’s confidential Offering Memorandum and in accordance with the terms of all applicable securities and other laws. None of the information or analyses presented are intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended. Accordingly this article does not constitute investment advice or counsel or solicitation for investment in any security. This article does not constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, any offer for sale or subscription of, or any invitation to offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities, nor should it or any part of it form the basis of, or be relied on in any connection with, any contract or commitment whatsoever. The Company expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from: (i) reliance on any information contained in this article, (ii) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (iii) any action resulting therefrom.

 

What EB-5 Investors Need to Know About Backlogs*

(*also called “retrogression”)

 

As of April, 2018, Vietnam will soon experience a visa backlog (retrogression) based on oversubscription. Similarly, Indian investors are likely to experience a visa backlog for the EB-5 category by 2020. Below is a short list of common questions and issues visa applicants from countries experiencing retrogression should know:

Can my child or children continue to be eligible for immigration benefits as my dependents based on my approved I-526 petition?

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was enacted in order to protect children of EB-5 petitioners against long petition processing times.

 

The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act defines a “child” as an unmarried individual under the age of 21. Once a child turns 21, the child is no longer eligible for immigration benefits based on the relationship to the parent. This is known as “aging out.

 

A child’s age essentially freezes on the date the I-526 petition is filed until the date the I-526 petition is approved. This helps protect the child of an EB-5 investor from aging out as long as the I-526 petition was filed before their 21st birthday. Once the I-526 petition is approved, the child’s age unfreezes and he or she must seek to acquire permanent residence within one year of a visa becoming available.

 

USCIS has interpreted the “sought to acquire” permanent residence element as satisfied if the child:

 

• files an application for adjustment of status;

• files an immigrant visa application;

• Is the beneficiary of an I-824 petition within one year of the immigration petition approval date (or visa becoming available subsequent to petition approval date, whichever is later);

• submits a completed DS-260 within one year of the I-526 approval.

If the EB-5 backlog takes longer than the time it takes USCIS to adjudicate the I-526 petition, the CSPA only allows the time an I-526 petition was pending to be subtracted from the child’s biological age at the time an EB-5 visa becomes available.

As long as the EB-5 category remains current (not retrogressed), protection under the CSPA is a relatively simple two-step process.

• The parents must file their I-526 petition before their child turns 21.

• Within one year after I-526 petition approval, the child must start the adjustment of status or consular interview process.

 

If these requirements are fulfilled, the child remains eligible for immigration benefits as a dependent, even if he or she is over 21 by the time they arrive in the United States.

 

Protection under the CSPA becomes more complicated when the EB-5 category becomes backlogged, or “retrogresses,”. In general, as long as the period of retrogression is less than the period of USCIS I-526 adjudication, a child who has turned 21 will still be able to immigrate with his or her parent. However, the CSPA only protects the child to the extent an immigrant visa is actually available for the EB-5 applicant’s priority date. If the visa cut-off date is too far back, the child may still age out.

 

Where its protection applies, the dependent’s age is “frozen” under that of 21, allowing the child to obtain permanent residence as a derivative beneficiary of the I-526 petition by the parent. The determination of whether or not the protection of CSPA applies is made when the petition priority date becomes current. At that time, the number of days the petition was pending is deducted from the child’s biological age. Assuming the resulting age calculated is under 21, the CSPA protections apply and the child has one yearto seek to acquire his or her immigrant visa.

My child may turn 21 after my I-526 petition has been approved, how do I determine if my child can benefit from the protections of CSPA?

If the I-526 petition is approved priorto the announcement of retrogression, the priority date of the petition will still be current. In this case, the child’s “CSPA age” would be under 21, and the child would have one year to seek to acquire his or her permanent resident status. As mentioned above, the Department of State has stated the following can serve to qualify as “seeking to acquire” an immigrant visa:

 

• Submission of the I-485 Adjustment of Status Application;

• Submission of the DS-260;

• Payment of the immigrant visa fee bill; Submission of a DS-230 to the NVC;

• Submission of a Form I-824, Application for Following to Join Beneficiary, (If the child is located abroad and the I-526 investor is located in the U.S);

• Repeated contacts and requests to the Department of State, including continuing inquiries and specific expression of intent to proceed

 

All of the activities listed serve to qualify under the CSPA requirements as “seeking to acquire” an immigrant visa, preserving the child’s CSPA protection. When the petition is approved and forwarded to the National Visa Center, it is recommended to pay the visa fee bill via cashier’s check, or electronically.

 

It is possible to satisfy the CSPA requirements once the EB-5 applicant’s priority date has become current after the announcement of retrogression.

What happens if I haven’t received a fee bill from the National Visa Center, but my I-526 Petition was approved before the announcement of retrogression?

If you have a dependent child who may potentially age-out, you should contact an attorney once the retrogression announcement is made in order to act to preserve the dependent child’s age for immigration purposes.

What happens if my I-526 Petition was approved after the retrogression cut-off date is announced?

You will be subject to retrogression and once your I-526 Petition is approved you must check the Department of State visa bulletin each month to determine if your priority date is current.

What happens if I received a fee bill from the National Visa Center prior to the announcement of the retrogression cut-off date but my dependents have not?

You can make a payment for you and your dependents by sending a cashier’s check via certified mail to the National Visa Center using the case number of the principal application (the EB-5 investor’s application case number).

What can I expect if I paid my fee bill and filed my DS-260 application after retrogression has been announced ?

You likely will not be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview (I-485 Adjustment of Status) unless your priority date is prior to the cut-off date listed in the Department of State visa bulletin. You will have to check the DOS visa bulletin each month to determine when your priority date is current.

If I legally reside in the U.S. and have not yet filed my I-485 adjustment of status based on my approved I-526 Petition, can I file my adjustment of status after the retrogression cut-off date?

No, you will have to check the Department of State’s visa bulletin each month to find out if your priority date is current. Once your priority date is current, you are eligible to file an I-485 petition for adjustment of status.

What is my status if I legally reside in the U.S. and have filed my adjustment of status prior to the retrogression announcement? Can I remain in the U.S? Do I have to renew my advance parole and employment authorization?

Yes, you can remain in the U.S. and renew your advance parole (travel permission) and employment authorization so long as your adjustment of status remains pending. However, USCIS will not adjudicate the adjustment of status application until your priority date is current.

Where can I check my priority date?

The Department of State announces current priority dates for each immigration category every month on the visa bulletin. There is a “Priority Date Checker” which is an interactive form that will automatically populate the cut-off date applicable for you.

 

The Visa Bulletin includes two charts:

 

• Chart A provides information regarding final adjudicationcut-off dates,

• Chart B provides cut-off information for Adjustment of Status filings.

The USCIS website provides updates each month regarding whether it is accepting filings based on Chart B.

If I am from a country experiencing retrogression but my spouse is from a non-retrogressed country, will my spouse experience retrogression if they are the principle applicant?

No, if the primary applicant is from a country that isnotexperiencing a visa availability backlog, their petition will be current regardless of whether or not their spouse is from a country experiencing a visa availability backlog. This is known as cross-chargeability.

If I am eligible for cross-chargeability based on my spouse’s non-retrogressed nationality, are my children also eligible?

Yes.

Can Adopted Children immigrate with me on EB-5?

Generally speaking, adopted children may be included in a parent’s immigrant visa petition (in this case, an EB-5 petition) if the following three conditions are met: A) The adoption occurred before the child turns 16; B) The child has been in the adoptive parent’s custody for at least two (2) years; and c) the child has physically lived with the adoptive parents for at least two (2) years. There are small carve-outs/exceptions for each of these elements so it may be best to discuss the specific facts of the case to determine if the adoption is compliant with immigration regulations.

 

EB-5 minimum investment amounts are as follows:

Normal Investment Amount:

$1,000,000

 

Target employment area (TEA) located project:

$500,000

The amount that an EB-5 investor needs to be prepared to invest is $500,000 to $1,000,000, plus any additional fees required. The Fees for EB-5 can range from $30,000 – $80,000 depending on the investors case, consultants needed as well as translation necessary for the source of funds report.

Can an Investor Apply if They Have Been Rejected or Terminated in the Past by USCIS for a Previous Visa?

Previous rejection does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reason the applicant was rejected was related to immigration fraud, crimes committed with moral turpitude, or other major problems. It is most important that all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration history problems be disclosed to the limited partnership and legal counsel in advance of application.

Can EB-5 Investments Be Made in Installments?

The entire amount of the investment does not need to have been made at the time of applying for an EB-5 visa. However, the investor must prove availability of the funds and an actual commitment of the required amount of capital. A mere intention to invest or plans for a future investment where there is no present commitment of the funds will not qualify. For example, one may invest $250,000 when filing their I-526 petition and sign a contact to commit an additional $250,000 over the course of one year to fulfill the full investment requirement. Paying the investment amount in installments is allowable so long as the investment is completed prior to the investor’s I-526 petition review to avoid a petition denial.

How long does it take to get a green card with EB-5?

As a major generalization, as of August 31, 2017 it takes approximately 22 months to get a conditional green card in your hands. The process generally includes the following:

 

• File an I-526 petition and get approved (15-18 months)

• File an I-485 adjustment of status and interview at the consulate (4-6 months).

 

Once the investor has the conditional green card, it takes approximately 30 months for I-829 petition approval, after which the investor will remove the conditions from their green card and become a permanent resident.

 

ALL PROJECTS HAVE THE SAME PROCESSING TIMES. NO PROJECTS HAVE SHORTCUTS. DO NOT BELIEVE ANY FALSE MARKETING.

 

Processing times can be found on the USCIS website. As of today, the link is located here: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do

 

Click on IPO Processing times to find out about EB-5.

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