01 SEPT. 2012
this issue I-526 & I-829 Petition Approval Rates & Reasons for Denials
Quick Note from the CEO
Updates on featured EB-5 Project: UltraGreen RC Featured Service Provider: Immigration Attorney Lincoln Stone EB-5 Key Question of the Quarter North Dakota News: Economic Growth & Moody’s Analysis Bill to Extend EB-5 Regional Center Program added to House Schedule
Fiscal Year 2011 Q1-Q3 I-526 & I-829 Petition Approval Rates
The UND Center for Innovation Foundation has built a strong network to help us identify foreign investors who find our region an attractive place
Top Reasons for I-526 Denials
to invest in the seven key industries which are
Our Solution: Our econometric analysis ensures that we have a wide
received from state and federal office holders as well as the trustees of the UND Center for Innovation Foundation. Our team is dedicated
private investment. We look forward to working with area leaders in the creation of goodpaying, quality jobs for our residents as we provide investment opportunities for our new
TEA Designation Issue:
The petitioner did not demonstrate that the location of the investment was considered a TEA at the time of filing or investment. Our Solution: Issues with TEA designation have mostly been caused with TEAs pertaining to high levels of unemployment. North Dakota and Minnesota’s TEA designations are solely based upon lower population levels. Even with the state’s increase in population, our population levels still fall well under TEA designation requirements.
Material Change Issue:
Investment Structure Issue:
Job Creation Issue:
Amount and Lawful Source of the Capital Issue:
Doesn’t demonstrate that the account included sufficient funds to pay organizational fees in addition to the $500,000 investment. Our Solution: We require all of our investors to place $540,000 into the escrow account upfront to ensure there are sufficient funds to cover all organizational fees.
Top Reasons for I-829 Denials
safety margin for number of required jobs. Our Ultra Green project requires 160 jobs for EB-5 investors, but is projected to create 394 jobs, over double the EB-5 requirements.
tors and coordinators to bring companies and
to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and
Demonstrating that the investment will create the
targeted. Our Regional Center team are facilita-
We appreciate the strong support we have
Job Creation Issue:
Petitioner failure to execute the plan presented in support of the form I-526 petition by switching projects. Our Solution: Once an investor has decided to invest in one specific project, we require them to stay with said project, to help ensure I-829 petition approval. A bridge loan does not allow the petitioner to be credited with the statutorily required job creation. Our Solution: We do not allow our investors to use bridge loans as their investment tool. Our EB-5 investors are investing directly with our EB-5 projects. Demonstrating that the investment has/ will create the requisite jobs in a reasonable period of time. Our Solution: We only accept projects that ensure a wide safety margin for overall job creation, not just EB-5 job requirements. Ultra Green created 146% more jobs than were required for EB-5 investment.
friends from foreign lands.
EB-5 Key Question of the Quarter:
Moody’s Analytics Ranks North Dakota #1 North Dakota Ranked First in Employment Growth and Economic Strength
EMPLOYMENT GROWTH RANK
How long does it take to
According Moody’s Analytics, North Dakota has the nation’s
modities; stable state fiscal situation; and location
obtain a conditional green
strongest state economy, and is in the midst of a historic
along a key trade corridor, proximity to Canada
card to enter the U.S.?
and major interstates..
Employment is growing several times
NORTH DAKOTA 2011-2013
approval time for an I-526 petition with USCIS is between 9-12 months. Most investors disclose
state’s western oil patch. The most recent GDP data show that ND’s economy grew at more than three times that of the U.S. in 2011. At 7.6%, its gross state product was the fastest-
150% Index vs. U.S. overall, second lowest
growing of all 50 states.
the minimum amount of infor-
North Dakota ranks in the top quintile in the United States for: overall employment growth
faster than it is nationally thanks to furious growth in the
The average processing and
COST OF DOING BUSINESS
Relative Employment Performance
business, GDP growth,
mation and this will only delay
The North Dakota economy will outpace that of the U.S. over
personal income growth,
and complicate the application
the next several years.
population growth, and
process with USCIS when further
technologies will support energy exploration, accompanied by
documentation is requested.
growth in auxiliary industries throughout the state.
High long-term oil prices and new
real estate growth.
USCIS closely scrutinizes all files and it is to the investors advantage to provide full disclosure from the start to ensure a smooth and timely application process resulting in the least amount of
Moody highlights North Dakota’s top four strengths: Rapid growth of energy
This Quarter’s Featured EB-5 Service Provider
exploration in the Bakken shale for-
U.S. Immigration Attorney: Lincoln Stone
mation; major producer and exporter
Lincoln Stone is recognized by the State Bar of
of several important agricultural com-
California Board of Legal Specialization as
works, including “A Comparison of the EB-5 Category with Alternative Immigration Strategies.”
a Certified Specialist in Immigration and
North Dakota News ND Economy Booming! North Dakota, the state with the
Nationality law. Following studies in law at
Mr. Stone served for five years as Chair of the
the University of Notre Dame and a federal
American Immigration Lawyers Association’s
court clerkship with U.S. Judge Robert A.
(AILA) EB-5 Investor Visa Committee, and is
Grant, Mr. Stone started his career in
the Chair of AIBA’s EB-5 Investor Visa
immigration law in 1987 with the U.S.
Conference. He also serves on the AIBA task
Immigration and Naturalization Service.
force for immigrant entrepreneurs.
Mr. Stone is renowned internationally as
The ND/NW MN EB-5 Regional Center is both
an expert, speaker and author in the
pleased and honored to utilize Mr. Stone’s
nation’s lowest unemployment
complex area of immigration law concerning inves-
rate, 3.8%, capped a decade of
tors and entrepreneurs. He has published many
expertise with their EB-5 investors and projects.
economic prosperity with dramatic population growth in its biggest cities. The biggest influence on this population increase is North Dakota’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate hasn’t touched 5% since 1987 and the state’s per capita income rose over the decade from 38th in the nation to 17th, the biggest advance of any state. North Dakota is one of the few states to add manufacturing jobs over the decade. When factories closed elsewhere, production was often moved to North Dakota. “We feel extremely fortunate for the posi-
Updates on Featured EB-5 Project: UltraGreen
tion we’re in,” says North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Paul Govig.
Minnesota, North Dakota will be among the best places to live in 2032! Twenty years from now, cars will fly, your iPhone will double as your au pair, and the “Spiderman” trilogy with be on its 12th reboot.
manufacture biodegradable, com-
the closer proximity to crucial supply sources (wheat
DELIVERY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!
farms and water), lower utility and transport costs (vs.
Devils Lake, North Dakota USA, is the new home to
current manufacturing in China), and productivity im-
UltraGreen’s latest manufacturing facility. With over-
provements with the purchase of very high volume ma-
whelming demand from existing customers and the
chines. The project is well underway, with remodeling and
potential for new high volume customers, UltraGreen
cleanup starting one month earlier than anticipated. The
decided to expand manufacturing to the United States
first few loads of 1,000 tons of straw were also delivered
level grocery stores, bakeries, and food service outlets
for its current and new exclusively patented bakeware
approximately two weeks early! The hiring process has
throughout North America including: WholeFoods,
product line. The move provides “first mover advantage”
also begun. UltraGreen has 80 applicants for the
Costco, Target, Safeway, and Sam’s Club. Existing
on two fronts. 1. UltraGreen will be the first to produce
first 20 jobs planned for hire over the next couple
customers have provided advance purchase
its exclusively patented food service bakeware line
of months and has currently filled 10 of those 20
orders of approximately $3 Million thus far
enabling it to increase volume and save customers
positions. It has 4 plastic molding machines being
(September 2012) for the new product line.
delivered in September which will allow produc-
Furthermore, Ultra Green is currently in high level
tion to begin ahead of schedule. It has also or-
discussions with a number of high volume customers
dered 6 high volume machines to be shipped in
such as Costco, Chipotle (spin-off of McDonalds), and
October which will enable it to fulfill all EB 5 job
the United States Federal Government. These entities
significant labor costs vs. current competitive products. 2. Ultragreen will be the first “Made in USA” manufacturing facility enabling it to be first in line to garner high volume customers, such as the U.S. Military, who require Made in USA products. crease gross profit margin by approximately 50% given
requirements as 160 employees will be dedicated to these machines (see chart) . This is an incredibly positive start for great things to come. UltraGreen is
kota will be among the top five states to live in, according to a
the first company in the US to
ULTRA GREEN: REMODELING, HIRING, & STRAW
The expansion to Devils Lake, ND USA will also in-
And Minnesota and North Da-
“We are extremely excited to be
Shipment of wheat straw and new manufacturing facility in Devils Lake
postable and sustainable products made from wheat straw.” CEO Mack Traynor
have expressed their intention to buy Ultra Green products once production is fully operational with 50 high volume machines. Based on these discussions UltraGreen have good reason to believe
would increase Ultra Green’s sales to $66MM, once
new study by poll giant Gallup,
which studied 13 “forward-
purchase orders and disclosures relating to high vol-
looking” metrics to determine
ume discussions can be provided by Ultra Green to
the best future states to live in.
serious project investors.
Proof documentation of advance
Minnesota ranked No. 2 in the study, behind Utah. North Dakota came in at No. 5, behind No. 3 Colorado and No. 4 Nebraska.
Bill to Extend EB-5 Regional Center Program The bill to extend the EB-5 Regional Center Program for three years has been added to the House’s
Minnesota topped the field in economic confidence and ac-
schedule for the coming week, according to the House Majority Leader. The 3-year extension of the EB-
cess to safe places to exercise.
5 regional center program has already passed the Senate and will be considered by The House this
It also earned high marks in
week according to Gov. Track.
Regional Center Letter of Approval
clean water, learning opportunities, and dental visits. North Dakota earned top marks
EB-5 stakeholders can expect to get an update to the future of the 3-year extension by close of business this coming Wednesday. All EB-5 visa stakeholders are awaiting word from Congress that a 3-year ex-
in job creation and full-time
tension of the regional center program will go
employment– no surprise for a
ahead. Once an announcement has been made it
state that’s had the lowest
will remove the uncertainty surrounding the pro-
unemployment rate in the nation for three years. The state
gram and enable foreign national seeking to use the
also boasts the second-highest
EB-5 program a clear path ahead.
standard of living in the study, second only to Hawaii.
Both North Dakota Senators, Kent Conrad and
North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven
John Hoeven (pictured to the left) are in support of the 3 year extension.