Brian Dickens—the Founder and CEO of FamilySecurityNow.com FSN and Inversión Consultant Services (ICS)—has written a book entitled, Certain Security, which is available in hardcover at Amazon.com®.
Certain Security—which currently targets English-speaking, non-U.S. citizens—introduces readers to U.S. investment visa programs administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), including the much-publicized EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa Program.
Certain Security is positioned as a “consumer’s guide” to investment visa programs and the industry of service providers available to assist foreign investors with the investment visa process. The book, which draws on Mr. Dickens’ extensive experience with investment visa programs, presents his “4 Proven Steps to Investment Visa Success”.
On August 2nd, 2012 the U.S. Senate voted to extend the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Regional Center Pilot Program by 3-years, with a new sunset of September 30, 2015. A .pdf version of the legislation is attached below.
The Senate took a small step toward making the regional center aspect of the EB-5 program permanent by acting to strike the word “Pilot” from 8CFR204.6 U.S. Code (the codified federal regulation which governs EB-5).
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill (S3245) when they return from their August recess in September.
Inversión Consultant Services (ICS) recently concluded its latest investment tour in México City. During the visit, there were signs of renewed hope throughout the city as presidential, gubernatorial, and district elections last month rang in sweeping changes to the political leadership of México. Police presence was strong throughout the federal district (D.F.), and colorful “Thank-you” billboards from the newly elected government officials blanketed the freeways. Overall, personal security in the D.F. was pretty high–with a general feeling of safety as ICS team members frequented restaurants, stores, and shopping malls and navigated the busy streets of one of the world’s largest cities.
Personal interviews with Mexican nationals interested in investment visa programs revealed a darker side of reality however. Even in México City, where local authorities have traditionally managed tenuous relationships with the drug cartels–agreeing not to pursue them as long as they keep their trafficking and more violent activities out of the D.F.–wealthy citizens still face regular kidnapping and extortion attempts. One high-ranking federal government official in particular shared with ICS that his family has had to relocate to new homes 3 times in the past year because various members of the family had been held at gunpoint–his entire, immediate family on one occasion–by brazen thugs associated with the region’s drug trade demanding to be paid an extortion ransom. The official expressed extreme urgency to utilize an immigrant investment program in spite of having to relinquish his government post in order to qualify.
The government official and another potential investor both also related an even more frustrating account: Wealthy citizens are targeted–based on the cars that they drive–by the D.F. local police and forced to pay a 90-day “service fee” of thousands of dollars, which purchases a sticker for their windshield that immunizes that vehicle from profiling for the next 90 days. After the sticker expires, they must pay again. Citizens who refuse have their cars impounded and face a variety of other forms of harassment.
These and similar stories–repeated over and over throughout México–underscore the extreme level of motivation by the country’s wealthy citizenry to expatriate to safer and more-secure environs.