Step One Of The EB-5 Process: Questions To Ask, Decisions To Make
Step one of the EB-5 process is often the most challenging for investors because it involves conducting a lot of tedious research and making a lot of careful decisions that carry varying degrees of risks.
Despite this, the EB-5 Direct Investment Program and the Regional Center Program are extremely popular pathways for foreign nationals to obtain U.S. green cards.
How does it work?
Foreign nationals who invest in job-creating U.S. new commercial enterprises may qualify for conditional permanent visas for themselves, their spouses and their unmarried children under the age of twenty-one years. Upon completing the requirements of the EB-5 Program, investors and their immediate family members can apply to remove the conditions on their U.S. lawful permanent residency. What’s better is, five years after receiving conditional lawful permanent residency, the investor and their immediate family members may be eligible for U.S. citizenship.
This type of visa is highly desirable as it allows the EB-5 investor and their family to live, work, attend school, and travel anywhere in the U.S. during their visa stay.
How much does it cost?
The minimum investment amount for a project located in a targeted employment area (TEA) is $500,000. For a project located in a non-TEA, the minimum investment amount is $1 million. A targeted employment area is a rural or high unemployment area.
Note: The minimum investment amount for TEA and non-TEA EB-5 projects is set to increase on November 21, 2019, when the new EB-5 regulation goes into effect. The new investment amounts will be as follows:
TEA project: $900,000
non-TEA project: $1.8 million
Interested investors can still lock in the lower $500,000 investment amount by applying before the November 21, 2019, deadline. Below I will explain how to get started investing so that you can apply prior to this upcoming deadline and save $400,000.
Step 1 of the EB-5 process: What questions an investor must ask themselves.
The research can take several weeks or it can take several months. It’s entirely dependent on the potential investor. Here are the questions an investor will want find answers to:
Is the investor eligible for the EB-5 Program?
- Is the investor an accredited investor?
- Does the investor have the required capital to make the investment?
- Can the investor trace their funds to lawful sources?
If the investor is eligible, have they looked into their EB-5 project options?
- Will the investor choose a regional center?
- What is the investor’s risk tolerance?
- Is the project located in a TEA to qualify for the lower investment amount?
- Is the project selected viable?
- Does the regional center have past project successes, past I-526 petition success, and past I-829 petition success?
- Is the regional center and management team reputable?
- Has the regional center been professionally vetted?
- Has the investor visited the project site?
- What is the job creation methodology?
Is the investor going to face an EB-5 backlog?
- Is the investor’s country currently facing a backlog and if so how long is the wait?
- Does the regional center have a redeployment of funds strategy?
- Will the investor’s children age out of the EB-5 Program?
Are the investor’s funds liquid?
- Has the investor determined the best way to transfer the funds outside their country and into the U.S.?
- Can the investor readily place their funds into an EB-5 escrow account?
- Has the investor accounted for the $50,000-$80,000 extra fees needed on top of the $500,000 investment to pay for administrative fees, attorney fees, and petition filing fees?
Once the investor has a project of interest, have they looking into EB-5 immigration attorneys?
- Is this EB-5 attorney experienced specifically with the EB-5 Program?
- How many petitions has this attorney successfully filed?
- Can they determine if the selected EB-5 project is viable?
- How much time does the attorney need in order to file the I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur?
The decisions that an investor must be made in order to start the EB-5 Program process and attain a U.S. visa.
- Selection of funds to use for the EB-5 investment and ways in which to transfer them to the U.S.
- Selection of either the Direct Investment Program or the Regional Center Program.
- Determining the investor’s risk tolerance.
- Selection of a regional center and project.
- Selection of a TEA project or a non-TEA project.
- Selection of an EB-5 immigration attorney.
Once an investor files their I-526 Petition, they should receive their visa priority date from USCIS. This priority date locks the investor’s spot in line. That’s why applying as early as possible is so beneficial when it comes to the EB-5 Program.
- New York
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