EB-5 Investor Visa
The EB-5 program permits an investor to immigrate to the United States and receive permanent resident status (a “green card”) in a relatively short period of time (approximately 18 months).
The foreign investing immigrant must invest capital in a new or existing firm, or regional center business using earned, borrowed, or gifted funds. The minimum threshold investment is $500,000 (soon to be $800,000) if the firm principally does business in a “targeted” employment area (TEA), or $1 million (soon to be $1.2 million) in the area of the immigrant’s choosing. The investment must create or retain ten jobs.
Our EB-5 lawyer will oversee the entire EB-5 visa immigration process to ensure timely processing of your case.
What are the EB-5 Visa requirements?
- The investment must be in a going concern (a business) – not a passive security such as the stock market;
- The business must have been established after November 29, 1990. If the business was created prior to this date, the investment must substantially modify the business;
- Invested funds must generate from the applicant. The source of the funds can be a loan or gift originating from a parent or other individual, provided the appropriate gift taxes are paid, if required;
- Ten jobs must be created on the enterprise’s payroll. Indirect job creation may only be counted toward this requirement if the qualifying investment is in a Regional Center
The EB-5 green card program allows investors to live anywhere in the United States while enjoying retirement, attending school, or running the enterprise in which they invest or another business.
What kind of businesses are permitted for the EB-5 Visa?
The type of business permitted under the EB-5 may be any of the following:
- A sole proprietorship
- Partnership (whether limited or general)
- Holding company
- Joint venture
- Business trust, or
- Other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned.
What are the benefits of the EB-5 Visa?
- An EB-5 investor can become a permanent resident (green card holder), and five years later a U.S. citizen
- Immigrate to the United States in a short period of time as opposed to waiting for lengthy family and employment-based immigration processes
- Spouse and children under 21 are able to immigrate with the investor
- Live and travel freely anywhere in United States
- No net worth disclosure is required
- Qualify for in-state tuition after one year following admission
What is the difference between the EB-5 regional center and EB-5 direct investment programs?
The Direct EB-5 Investor Program
Investors who elect to create a new business, purchase an existing business, or reorganize a former business into a new enterprise must invest a minimum $1,000,000 into the commercial venture The adjudication time for stand-alone EB-5 petition is normally considerably shorter in most cases.
- USCIS allows online petitions to be filed for direct cases
- Fewer complexities than regional center projects
- As the amount of jobs that can be created in a direct project are far less than in a regional center project, the direct project is usually simpler and often will have less debt. This decreases the risk of failure and importantly, increases the likelihood of recovering the investment money
- There are no complex econometric reports to deal with
- Often the job creation is very clear which increases the likelihood of a successful I-829 adjudication.
- Regulatory bodies such as the SEC (Security & Exchange Commission) who monitor fraud, misrepresentation and other unauthorized activities are equally involved with direct projects as well as regional center projects.
The EB-5 Regional Investment Program
Your EB-5 Visa attorney will explain that in certain cases, the investment in the EB-5 program need only be $500,000. These are cases where the existing business is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or a rural area defined as any area not within either a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the most recent decennial census of the United States.
The EB-5 policy management requirement is minimal in that the investor can be a limited partner and still qualify as long as the limited partners have a policy-enacting role. Thus, for those who are not interested in day-to-day management or running an active business, Regional Center programs offer an attractive form of inactive investment.
The investor is not required to live in the place of investment; rather, he or she is free to reside wherever he/she wishes in the United States. This investment is considered a passive investment, thus providing the investor more flexibility.
EB-5 DUE DILIGENCE
Potential clients ask our Austin EB-5 Visa lawyer how to evaluate a regional center (RC) and conduct due diligence. This process involves analyzing the economic risks of inadequate financial return or business failure; and analyzing immigration risks or likelihood that the selected regional center will not provide a green card.
As we are immigration attorneys and not experts in business and economics, we cannot advise on the economic viability or promise of a particular project. We generally advise our clients to seek the advice of a qualified business consultant or economist regarding the selection of investment of enterprise. Our EB-5 Visa attorney will then review the following:
- Job creation, including economic input/output models and the factors used for those inputs;
- The application of targeted employment area (TEA) regulations;
- The business plan for verifiable data to support the economic analysis, proper use of EB-5 capital and other requirements; and
- The business instruments to ensure no appropriate provisions.
What is the Lawyer’s Role in the EB-5 Visa?
If you want to ensure your investment visa application is approved as quickly as possible, you should have a trusted EB-5 lawyer handle your case from start to finish.
Our Austin Immigration lawyer will help you gather the required information and documentation for your EB-5 Visa. We will carefully prepare all documentation needed to obtain your EB-5 Visa approval. We will communicate with you and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) while the application is being processed up until adjudication.
An Austin immigration lawyer – Abogados de Inmigracion en Austin TX – can help you determine if an EB-5 Visa may benefit you or your family. Learn more by contacting Michael G. Murray, P.A today!