Here’s answers to some common questions potential EB-5 investors often have:
1. How Do I Qualify for an EB-5 Visa?
The EB-5 program requires a capital investment in an American new commercial enterprise (NCE). The minimum investment depends on where the applicant’s chosen NCE is located. Projects in a targeted employment area (TEA) will only require $900,000, while projects outside of a TEA will require an investment of $1,800,000. The majority of EB-5 investors choose to invest in an NCE organized by a regional center. Regional centers typically offer investment opportunities in a TEA, and work with EB-5 investors to ensure their application is approved. Although the capital required for an EB-5 visa is certainly not an insignificant amount, it’s important to remember that the investment will yield permanent residence in the US for you and your immediate family (spouse and children under the age of 21).
2. Can I use a Loan to Invest in an EB-5 Project?
There are a variety of acceptable sources of funds for EB-5 investments, including a loan from a financial institution or individual. In order to comply with USCIS guidelines loans used for EB-5 investments should be secured by the investors assets. In the event that you use a loan from an individual to fund your EB-5 investment you’ll also likely need to provide USCIS with documentation proving the funds comprising the loan were lawfully sourced.
3.Will I make returns on my investment?
EB-5 investors’ capital is required to be maintained at-risk during the two-year conditional permanent residency period, but it is likely to be tied up for longer than that. The amount of interest earned on your investment depends on the regional center you choose to invest with. Depending on the conditions of your investment with a regional center, your capital may be returned to you partially or in full — like any investment. Although the capital required for an EB-5 visa is certainly not an insignificant amount, it’s important to remember that the investment will yield permanent residence in the US and a pathway to American citizenship.
4. How Can I Make a Safe EB-5 investment?
While the requirement for an investor’s capital to be “at-risk” means no EB-5 investment can be 100% safe, by doing proper due diligence and consulting with an experienced immigration attorney investors can minimize risk. Choosing to invest in a trusted regional center is one way investors can help minimize the risk of their investment. Established trusted regional centers are experienced in ensuring investors are approved for an EB-5 visa, and many can boast of upwards of 90% of their investors receiving EB-5 visas
5. Am I eligible if I am on an H-1B visa?
H-1B visa holders are eligible to apply for an EB-5 visa without affecting their status. The EB-5 visa offers several benefits over the H-1B, such as green cards for your immediate family and freedom to live and work anywhere in the US. H-1B holders approved for an EB-5 visa can file form I-485 to adjust your status and become a conditional permanent resident.
6. How Do I Get Started?
Potential EB-5 investors should always consult with an experienced immigration attorney before beginning the application process. While on the surface, the EB-5 program’s requirements are very straightforward, it’s best to have an attorney to guide you through the process and prevent any mistakes that could result in your application being denied. Their skills and experience will ensure you’re able to obtain an EB-5 visa and start enjoying permanent residency in America.
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