Thinking About an EB-5 Visa Investment? Some Things to Consider 

Moving from Hungary to the US is much more complicated than it sounds. But many people fall in love with the country after traveling and spending time there, so it makes sense why you’d want to stay longer. To remain in the United States forever, you have to apply for a green card.

However, unless you’re eligible through an immediate relative of a US citizen, it could take several years before your application is approved. What if you don’t have that kind of time?

An EB-5 visa investment is one of the fastest ways entrepreneurs and their families can become permanent US residents, but only if they invest based on the government’s investment criteria. 

What to Consider When Making an EB-5 Visa Investment

If you need help navigating your visa’s legal requirements, speak to the experts at EB-5 Visa Investments. They’ll walk you through the EB-5 process and counsel you on the following.

How Much Does the EB-5 Visa Cost (Visa, Documents, and Investment)?

The EB-5 investor visa costs between $4,020 and $4,900 USD. The first $3,675 is used to file Form I-526 if the expat is based in the US. If not, they have to pay a $345 processing fee. Then, the expat must pay $1,140 to file Form I-485 and $85 for needed biometric services.

This cost doesn’t include the price of a criminal record check or medical exam. If you plan to hire a lawyer or a service to help you with the process, you’ll need to tack on a couple thousand.

Don’t forget about the investment itself. To qualify for a visa, you have to invest $1,800,000 in a new commercial enterprise or $900,000 if the investment is located in a targeted employment area (TEA). A TEA will either have a high unemployment rate or be found in a rural area.

What Investments Receive Premium Processing (Fastest Approval)?

If you want to get your green card quickly, you’ll need to invest in a project deemed to be in the nation’s interest. Any project that aids with job or economic growth is usually seen as necessary. By investing in a TEA or rural location, you can get through the visa process in two years.

Should you Invest in a Commercial Enterprise or Regional Center?

The biggest difference between a regional center and a commercial enterprise is how the government classifies job creation. Job creation is an essential requirement for the EB-5.

You’ll need to create 10 full-time jobs to get an EB-5. If you’re investing in a new commercial enterprise, only direct job creation counts (i.e., who you hire directly in your business). If you invest in a regional center, indirect and induced jobs will be applicable to this criteria.

Remote and hybrid employees do qualify as employees as long as they’re located inside the US. This makes it easier to hire high-quality employees in TEA or less populated areas.

Should Your Exit Strategy Coincide With Your I-829 Filing Date?

Your exit strategy should be a key consideration when choosing a project to fund. The exit (or maturity) date of your investment should coincide with the I-829 filing day, which is the petition to remove your conditional residency status. Consult a lawyer before moving your “at risk” capital. 

If you live outside the US, your wait time could be as long as 8 to 9 years. Regardless, you can use the capital you receive at the end of this period to pay yourself back. This can help you offload your investment, but keep in mind that liquidity, especially in rural areas, is really thin.

What is the Average Rate of Return, and How Can I Improve It?

In the past, your rate of return would range from 3% to 4%, even though non-EB-5 visa projects of the same type would earn 12% to 18%. Thankfully, new regulations have changed the average return rate to 8% to 10% on many investments, which is great for savvy shoppers.

To make the most out of your investment, you should practice due diligence. Real estate agents that show EB-5 projects often highlight a building’s best features without showing the negatives. Or, even worse, some people will claim to represent the government when they don’t.

Be sure to vet each project, company, and person you work with to avoid these problems.

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