The popularity of the EB-5 immigrant investor program is not only due to the great benefits investors obtain but also because of the flexibility the program allows. The investment model is not strict on a single route of investment and this allows the prospective investor to invest in a method that they are most comfortable with. Additionally, this flexibility speaks to the nature of the program mandate to be a true investment.
The I-924 form is a form used by U.S. businesses who seek regional center authority or status. This means that businesses or projects that require investors via the EB-5 program will apply with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS’) for official designation. The approval of the I-924 by USCIS provides these projects with the authority to collect foreign investment capital for allocation to their commercial enterprise or project.
A project with an approved I-924 means that USCIS has reviewed all the project’s documents and specifications and provided that the project meets all the requirements set by USCIS. For an EB-5 investor, investing in a project with an I-924 serves as an assurance of the legitimacy of the project. However, not all projects go through the process of obtaining an I-924 as it can take anything from 4 months to a year for approval. Businesses who wish to apply for one must present evidence of the following:
Proof that the project will generate the required 10 jobs for U.S. persons per application
Information on where the the project will be situated
Proof of allocation of the capital stack, marketing promotions and business plans
But what does this truly mean for an EB-5 investor? And most importantly how does investing in a project with an I-924 benefit their application?
When a project receives their I-924 approval it means that USCIS has approved their project to meet the requirements of the EB-5 program. It further serves as an assurance of the legitimacy of the project, at least from an immigration standpoint. For a prospective investor choosing that project to invest in means that their application has already obtained half of their approval from USCIS. It can thus be assumed that their application will be reviewed much quicker than those applications without a project with I-924 approval.
Investing in a project with an I-924 approval does give the investors an advantage over the rest of the applications that USCIS receives. Primarily due to the fact that all that the USCIS investigator needs to do is check and verify the applicant’s information to see whether their personal information meets the program requirements. Once USCIS has provided an I-924 actual approval or exemplar, they will not generally revisit the project documents once they appear on the I-526 petition. That is essentially half of the investors application process. It must however be noted that projects with I-924 approval are rare due to the costs, legal processes and duration it takes to obtain approval.
As the leading EB-5 specialists in Dubai, we at the American Legal Center prioritize obtaining projects that not only meet USCIS requirements but that are beneficial to the applicants short and long term goals. We look at things such as the project’s capability of success, whether it has an I-924 approval and does it meet USCIS requirements. While we cannot choose a specific project for the investor, the projects we do offer for selection are high quality projects that work for the best interest of the investor. Our team of U.S. licensed lawyers will show you which projects on the market currently have the I-924 designation. Additionally, we will always recommend for the investor to seek independent evaluation before committing to a project.
We are a team of U.S. licensed lawyers who specialize in the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Our offices are based in Downtown Dubai. Contact us today for your free consultation.