The Top Five Key Considerations for EB-5 Investors
The United States EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (known as the EB-5 program) provides an opportunity for investors to obtain U.S. permanent resident status with an investment of $900,000 in the United States, which must create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
An investor looking to apply for the EB-5 program must consider a number of factors prior to submitting their petition (Form I-526) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here are the five top key considerations for EB-5 investors:
- Choosing the right regional center
Regional centers have been designated by USCIS to provide investment opportunities to EB-5 applicants and to facilitate the funding of job-creating projects. It is important to choose a regional center that meets the requirements of the EB-5 program. An investor is advised to choose a regional center with a track record of repaying the investment amount to their investors. There are over 1,000 regional centers registered with USCIS, all of which are of varying quality in terms of their experience and quality of the projects they offer. Among the many, there are only a handful of regional centers that have successfully hosted many projects with over a decade of experience. These few regional centers have gone out of their way to ensure the success of the projects they host and to ensure that clients are repaid back their capital investment on time.
- Choosing the right project
Investors need to ensure that they have submitted their funds to an acceptable EB-5 project. The investor must choose a project that has met the requirements approved by USCIS. That project must further provide various documentation such as a business plan, economic analysis report, job creation reporting, an offering memorandum, and others that would support the requirement to create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for U.S. persons. In choosing a project, an investor must look to several factors, including the capital structure of the project, the chances of its success, the number of jobs created, and whether the appropriate “TEA certifications” are in place to qualify for the minimum $900,000 investment threshold. These documents can be reviewed and confirmed with an experienced advisor or consultant that is experienced in reviewing many EB-5 projects. Also, the existence of transparency for the investor with respect to the project, such as whether the project site has a camera that would allow for the monitoring of the entire construction and whether quarterly financial and construction reporting is available for investors.
- Choosing the right immigration attorney
The knowledge and experience of an immigration attorney is required as they will prepare the I-526 petition to be submitted to USCIS. In their review USCIS officers look to see if all the required documentation is attached and all information provided with the petition. Working with the right immigration attorney is crucial to ensure that the application is properly submitted to USCIS. If the petition is filed incorrectly, or the required information is not present an investor may be issued a rejection notice. Bear in mind that many of the EB-5 applications filed are concentrated from countries such as China. The applications filed from that region are varying in the documentation required from other regions. It would be prudent to ensure that the consulting and legal teams are well versed in the documentation necessary from the particular region in which the investor is applying from. For example, many of the GCC Gulf States do not have an annual government taxing apparatus for income or corporate tax purposes. This could confuse the USCIS officer if certain documents are not presented for review. The advisors at The American Legal Center of Dubai have approved hundreds of EB-5 visas from GCC countries, emerging markets such as India, Pakistan, and North Africa such as Egypt and have filed the most EB-5 applications within this region.
- Providing sufficient evidence of their source of funds.
An investor’s source and path of funds for the investment must both be lawful. An investor must have sufficient proof of the lawfulness of the funds. Should a prospective investor fail to provide the documentation needed to prove the funds were obtained legally then the petition may be rejected. Your consulting and legal team will provide you a list of documents to begin collecting in preparation for your I-526 application. Everyone’s documents will vary based on the fact that investors’ source of funds are different. Your advisor should have a thorough discussion with you and prescribe a list of documents for your application as necessary. Generally speaking, the basic documents necessary would be similar to those of which an investor would provide to their bank in support of applying for a loan. These documents are their bank statements showing proof of their source of funds, identification documents, their trade license or their employment letters connecting the income in their bank statements with their vocation or job.
- Choosing the right consultants
The right consultant is crucial in ensuring that the needs of the investor are met. Consultants act as a liaison between the client, attorney of record, and the regional center. Consultants will be responsible for overseeing the application, including conducting source of funds analysis, introducing the client to the right regional center, assisting the client in choosing an optimal project, and regularly communicating with the attorney of record to ensure the timely filing of the application. You should feel a sense of ease with your advisors as the EB-5 process takes a few years to complete and you will develop many questions along the way.
Our team of U.S. licensed lawyers have years of experience in helping individuals and families apply for U.S. residency via the EB-5 program. If you are ready to start your migration journey with The American Legal Center of Dubai, contact us today for more information.