EB-5

EB-5 Program

EB-5 Program

If you wish to participate in the EB-5 program, which requires a minimum initial investment of $500,000, additional details can be provided during a free initial consultation.

Our job is to provide you with the following solutions for your EB5 investment:

  • Purchasing representation for EB5 projects (ID new projects with high level of due diligence).
  • Analysis of EB5 projects (feasibility, and job creation impact risk)
  • Identification of qualifying and potential EB5 projects for investment (Regional center selection)
  • Follow up with the investment by providing a bridge between attorneys involved in the process as well as with the companies offering projects under EB5 rules
  • Deal with regional center on behalf of client from the beginning of the process to the conditional green card approval

Step 1

  • APPLICATION process – takes up to 45 days until the funding day.
  • (Fill forms: Questionnaires, Subscription and PPM analysis)
  • Deposit funds $500,000 USD and application fee average $50,000.00 USD into escrow accounts

Step 2

  • I-526 APPROVAL PROCESS – takes 14 to 19 months in average
  • Submit I-526 to USCIS

Step 3

  • Apply for CONDITIONAL GREEN CARD – 3 to 6 months Average
  • After I-526 approval
  • Receive a “Conditional” green card – valid for initial 24 months

Step 4

  •  I-829 APPROVAL PROCESS 8 to 10 months average
  •  Submit I-829

Step 5

  • I-829 approval
  • Your “Conditional” status is removed
  • Green Card valid Permanently

Investment Returned

  • About 5 years after funding
  • Investment Principal returned to investor
  • Option to apply for US Citizenship 5 years after receipt of conditional green card

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

The EB-5 investor visa program was introduced in 1990. It has proven to be an effective path to permanent residency and American citizenship for foreign investors. The program was modified in 1992 and now, requires a lesser investment amount and is aimed specifically at high-unemployment areas. Investors may also choose to invest in a designated Regional Center, where they remain a 'silent partner', and have no direct involvement in managing the business project. Here, we have provided a list of answers to the 10 most common EB-5 investor questions.
As of March 2016, the average time is 17.5 months for processing of an I-526 immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.
According to the EB-5 law, all invested capital must be 'at risk.' The risk can be collateralized against the building under construction, plant and equipment needed to run the business, or other business-related assets, but there can be no guarantees.
Yes. The investment must show documentation to prove it is a gift and not a loan, and that the gift, itself, was not produced as the result of a loan.
The I-829 will be denied, and permanent residency status will be ended.
Firstly, review the investment agreement and offering documents, and consult with your attorney. Have the business plan reviewed and decide whether the project is behind schedule and cannot be brought back up to its expected status. Contact the project management team and other investment partners. Based on the results of your investigation, seek further legal advice and act accordingly.
The investor is not required to have any prior business experience. Likewise, the investor is not required to demonstrate any minimum level of education. The only requirement for the investor is that he/she has the required net worth and capital.
Each person has his/her own reason for desiring permanent residency in the United States.
Having a Green Card provides many benefits that accomplish these goals:
• Legal permanent residents under the EB-5 Investor Program enjoy many of the same
benefits as United States citizens;
• The U.S. is a safe harbor for your family as well as your personal and business investments. Any member of the family with a Green Card can enter the U.S. at any time and stay as long as he/she wishes;
• Investors have constant and easy access to the U.S. for personal, trade and business purposes;
• Permanent residents travel to the U.S. without the need of a Visa;
• Investors may work, live, or own their own proprietary business anywhere in the U.S.;
• The U.S. has internationally recognized colleges and universities for basic education and
graduate study. As a resident, the investor can benefit from lower tuition costs;
• The cost of living in the U.S. is lower than most large industrial nations. Consumer goods, services, and housing are significantly less expensive than comparable services and goods in most other countries;
• Students may work in the U.S. while they attend college and then continue to work
afterward, enabling the student to pay part of his/her education and to work while completing graduate and postgraduate studies;
• The U.S. provides many financial, social and education entitlements: public schools, health and medical attention, social security and education;
• The Investor has the ability to bring other family members to the U.S. after proper application and can obtain U.S. citizenship after 5 years;
• The permanent residency requires no renewal or re-application. Other U.S. non-immigrant Visas, such as E-2 and H may never result in permanent residency, have time limits, and require additional filing with the USCIS or Department of State. Furthermore, U.S. Immigration Laws may change and prevent future approval when a renewal of Visa is required.
Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual “arm’s-length transaction” and is not a mere ruse that the gifted funds will be given back after permanent resident status is granted.
Under regulations, an investor who is approved for the EB-5 immigrant Visa receives a “conditional” Green Card, which must be reissued after two years, subject to removal of conditions. Otherwise, the two cards offer the same rights and privileges.
A “conditional” Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. One year and nine months (21 months) after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application with the USCIS. It must verify that all required funds have been invested and employment created in a regional center — directly or indirectly. When the “conditional” resident status has been lifted, full resident status is granted and a permanent Green Card is issued.
Rejection in the past does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reasons related to immigration fraud or other major problems. It is most important that all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration history problems be disclosed to GCFRC and legal counsel in advance of application.
Husband, wife and any unmarried children under the age of 21. It is possible for adopted children to be included in the family. Upon approval you will receive a form evidencing approval and a travel document. You should also receive a temporary Green Card in the mail.
The most common problem area has been insufficient documentation for the source of funds. It is better to provide too much information rather than too little. In this era of terror alerts, and suspicions about money laundering, USCIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds.
Once you receive a Green Card, there are only two conditions required to keep it for life. First, you must not become removable or inadmissible; the most common way of doing this is to be convicted of a serious crime.
The second requirement is that you not abandon the United States as your permanent residence.
Remaining outside the United States for more than one year does not mean you have automatically given up your Green Card. If your absence was intended from the start to be only temporary, you may still keep your permanent resident status. However, you may no longer use your Green Card as a U.S. entry document. You must either apply at a U.S. consulate for a special immigrant Visa as a returning resident or you must obtain what is known as a reentry permit.
The primary rule surrounding Green Cards is that you lose it if you give up your U.S. residence. If you are absent for less than six months, you will rarely have a problem as it is up to USCIS to prove you abandoned your residency.
However, if you give up your U.S. residency, you will lose your Green Card.
You can apply for a reentry permit (on form I-131) before you leave the U.S. You can depart before the reentry permit is approved.
With such a reentry permit, you can return to the U.S. even after one year until the reentry
Permit’s expiration date. Reentry permits are issued for two years. You cannot renew a reentry permit, but you can return to the U.S. for a short time and apply for a new one. The second such reentry permit will be granted for two years, but subsequent ones may only be approved for one year at a time.
There are several answers to this question.
If you received your Green Card through marriage, and have not been married for two years, you should have a “conditional” Green Card that is good for two years. Also, if you received your Green Card through investment (EB-5), you should have a “conditional” Green Card for two years.
You must apply for removal of the conditional status within 90 days before the end of the initial two years. Once that is approved, you have a regular “unconditional” Green Card. If you apply either too early or too late, you will have a problem and should consult an immigration attorney for advice.
If you do not have the conditional status removed, the Green Card will become invalid at the end of two years, and your permanent resident status will be terminated.
“Unconditional” Green Cards are good for ten years. This does not mean that after ten years, you stop being a legal permanent resident – only the card itself becomes invalid. You must apply for a new one using form I-90. Without a current Green Card, you cannot use it to travel out of the U.S. or use the Green Card as evidence that you are permitted to work.
Targeted Employment Area is defined in Title 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 as an area that, at the time of investment, is either a Rural Area or an area which has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. A Rural Area is 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.
The EB-5 program allots 10,000 Visas per year for aliens and family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 3,000 immigrant Visas are set aside for aliens who invest in designated regional centers. An additional 3,000 are available for those investing in regional centers located within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
• Qualifying investors and their spouse and minor children (under 21) will be granted US lawful permanent residency;

• No minimum requirements as to age, ability to speak English, employment experience or education;

• Investor and family may live/work anywhere in the United States. Minor children may obtain employment, subject to age, state and governmental laws and regulations;

• Education benefits including admission to universities at U.S. resident costs;

• Does not require immigrant investors to manage their investment daily. After five years, the investor and his/her family may obtain U.S. citizenship, subject to meeting all immigration requirements, as required by law.

Visit the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigrations Services website. A link to immigrant investment Visa information is available at:http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
Yes. The EB-5 investor visa program ignores your location, or domicile, at the time of your application. There are two possibilities. If you are lawfully in a third country (not your home state or the USA) then you may apply via the US Embassy in that country. If you do not have lawful status in that country (because your visa has expired, for example), then you may apply from that country, but you would have to return to your home country for consular processing.
I-829 IS A Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.
The principal investment is typically returned in one of two ways, depending on the kind of investment made. In a loan model, the principal is returned when the Job Creating Enterprise repays the loan to the New Commercial Enterprise (NCE), and the NCE cashes out its investors.
In an equity model, the investor must find a willing buyer to purchase the equity interest at fair market value. The buyer may be the NCE, the developer, or a third party. The funds cannot be returned until after I-829 approval.
No specific checklist of documentation has been issued. The documentation must be appropriate, clear, and verifiable. If, for example, the funds were inherited, then a will or trust document would serve the purpose. If they were obtained from a previous business investment, for example, then tax returns and evidence of direct payout would be appropriate.
The I-829 would continue to be processed, but the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) or the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) may question whether the returning individual had abandoned their status. That presumption would need to be rebutted by producing appropriate documentation. A re-entry permit should be obtained before leaving the country, if a six month absence is a possibility.
There are different requirements to be met, and your attorney will advise you. Essentially, you must have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years, be of good moral character, not have been absent from the US for longer than 6 months at any one time, have been resident in the US for at least 2.5 years in the previous 5, and pass the required knowledge and competency tests
Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that his/her assets were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the investor prove his/her investment funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means.
Upon approval of I-526 Petition, you must wait for notification from the U.S. Consulate in your home country to prepare documents for the Visa interview. At the interview, the consulate officer may address these issues and information printed on the I-526 application, including asking the investor to summarize the nature of his/her immigrant investment. If the investor and his/her family are in the United States, then they may apply for adjustment of status by filing form I-485 and supporting documents. The application may be filed at the appropriate office of the USCIS.
Family members can interview in different countries. The country of origin or where the family has current ties is the standard interview site. Often one member of the family is located in another country, such as a student attending school in the U.S.
The student does not have to return to the country of origin and can adjust status in the United States at the district office of the USCIS.
After making the investment and electing to proceed with the Visa request, you must enter the United States within 180 days of Visa issuance from the Consulate. As a permanent resident, you are required to live in the U.S. for more than 180 days each year. But, once you become a citizen, residency requirements no longer apply.
Once you obtain a Green Card, and become a legal permanent resident, you have most of the rights and obligations of U.S. citizens, except that you cannot vote and are not entitled to say Federal jobs and positions. Your Green Card is your most important travel and identification document. When your Green Card arrives, please look at it carefully. You may need to extend it in 10 years. If you replace it before then because it is lost, stolen, or duplicated, you may file a form with the INS.
One of the most important rights legal permanent residents possess is the right to obtain U.S. citizenship after five (5) years. There are two ways to become a U.S. citizen. One is by being born in the U.S. The other is by naturalization. The first step in becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). Being a LPR for 5 years is a basic requirement to qualify for naturalization. Once becoming a U.S. citizen, an individual is entitled to benefits including the right to vote and hold public office.
Residents of only a few countries are excluded (e.g. Iran and Iraq). In most cases, however, if the applicant is able to leave the excluded country and has the necessary capital to qualify under the program, legal counsel will be able to help the applicant qualify for the Visa approval.
An Escrow Bank Account (Trust) is a legal, interest-bearing account established in a bank to hold the initial deposit in a trust until the completion of Visa processing. This type of account is commonly used in the sale of real estate, businesses and personal property. GCFRC has established an escrow (trust) account for the purpose of safely holding an investor’s funds at a leading bank in the United States. Under the agreements entered into with the servicing affiliate, the investor’s minimum required capital contribution is not authorized to be released from the Project escrow (trust) account by the bank until the I-526 Petition has been approved. This process is created to protect the investor.
The minimum required capital contribution from the investor is placed in a legal, interest bearing escrow (trust) bank account. When an escrow (trust) bank account is established, the funds continue to belong to the investor; however, they are committed to be placed into the investment upon petition approval. The bank has an agreement with the investor that requires the funds to be released from the account only when the petition is approved by the USCIS.
Out-of-status nationals are no longer permitted to apply for permanent residency from within the United States. They must first return to their country of origin and apply through the United States Embassy there. Examples of “out-of-status” individuals are students, tourists and E-2 treaty investors who no longer have valid Visas because they remained in the United States after their Visas expired or were revoked. Use extreme caution.
A “Regional Center”
• Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
• Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and
• Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.
The EB-5 Visa category started in 1990. Regional Centers began in 1993. The State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Development formed its regional center in 1997. A ski resort was utilized as the initial business model to justify and support the application for Regional Center Designation, which was duly approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
During the mid 1990s several companies competed for investment capital from foreign investors through the EB-5 program. Most of the companies didn’t offer sound investment opportunities, did not raise the full $1 million investment capital and/or did not hire the required number of employees.
INS wanted to stop these abuses of the program. Due to lawsuits, the EB-5 program was effectively placed on hold between 1998 and 2002. In 2002, Congress passed a new law to protect pre-1998 investors. Also, in a case commonly known as “Chang,” the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that INS may not apply its new rules retroactively. In August 2003, INS began approving regional center petitions for the first time since 1998.
It is now common knowledge that EB-5 immigration petitions should be approved by the INS if they’re based on sound investments in designated regional centers for the full $1 million dollars [$500,000 in Targeted Employment Areas (TEA)] and include the proper supporting documentation. In October 2009, the EB-5 pilot program was extended for three years, until September 30, 2012. At that time, it may be further extended or potentially expire.
EB-5 regulations require involvement in management or policy making. The regulations deem a limited liability corporation, which is properly structured and conforms to the Corporations Act, as sufficiently engaged in the EB-5 enterprise.
The EB-5 Visa permits employment in the U.S. for the investor and his/her family. Quite simply, the EB-5 Visa gives you the opportunity and flexibility to do what you want in the United States. If you do not want to actively manage your business, you should consider an EB-5 regional center investment.