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Overview of EB-5 - for Indian applicants from >> Immigration >> EB5 Investor Visa

Prospective Immigrants to the US are beginning to speculate about the impending changes to immigration policy driven by President Trump’s administration. There is a strong likelihood that laws governing visas like H1-B and L1-B will be reviewed.

In this context, some enterprising High-net-worth individuals, with the means and resources, who are in a position to invest $0.5 to 1 million are evaluating if the US government’s Investor Immigrant-visa (a.k.a Investor Green Card) is a viable option.

The EB-5 program seems to be among the few immigration Visa programs that have broad support among representatives of America's leading political parties, primarily because it is seen as a “job creator.” In this section of, we will look at a brief overview of the program and let readers decide if it is right for them.

EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa References

What is the American EB5 Visa?

The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area - high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family. Initially, under the first EB-5 program, the foreign investor was required to create an entirely new commercial enterprise; however, under the Pilot Program investments can be made directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise (new, or existing - "Troubled Business"), or into a "Regional Center" - a 3rd party-managed investment vehicle (private or public), which assumes the responsibility of creating the requisite jobs. Regional Centers may charge an administration fee for managing the investor's investment. - Wikipedia

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (Official: USCIS Link)

USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:

  • Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
  • Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive.

Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program. This sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

Immigrant Investors Policy Manual (Official: USCIS Link) - This section includes Guidance, Updates and Resources for prospective immigrants

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes ​approximately​ 10,000 visas each fiscal year for ​immigrant investors​ (along with their spouses and unmarried children​ under the age of 21​) who have invested or are actively in the process of investing in ​a ​new commercial enterprise​ and satisfy the applicable job creation requirements​. ​Three thousand​ of the ​visas ​are set aside for ​immigrants​, ​and their eligible family members​,​ who invest in a new commercial enterprise within a USCIS​-​designated ​regional center.​ ​Regional centers ​are organized​ in the United States for the promotion of economic growth,​ including increased export sales,​ improved regional productivity, job creation, ​or​ ​increased domestic capital investment.​


Is the American EB5 Visa right for me?


The United States has historically been a land of immigrants, and offers a large, dynamic economy. The country also boasts of a large area with physical, legal and regulatory infrastructure ideally configured for entrepreneurs and businesses.

Modern day immigration, however, is highly restrictive and regulated. Those arriving in the US on Work visas (H1B or L1) have to wait for years before their immigrant visa applications are reviewed and approved. Same is the case with immigrant applications sponsored by family members.

For some people, especially high net-worth individuals who have the means and resources, EB-5 Investment Visa program is a compelling choice. If done right, the EB-5 investment visa is fast way to obtain a Green Card. The challenge is that like other immigration applications, the process to apply for EB-5 is not a simple process.

  • The application and supporting documentation requires review and inputs from attorneys, and accounts that can increase the cost and effort involved.
  • One needs to invest the $500K to Million dollars for over 5 years at a very nominal rate of interest.
  • In addition to the cost of application and investment required for EB5, one needs to plan for living and sustenance expenses after migrating to America
  • One needs to watch out for scams. Given the popularity of EB5 visas among wealthy families from Asia and elsewhere, fraudsters are cashing in (link: Watch out for this EB-5 scam)
  • EB-5 Program Will Be Slowed by Its Own Success, Chinese Governmental Cautions (link)
  • EThe dark side of EB-5 US visa: Exercising caution while pursuing the American dream (link: Financial Express)

Investor Alert: Investment Scams Exploit Immigrant Investor Program (USCIS and SEC caution investors)

The fact that a business is designated as a regional center by USCIS does not mean that USCIS, the SEC, or any other government agency has approved the investments offered by the business, or has otherwise expressed a view on the quality of the investment….As with any investment, it is important to research thoroughly any offering that purports to be affiliated with EB-5. Take these steps:
  • Confirm that the regional center has been designated by USCIS. If you intend to invest through a regional center, check the list of current regional centers on USCIS’s website at USCIS.GOV If the regional center is not on the list, exercise extreme caution. Even if it is on the list, understand that USCIS has not endorsed the regional center or any of the investments it offers.
  • Obtain copies of documents provided to USCIS. Regional centers must file an initial application (Form I-924) to obtain USCIS approval and designation, and must submit an information collection supplement (Form I-924A) at the end of every calendar year. Ask the regional center for copies of these forms and supporting documentation provided to USCIS.
  • Request investment information in writing. Ask for a copy of the investment offering memorandum or private placement memorandum from the issuer. Examine it carefully and research similar projects in evaluating the proposal. Follow up with any questions you may have. If you do not understand the information in the document or the issuer is unwilling or unable to answer your questions to your satisfaction, do not invest.
  • Ask if promoters are being paid. If there are supposedly unaffiliated consultants, lawyers, or agencies recommending or endorsing the investment, ask how much money or what type of benefits they expect to receive in connection with recommending the investment. Be skeptical of information from promoters that is inconsistent with the investment offering memorandum or private placement memorandum from the issuer.
  • Seek independent verification. Confirm whether claims made about the investment are true. For example, if the investment involves construction of commercial real estate, check county records to see if the issuer has obtained the proper permits and whether state and local property tax assessments correspond with the values the regional center attributes to the property. If other companies have purportedly signed onto the project, go directly to those companies for confirmation.
  • Examine structural risk. Understand that you may be investing in a new commercial enterprise that has no assets and has been established to loan funds to a company that will use the funds to develop projects. Carefully examine loan documents and offering statements to determine if the loan is secured by any collateral pledged to investors.
  • Consider the developer’s incentives. EB-5 regional center principals and developers often make capital investments in the projects they manage. Recognize that if principals and developers do not make an equity investment in the project, their financial incentives may not be linked to the success of the project.
If your investment through EB-5 turns out to be in a fraudulent securities offering, you may lose both your money and your path to lawful permanent residency in the United States. Carefully vet any EB-5 offering before investing your money and your hope of becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States.






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