The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program can be complex and highly nuanced. Even with help from professional resources, it's important to conduct your own due diligence to learn further about this little known information.
- One of the biggest issues for EB-5 visa applicants is that they do not show evidence of lawful source of capital. The applicant must document their source of funds. It is a time consuming process, but one of the biggest issues. Seeking a professional to help with the paper trail may be beneficial in the long run so that the I-526 petition does not get denied.
- It's a lot better to focus on the creation of indirect or induced jobs rather than direct jobs. This is a benefit of regional centers as they allow EB-5 investors to take credit for indirect or induced jobs as well as direct jobs, whereas, EB-5 investors who don't invest in a regional center project must provide proof that they created 10 direct jobs. It can be difficult to prove that 10 direct jobs for qualified U.S. citizens or permanent residents have been created. It is a USCIS requirement that 10 direct, indirect, or induced jobs be created. Otherwise, the EB-5 investors petition for the removal of the conditions on their residency may be denied.
- A USCIS approved regional center is not the same as an approved regional center project. Make sure to research the project you're interested in to find out if it's approved or in the process of being approved. Moreover, it also does not mean it is a good project to invest in.
- When you're preparing the I-526 petition, make sure that you prepare it thinking about the I-829. The I-829 is the form for removing the conditions on the residency requirement. It's how you receive unconditional residency status or green card status. In other words, it's extremely important.
- Additionally, when filling out the I-526 petition, be extra careful when filling out the correct description of your enterprise. If you make a mistake, the USCIS will look for evidence that you don't have, resulting in a denied petition.
- Don't be the first or last investor in a regional center project. Find a project that already has investors on board. Even better is if those initial investors on the project are already approved. The first few investors may learn the hard way that their project might not garner enough investors to get the project to completion. And, unfortunately, being the last investor may mean that all the jobs created were allocated to earlier investors. (It's a requirement of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program that each EB-5 investor be credited with creating 10 jobs for qualified U.S. citizens.)
- The full investment amount must be in escrow until the I-526 petition is approved. It must be "at risk" at the time of filing. The investment is then dated from the day that the funds are released from escrow. The USCIS may decide on a reduced investment for a targeted employment area (TEA) from the time of the investment.
- For the I-526 petition and the I-829 petition, the applicant does not necessarily have to prove that they have created the jobs, but that the jobs are expected to be created within the required period of time.
- Check to see if the regional center your interested in has had their I-829 petition approved or if it is pending or denied.
- When deciding on a regional center project look at their business plan, it may be very beneficial to choose a regional center with a more conservative or general business plan. The more specific the business plan is the more difficult it will be to handle changes and unexpected situations when they arise. General business plans may have an easier time handling changes when they arise. Additionally, a more conservative business plan may have a better chance of attracting the goal amount of investors. Most EB-5 investors aren't looking for a risky investment, their goal from investing is to obtain a green card.
- A regional center may provide an I-526 and I-829 package for you. It is up to you to take this to your immigration attorney for review. If your immigration attorney finds issues with the package, it is more likely than not that when it is filed with the USCIS, they too will find issues that need resolving. This can drag out the process.
- EB-5 investors only have to show that their initial $500,000 or $1,000,000 investment came from lawful sources. No proof is needed for any additional capital invested.
Let us know below in the comments if you have any questions about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.