The EB-5 Program is an increasingly popular avenue for developers to attain EB-5 funding for their projects when traditional methods such as bank loans are not available.
How can developers and project managers find EB-5 funding? Here are several tips:
- Work with a regional center. Working with an experienced regional center has many benefits. Most regional center projects are located in targeted employment areas (TEAs) so the investment requirement is lowered from $1 million to only $500,000, which attracts a lot more EB-5 investors. Some regional centers already have marketing plans or connections to help fund your project. A regional center with a strong reputation is a huge marketing point that could help attract investors. Also, one of the major advantages of working with a regional center is indirect job creation. One of the two main requirements of the EB-5 Program is job creation, so the fact that regional centers have an easier job creation requirement will help attract investors.
- In addition to using a regional center for indirect job creation, it's important to try to create more jobs than necessary. Each EB-5 investor must create 10 jobs for qualified U.S. workers in order to be approved and receive their green cards. Therefore, it's important to make sure those jobs are created. If you have 12 investors, which means your EB-5 project must create 120 jobs, aim for creating 150 jobs so that there is a buffer in case something unexpected happens in the project. EB-5 investor want to invest in projects that have the least amount of risk possible. Their main goal is not a return on their investment, but fulfilling the EB-5 Program's requirements so that they can attain green cards for themselves and their families.
- Create a solid marketing plan. The key to getting EB-5 funding is finding out who your target EB-5 investor is. If you're looking for Chinese investors, visit Chinese EB-5 agencies and work with top agents to find qualified investors. You'll have a lot of competition, so creating a strong marketing campaign that highlight's the best aspects of your EB-5 project is critical.
- Create a sense of trust through communication and transparency. One main requirement of the EB-5 Program is that the EB-5 projects be at risk, so being upfront about the potential risks involved in your project will actually help create trust between you and your investors. Being transparent with your investors requires you to stay on top of your EB-5 project and conduct due diligence.
- Apply for "exemplar status" or EB-5 project pre-approval from USCIS. If your project is pre-approved by USCIS, EB-5 investors will be more willing to fund your project because you've already moved one step ahead of the competition and reduced waiting times for investors!