Navigating the EB-5 process can be complicated, but the process can be made more accessible with insight and guidance. Whether you’re an EB-5 investor or an immigration lawyer, we have some tips to help you get started.
First, investors must choose a business model. They can invest in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) or a “Regional Center” project.
Pre-Investment Due Diligence
Performing Pre-Investment Due Diligence is crucial for investors to minimize risk and make an informed decision. Several factors are to consider, including financial statements, legal and regulatory environment, market feasibility studies, competitive analysis, and industry trends.
Investors should examine the company’s history, management, and financial health. They should review the company’s balance sheet, income, and cash flow statement. The financial statements should also give them a clear idea of the business’s profitability and risk factors.
It is important to note that EB-5 investments must be made using capital acquired lawfully. This means the money must have been earned from a legal source, such as legal employment, private businesses, real estate, or stocks and bonds.
Aside from this, EB-5 investors must be sure that the company they are investing in is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). In addition, if the investment is in a TEA, the minimum investment amount must be at least $800,000. This requirement is a significant concern for many EB-5 investors as it can significantly impact their ability to invest in a targeted business.
The EB-5 process flow chart can be complex and confusing. Often, investors find themselves overwhelmed and lost in the process. It is essential to follow a step-by-step process and take your time to avoid this.
Investing involves deploying money into projects or activities expected to produce income, profits, or gains. This can be in stocks, bonds, shares, funds, cryptocurrencies, or real estate.
EB-5 investors must choose an investment project that will generate a positive return on their investment. This is important because EB-5 investments are a type of risky investment that can have high failure rates and lose value over time.
In addition, EB-5 projects must create at least ten full-time U.S. worker jobs during the first two years after the investment is made. This can be challenging for some applicants, especially those investing in smaller or start-up businesses.
However, several strategies can be employed to help ensure that the investment meets all EB-5 requirements. For example, an investor can create a new commercial enterprise to complete the job creation requirement or restructure an existing business.
Restructuring can be accomplished by changing the name, relocating the business from one location to another, or purchasing a different property type. In addition, a change in the ownership structure can be deemed a difference in the business and is therefore acceptable for EB-5 purposes.
USCIS attempts to provide flexibility in allowing change during the EB-5 process through “redeployment” policies. These policies are designed to recognize that success in the business world often requires business owners and investors to adapt their strategies as they adapt to changing conditions. However, these policies must be applied not to jeopardize the investor’s responsibility to place their investment capital at risk or fulfill the job creation requirement.
Filing the I-526 Petition
The I-526 petition is EB-5 investors use to demonstrate that their capital investment was obtained lawfully. It is one of the most challenging parts of the EB-5 process because USCIS expects applicants to provide traceable evidence to prove their sources of funds.
Investors can use various legal sources to make their EB-5 investments, including salary payments, real estate sales, secured loans, stock proceeds, and gifts from third parties. However, it is essential to consult with an immigration lawyer about what kinds of documentation are needed and how to document your source of funds.
Once you file your I-526 petition, it will be sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where it will be reviewed. Depending on the processing priority and case complexity, it can take months or even years for USCIS to respond to your petition.
Usually, USCIS sends you a Notice of Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) with a deadline and a list of information they require from you. You must submit all the requested documents by that deadline to avoid being denied.
You should seek a qualified attorney and accountant to help you through the process of filing your EB-5 application. At Scott Legal, P.C., we can help you find a regional center and draft a business plan and legal brief that demonstrate how your investment will meet all of the requirements for the EB-5 program. We also provide a complete range of immigration and financial services to our clients.
Obtaining a Green Card
A Green Card is a legal document that allows you to live and work in the United States as a permanent resident (LPR). You can apply for many government jobs and receive various health and educational benefits. You can also travel to many other countries and join the military.
There are several types of Green Cards. One is an employment-based Green Card, which is given to you if you have found a job in the U.S., and your employer will sponsor you.
Another type is a family-based Green Card, which is granted to a spouse or child of an immigrant or a naturalized citizen. The process for these types of Green Cards can vary from case to case but usually takes between a few months and a few years, depending on the preference category and whether or not your family member is also a U.S. citizen.
Regardless of the type of Green Card you have, there are specific requirements you need to meet. Generally, for employment-based Green Cards, you need to have found a job in the U.S., and you need to have an official contract that proves you are working in that position for at least 12 months after the date your Green Card is issued.
For family-based Green Cards, you need a foreign-born spouse or unmarried child of an immigrant or naturalized citizen willing to be your sponsor. These children and spouses count against the annual 140,000 Green Card caps, so family-based Green Cards often have significant wait times.