Because the investment required by EB-5 program is a considerable one, it is important that EB-5 investors understand all the aspects of the EB-5 process. Choosing the right EB-5 project is particularly significant if the EB-5 investor is to be successful.
EB-5 projects are usually sponsored by regional centers and even though EB-5 investors can form their own commercial enterprises, almost 90-95% of all EB-5 visa applicants invest in a company that is sponsored by a regional center. EB-5 investors must direct their required capital investment to a particular commercial enterprise which is funding a particular investment project or an EB-5 project. EB-5 investments must be made in an EB-5 project that is considered to be a new commercial enterprise and that will help create 10 fulltime jobs for the US workers.
New commercial enterprises are defined as lawful, for profit businesses that were created after November 29, 1990. Older enterprises might qualify if the EB-5 investment causes significant business restructuring or increases the number of employees or the net worth of an existing business by about 40%. The enterprises can be structured in any number of ways, such as a sole proprietorship, limited or general partnership, corporation, business trust, or as other publicly or privately owned business structures.
What are the Types of EB-5 Projects?
EB-5 projects assume many different business models and operate within many different industries. Following are the types of EB-5 projects:
- Mixed use retail
- Sports Stadiums
- Agricultural developments, including wineries and farms
- Electric vehicles
- Biotech and medical technologies
- Entertainment venues
- Convention centers
- Office buildings
Choosing an EB-5 Project
Choosing an EB-5 Regional Center and project to invest in can be quite challenging. Yet, choosing a regional center and EB-5 project that meets the required legal criteria and is viable as a business is perhaps the most important step of the EB-5 process, since the investors’ permanent residency is dependent on the ability of the project to create jobs and adhere to the required legal criteria. Investors might initially be interested in a particular project because they are familiar with the industry or project location. However, there are certain due diligence questions that EB-5 visa applicants should ask before deciding on where exactly to invest. Some of the good questions to ask include:
- How MANY eb-5 investors have already committed to the project?
- How are jobs created? How are they allocated amongst the investors?
- Where are other EB-5 investors in the visa application process?
- What risks are involved with the project?
- What is the exit strategy from the project upon receipt of permanent residency?
- What are the projected returns on the investment?
- Will non EB-5 funds be used on the project? Where will this funding originate?
- Will the investment and related fees be refunded if the I-526 petition is denied?
- What are the credentials of the project’s principal?
- What EB-5 experience do the regional centers’ immigration and securities counsel have?
- What is the screening process involved for potential investors?
- Have the regional center or project principals ever been involved in a lawsuit?
- What economic models are used to forecast that the required number of jobs will be created?
- Does the project qualify for the lowered $900,000 investment requirement?
No one should pressure you into a particular regional center project. Just make sure that you do your homework before making your EB-5 investment. Moreover, you may contact a legit website for a cost-free assessment of your eligibility to participate in the EB-5 program, for general immigration purposes.