EB-5 FAQs:

  1. How many immigrant visas are allotted for this classification?
  2. What is the history of the EB-5 visa category?
  3. What are some of the benefits of the EB-5 visa program?
  4. Is EB-5 a truly passive investment?
  5. Where can I find a copy of the relevant EB-5 law and regulations to review?
  6. I want to invest in the USA and get a Green Card, is the EB-5 visa suitable for me?
  7. What if I want to manage my own business?
  8. EB-5 Adjustment of Status/Consular Interview Preparation Instructions
  9. FAQ for EB-5 Investors at Consulate Interview

 

Answers:

  1. How many immigrant visas are allotted for this classification?

    The EB-5 program allots 10,000 visas per year for aliens and family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S.workers.  3,000 immigrant visas are set-aside for aliens who invest in designated regional centers,areas of high unemployment or other qualifying areas.

  2. What is the history of the EB-5 visa category?

    The EB-5 visa category started in 1990. Regional Centers began in 1993.

    During the mid-1990’s, several companies competed for investment capital from foreign investors for the EB-5 program.  Most of the companies did not offer sound investment opportunities, did not raise the full one million dollar investment capital or hire the required number of employees.

    The INS wanted to stop program abuse, which resulted in lawsuits. So, the EB-5 program was effectively placed on hold between 1998 and 2002.  Congress passed a new law in 2002 to protect the pre-1998 investors.  Also, in a case commonly known as “Chang”, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the INS may not apply their new regulations retroactively.  Then, in August 2003, the INS began approving regional center petitions for the first time since 1998.

    It is common knowledge that EB-5 immigration petitions, based on sound investments in designated regional centers for the full one million dollars as prescribed by the rules, with the proper supporting documentation, should be approved.

  3. What are some of the benefits of the EB-5 visa program?

    • Qualifying investors, their spouse and their minor children (under 21 years old) will be granted U.S. Lawful, Permanent Residency
    • No minimum requirements as to age, ability to speak English, employment experience, or education
    • Investor and family may live/work anywhere in theUnited States.  Minor children may obtain employment, subject to age, state and governmental laws and regulations.
    • Educational benefits including admission to universities at the same cost asU.S.residents
    • The EB-5 program does not require immigrant investors to manage their investment on a day-to-day basis.
    • After five years, the investor and their family may obtainU.S.citizenship, subject to meeting all immigration requirements, as mandated under the law.
  4. Is EB-5 a truly passive investment?

    The EB-5 regulations require involvement in management or policy making.  The regulations deem a limited liability corporation (LLC), which is properly structured and conforms to the Corporations Act, as sufficiently engaged in the EB-5 enterprise.

  5. Where can I find a copy of the relevant EB-5 law and regulations to review?

    The United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services website provides immigrant investment visa information at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis.

  6. I want to invest in the USA and get a Green Card.  Is the EB-5 visa program suitable for me?

    The EB-5 visa permits employment in theU.S.for the investor and their family.  The EB-5 visa gives you the opportunity and flexibility to choose how you want to satisfy the employment requirement.  If you do not want to actively manage your business, you should consider a regional center EB-5 investment.

  7. What if I want to manage my own business?

    If you want to manage your own business, consider an L-1 (Non-Immigrant Intra-company Transferee), E-2 Visa (Non-Immigrant Treaty Investor), or EB-5 Alien Entrepreneur Investment by investing $1,000,000.00 into your own business which you control, and create the necessary 10 new jobs within a new enterprise.  If your goal is to have a Green Card and not to actively manage a business, it can be less expensive to utilize a structured investment program like a Regional Center EB-5 category rather than starting and maintaining your own business.

  8. EB-5 Adjustment of Status/Consular Interview Preparation Instructions

    If you are an EB-5 immigrant visa applicant, you will be scheduled for an interview at the end of the I-526 application process. Your interview may take place at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country if you are residing abroad or at the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services Office in the United States if you are in the U.S.

    Usually, interviews are scheduled about one month in advance so you should have enough time to prepare. As soon as your interview is scheduled, our office will send you information regarding: your medical exam, documentation required for the interview, creation of your consular account, and other basic instructions. This article focuses only on the EB-5 component of yourinterview process.

    The purpose of the interview is for the U.S. authorities to verify the information provided in your application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process, and to determine the credibility of the applicant seeking permanent residence in the United States. After reviewing the contents of your application, analyzing your documents, and studying your responses to the interview questions, the officer will make a determination as to your admissibility to the United States as an immigrant.

    Prior to your appearance at the interview, it is recommended that you become familiar with the contents of your I-526 petition, including the project details as well as the source and path of funds for your EB-5 investment. You may also be asked about your employment and immigration history, your investment, the business plan, and the terms and location of your EB-5 investment, You should also be able to explain your source of funds, i.e., how you lawfully obtained the capital you invested into your EB-5 investment. If you used an escrow account that was conditioned upon your I-526 petition being approved, you should have a bank statement to show that the funds were transferred out of escrow to the EB-5 project upon approval of your I-526 petition. Our office is able to provide you with a digital copy of your I-526 application package which contains all of this information in the event you need to review it prior to the interview date.

  9. FAQ for EB-5 Investors at Consulate Interview

     

     

    Hopefully these suggestions will make this difficult immigration phase a little easier and more pleasant. Good planning is essential to success. Should you need additional information, please contact office.