Top 6 Questions Clients Ask About the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program

by Scott Legal, P.C.
Contact

Scott Legal Services, P.C. often fields questions from potential investors regarding the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program.  In order to assist our clients, we have developed this summary of the top 6 questions asked about the EB-5 program.  The EB-5 process is a complicated one but if you have the funds, this is an excellent way for someone and their family to get a green card and ultimately become a U.S. citizen.  Generally speaking the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa (“EB-5 Visa”) requires that you invest either $1,000,000 in a city settings, or $500,000 in rural settings, and in return, the U.S. Government will give you and your family a Green Card.  In order to qualify, you must also create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers and meet some other requirements.  Read more about the EB-5 requirements by clicking here.  Also, read more about the six steps required to get an EB-5 Visa by clicking here.  Here are the top 6 EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.

1.  I heard that in order to get an EB-5 Visa I have to create jobs for 10 people.  If I buy a business that already has 10 employees, have I met the 10 employee hiring requirement?

Generally No.  In order to qualify for an EB-5 Visa an investor must create (rather than preserve) at least 10 full time jobs for U.S. workers within two years after you are given the green card and enter the country.   The key here is that the jobs must be CREATED and generally existing jobs do not count towards the total.   In a simple example, if a company has 10 full-time employees on day 1 and 20 after 2 years has past, this is what the government is looking for.  More often than not though, the calculation related to employees is complicated as people resign, are terminated and retire and this is all factored into the calculation.  Your lawyer will work with you to best position your application and make sure that you are aware of how employees are counted.

The above answer is “generally” no as in certain situations you may be able to prove that you “preserved jobs” instead of creating them but in order to do this you must meet very specific criteria that demonstrate that the business you purchased is a troubled business and those jobs would have been lost if you did not step in.

2. Do I have time to create 10 full-time jobs or do I have to hire the employees on day 1?

When you obtain a green card under the EB-5 program, you are initially given a “conditional” green card and the conditions are removed in two years after you show that you have created 10 full-time jobs.  You do not have to create the jobs on day one and generally speaking you have 2 years to create the 10 full-time jobs.  The job creation estimate should be clearly delineated in your business plan which should specify when you plan to hire the employees.  See more about developing effective business plans by clicking here.  In certain circumstances, you may even be able to hire employees within a reasonable time after the two-year period.

3. I have heard that I can invest $500,000 in a regional center that has been approved by the government.  As the regional center has been “government approved” does that mean that I will get my green card for sure?

No.  In order to attract foreign investors as a regional center, regional centers must submit an application and be approved by the government. This approval does not mean that your green card will be approved though as the regional center must still meet the stringent criteria of creating jobs.  If the regional center does not do this, you will not get your green card.

4.  As the regional centers have to be approved by the government, is my investment safe?

No.  When you invest in a regional center your investment is like any other investment and you could lose all of it.  You should evaluate the risk reward profile related to the investment and many hire a professional (eg. C.P.A.) to evaluate the investment.  Regional centers have been known to go bankrupt and if that happens you lose your money and you will not get your green card.

5.  How long does the EB-5 Investor Visa take to get & How Much Does It Cost?

Processing times vary depending on the volume of applications USCIS received. Estimated Processing times are 6-8 months for the I-526 petition and just over 4 months processing of the applications for consular processing or adjustment of status.  All in all you should have a green card in about a year.  The timing could be longer if there are issues with you application or security concerns and the number of applications has significantly increased over the last year.

EB-5 Visas are complicated Visas and your lawyer will work with you throughout a 3 year period. Given the complexity of the Visa, the number of applications/petitions that must be filed and the extensive consult that is typically required, this Visa is expensive.

Legal fees usually start at around $15,000 and this amount will rise for complex cases.  In addition, this amount does not include the hefty filing fees for the various petitions that must be filed.  EB-5 visa investors also need to budget for regional center administration costs which vary considerably from center to center; currently the range is $25,000 at the lower end to above $60,000 at the higher end. Additionally some regional centers charge an upfront deposit for a copy of their prospectus.  You may also incur costs for investment evaluation and business plan development.

6.  Are there other good Investor Visa options?

The E-2 Visa is also a great Visa for an Investor if you are from one of the treaty countries.  Some opt for this Investor Visa because the investment requirement is significantly less and you do not have any specific job creation requirements. This Visa is particularly attractive for those who have foreign source income that they may not want taxed in the U.S.. The drawback of the E-2 Visa is that it does not lead to a green card.  Find out more about the E-2 Visa by clicking here.

How Can Scott Legal Services, P.C. Help You with Your EB-5 Visa?

All in all an EB-5 Visa is a great Visa option for those who have the money and wish to start a business in the U.S..  The Visa does have an extensive documentation requirement and you are strongly advised to seek the assistance of a qualified immigration lawyer.  Let Scott Legal Services, P.C., be your guide as our firm can provide you with a Certified Public Accountant and Corporate Lawyer.  Here are some of the ways we can help you with your EB-5 Visa.  We can:

  • Work with the investor and family to put together an EB-5 Visa green card petition.
  • Assist the investor in completing all documents needed for the EB-5 Visa petition.
  • Prepare the investor and his family for the Department of State interview
  • Appear with the investor and family at the interview (upon the investor’s request) with the Department of State at the consular post overseas, and assist in the interview process or appear at the interview before the USCIS in the United States;
  • Assist the investor and family in entering the United States and establishing lawful permanent residence in the United States;
  • Assist the investor and family in removing the condition from the permanent resident status within the last three months of the second year following the commencement of permanent residence;
  • Assist the investor in obtaining any financing services that may be necessary.
  • Assist the investor to find a regional center

You can also call us at 1-212-223-2964 or email us at iscott@legalservicesincorporated.com.

Also, Click here for your free White Paper that summarizes the top 10 Immigration Questions and Answers.

Click here for PDF Version

Written by:

Scott Legal, P.C.
Contact
more
less

Scott Legal, P.C. on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.