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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



1.     WHAT IS EB5 PROGRAM?  HOW DOES IT WORK?

EB5 Program (Employment-Based Category # 5) was created by the US Congress  in 1990.  The main goal of the program was to attract foreign investment for injecting into the US economy and creating at least 10 full-time jobs per investor.   Investment amount into an individual business enterprise was set for $1 million USD yet when the investment is made into a designated targeted employment area, its amount is reduced to $500,000USD.    Such amount is also acceptable when investment is made through a Pilot Program using one of the Regional Centers designated by US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS). 

Congress reserved an annual quota of 10,000 immigrant visa for EB5 program; 3,000 of which are designated for investors into targeted employment area and 3,000 - into Pilot Program.

2.  WHO CAN USE EB 5?  WHO IS IT MADE FOR?  

The EB5 category  is designed for individuals and members of their immediate families desiring to immigrate to the United States as permanent residents (green card holders).    Since there are two general types of investment (individual and though regional centers), the following are the most common use scenarios.

1) Individuals investing in active commercial enterprises directly usually are seeking the following goals:

  • Establish or continue commercial enterprise's activity in the US;
  • Commercial enterprise is initially capable of establishing 10 full-time jobs for US citizens and permanent residents;
  • Investment - not US immigration - is the key purpose of the investment;
  • Need to keep complete control over investments;
  • Obtain optimal return on investment

2)  Individuals investing through Regional Centers usually pursue the following objectives:

·         Willingness to retire from being involved in business;

·         Business enterprise that investor is interested in is not capable of creating 10 full-time jobs;

·         Investor intends to be mobile geographically;

·         Investor would like to enjoy no limitations on his or her presence in the US;

·         Immigration is a key goal with the investment, not business objectives

Therefore, it is important to define the goals and strategies for your investment before making arrangements on how to achieve them.

3.  WHAT IS THE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS IF WORKING WITH REGIONAL CENTERS?

It may sound as counterintuitive to many, but US immigration laws dictate that the investment capital that investor or Regional Center is placed "at risk".  It means that any guarantees regarding the return of investment are directly in violation of immigration laws and will lead to a denial of the classifying petition (I-526) and /or removal of condition petition (I-829). 

Therefore, most Regional Centers are careful to invest capital wisely but there is always a certain level of risk that cannot be eliminated but for US immigration laws.  Investors are always recommended to conduct an independent evaluation of a select group of Regional center and perform due diligence before a final decision on investment is made.

4.  WHICH DOCUMENTS ARE NECESSARY TO FILE WITH USCIS WHEN INVESTMENT IS MADE THROUGH A REGIONAL CENTER?

When investment is made through a Regional Center, the Center supplies all requisite filing documentation regarding the enterprise, job creation methodology and actual project.  In such cases, Regional Centers work with investors' attorneys on such filing, and investor is responsible for submitting the documents demonstrating the legal source of funds, such as:

·         Investor's tax returns filed anywhere in the world for the past 5 years;

·         Foreign business registration documents;

·         Any documents identifying the sources of capital;

·         Certified copies of all criminal and civil lawsuits or any other legal actions involving the investor for the past 15 years;

·         Any other documents helping USCIS determine a connection between the investor and the investment capital

It is important to keep in mind that the whole idea of collecting the correct documents is to establish a logical connection between origination of the capital and its final source of possession - the investor.  It is important to understand that not a quantity of documents is important here, but strictly the quality.  The clearer such connection is for USCIS, the less is a possibility of USCIS asking questions and, subsequently, delaying adjudication of the case.


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