Immigration investment is a means of fast-tracking your application for an EB-5 green card visa. In considering this, however, it is very important that you fully understand what ‘immigration investment’ means and what pitfalls there may be along the way that could not only affect the success of your application, but also what happens to the investment you will have to make.
Each of these is discussed here in more detail, including a brief summary of what the EB-5 green card visa is, and how you can expedite it being granted to you by making what is generally referred to as an immigration investment.
The EB-5 Green Card Visa
The green card visa grants you permanent residency in the USA, allowing you to live and work anywhere within the 50 states that you choose. If you want to apply for citizenship of the USA, then you will be able to make that application five years after being granted the green card visa. Normally this visa can take ten or more years to obtain, but there is a way of reducing this time period.
The EB-5 Immigration Investment
You can bypass many of the qualifying requirements for the green card visa by making what is known as an EB-5 investment, or Immigration Investment as it is popularly known. By investing $ 500,000 into a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved Regional Center, of which there are currently almost 100 in the USA, you could be granted a green card visa within 6-9 months.
The objective of the program is to generate jobs in the regions concerned, and generally revitalize what have been identified as regions within the USA requiring development and regeneration. By helping financially with the redevelopment of these regions your reward is permanent residency anywhere in the USA.
The visa is not automatically granted, however, and there are some qualifications which is where the problems can arise and why you need expert advice in your choice of USCIS regional center. First, your investment must generate at least 10 jobs in the region.
One problem is that you have a say neither in what jobs are created, nor in how they are maintained so that they last for the required two years until your green card is made permanent. Your investment is theoretically just that – an investment in what is intrinsically a private company.
Why You Need Expert Advice
Because there is so much money involved, and each regional center has its own specific considerations, those that claim to advise you may have a personal interest in specific regional centers and will therefore have an incentive to persuade you to invest in these centers. However, because of the job creation aspect of your choice of center, you should make sure that the program in which you invest has a good record of creating jobs – without which your life in the United States could be short lived.
The competition for investors is intense, because not only are the investment amounts considerable, but the regional centers themselves are under pressure to secure the investment they need to complete their projects. Each center has specific development projects that they are working to complete, and both they and the advisors that they have working for them are under the same pressures to attract your money. It is therefore often difficult for you to receive impartial advice, particularly if you are new to the USA and desperately seeking residency.
The sales pitches made by each center may not accurately reflect the availability of jobs for example, although they could be made with the best of intentions because jobs can frequently be generated once investment reaches a certain level. However, exaggerated claims of potential returns on your investment help nobody. However, some regional centers have already made payments to their investors, and with the right advice you should be able to choose the best or most appropriate regional center for you.
Some questions you might ask yourself before making your investment are:
* Is the regional center liable to be able to create 10 jobs from your investment?
* Are these jobs liable to last for at least two years?
* How many others have invested in that center?
* How long until the full regional investment needed is achieved?
* Is the value of your investment liable to rise or fall?
* Will you have any say in the management of the investment?
* What will happen to your application if the jobs fail?
* Do those advising you seem credible?
In making your decision as to the program with which your EB-5 immigration investment should be entrusted, and in what advice you should take, pay particular attention to the last of these questions. If you are advised only of the positive aspects of your application, with the negatives or potential problems ignored or played down, then be careful.
You should preferably have all of the above questions answered to your satisfaction, and a reliable and independent advisor will have no problem in responding to any of them. The application is the simple part, but should anything go wrong after that then keep in mind that this might be your only chance for permanent residency for many years.
Make your EB-5 immigration investment only when you are completely convinced that the program in which you are investing can keep to their part of the agreement. Generally they will be able to, but some centers may be better investments than others. Your advisor should be able to help you to come to the right decision that ends with you receiving your Permanent Residency within the year
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