Investing in the U.S. Economy
Part of the purpose of America’s EB-5 investor visa program is to promote investment in the U.S. economy. To EB-5 investors, this can either mean creating a whole new American based business or investing in a U.S. business already in existence but in serious need of financial backing (fortunately for EB-5 investors, the United States is littered with entrepreneurs who need little more than a cash infusion in order to get their business ideas off the ground).
What this means to the U.S. business person is that there is a pool of foreign investors who are ready and willing to invest in their business as a path to legal residency. Since many EB-5 investors would rather invest in an already existing business than go through the trouble of starting one from scratch, American entrepreneurs have pretty good odds of finding foreign investors with capital – if they know where to look, and if their idea is good enough to persuade an investor.
Where to Find EB-5 Investors
Just like with other kinds of investors, EB-5 investors often use brokers to facilitate investment relationships. Entrepreneurs can use the web to search for the nearest EB-5 investor brokerage near them which, of course, would mean working with a middle man. While this is normal in the investor / entrepreneur relationship, it can make many entrepreneurs feel isolated from their investor.
If they don’t want to go through a brokerage, entrepreneurs can market their investment opportunities on their own using any number of different marketing techniques, from word of mouth to Craigslist. Contrary to what an entrepreneur might think, it would be pretty secure dealing with an EB-5 investor they find online. After all, if the investor doesn’t invest, no visa is issued. EB-5 application requirements are very clear as to how much cash an investor must invest, when the cash must be invested, and how long the cash has to stay “at risk”, or invested, in a company before the interests or assets held by the investor can be sold, transferred, traded, etc.
Another good source of EB-5 investor contacts is immigration attorneys. Immigration attorneys help clients apply for various types of visas – if they have clients with substantial capital to invest that are looking for a path to residency and eventual citizenship, they may be willing to pair the client with the entrepreneur for the benefit of both parties.
Just Like Other Investors
What entrepreneurs need to realize about EB-5 investors is that, even though they are investing for the purpose of being granted a visa, they are just like other investors in all other regards. This means that they will want to know, to the letter, how their money will be spent, how the entrepreneur expects to earn a profit, and how long before they can expect to see a profit from their investment. If the entrepreneur can’t offer satisfactory answers to these questions, the investor may very well decide to put his or her investment elsewhere.