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Directing and Managing EB-5 Visa Investment Funds

Posted on: September 23, 2013 by in EB-5
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bigstock-Image-of-business-contract-on--39481198The EB-5 investor visa program was launched by the United States in the 1990s. The intent of the plan was to attract foreign investments into the United States to give a boost to America’s economy. The plan worked, and the program has been in operation ever since.

Qualifying for an Investor Visa

To qualify for the EB-5 investor visa, a foreign citizen must make a qualifying contribution into a U.S. based venture. To qualify under the program, the contribution must be at least $500,000 (if invested into a predesignated region or industry in need of investments) or at least $1,000,000 (if invested anywhere else). Once an contribution is made or a substantial step toward an investment has been made, the foreign investor may apply for an EB-5 visa.

Something that foreign investors should be aware of is that the government does not reward failed investments. If an EB-5 visa is issued, it will be issued for a period of up to two years. Within this time, the contribution must have created at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers (jobs created for the investor’s family members do not qualify) if the contribution was made into a new venture. If the investment was made into an existing venture, then the contribution has two years to increase the company’s net worth or employee workforce by 40%. If the contribution is unable to meet these mandated minimum benchmarks, an investor’s visa and the family visas attached to the investor’s visa may be revoked. This is why an amount of due diligence is required of the investor before he or she hands over any cash for an investment.

Regional Centers a Permanent Fixture

Something that foreign investors should be glad to know is that Regional Centers, which were also launched in the 1990s as a pilot program within the EB-5 investor program, have been declared a permanent fixture of the EB-5 visa program. Formerly, authorization for Regional Centers to operate had to be renewed every few years by Congress, but the last time it was up for renewal, Congress voted to make Regional Centers permanent, which means they won’t going anywhere for quite a while.

Foreign investors should like the Regional Center program because it increases their chances of making a successful investment. Regional Centers are privately or publicly owned entities that direct EB-5 investment funds on behalf of investors within a specified regional area. The program benefits the regions where the investments are made because the investments of multiple investors can be pooled together to fund more expensive (but also more likely to succeed) projects. Since the investor would be removed from the day to day direction and management of an investment, the investor doesn’t even need to have any specialized experience or business acumen in order to make a successful EB-5 investment. Like always, however, no investment is guaranteed, and the risk of failure is not eliminated simply because a Regional Center is used.

Partnering with an Attorney

Whether the investment is being self directed or placed into a Regional Center, a foreign investor should still work with our experienced EB-5 investor visa attorneys for help through the EB-5 investor visa application process. Working with an EB-5 investor visa attorney will help to ensure that the requirements of the program are met, that all paperwork is filled out accurately, and that an application has the best chance of being approved as possible.

EB-5 Regional Center Program Here to Stay

Posted on: September 20, 2013 by in EB-5
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Immigrant Families on the MarchAs part of an initiative to attract investment funds to the United States, the government approved the Regional Center program under the EB-5 investor visa program in the 1990s. The Regional Center program allowed for the creation of Regional Centers, either privately or publicly owned, that could direct funds from EB-5 investments within a certain geographic area. This program, since the 1990s, has been renewed by Congress as a pilot program over and over. Now that certain changes to immigration policy have taken effect, Regional Centers are here to stay as a permanent fixture of the EB-5 investor visa program.

What’s a Regional Center?

More specifically, an EB-5 Regional Center, which is established as a business entity, receives and manages investment funds from foreign investors under the EB-5 program. As an entity dedicated to promoting economic growth within the boundaries of the Regional Center, the Center will take the funds and invest them into businesses within the region. By leveraging the investment funds of multiple investors, the investments which are made through Regional Centers are generally much more likely to become a success because each Regional Center has a staff dedicated to finding the best investment opportunities.

The Major Benefit of Working with a Regional Center

Perhaps the biggest benefit to working with a Regional Center is the fact that investors don’t have to be directly involved with the process of finding and directing investments. They can put their investment funds into the care of a Regional Center and the Center will do the rest. This is a great option for foreign investors who want to qualify for the EB-5 visa but who may not have the business background or the time to manage and direct investments solo.

Qualifying for the EB-5

To qualify for an EB-5 visa, a foreign investor must invest a substantial amount of capital into a U.S. based business venture. The capital must be at least $1,000,000, unless the investment is being made into a pre-designated area where investment funds are badly needed – in which case, the minimum investment amount is cut in half to $500,000. In addition to the minimum amount of capital needed to qualify under the program, an investment made must create at least 10 new jobs for the American workforce (if the funds are invested into a new venture), or must expand a business’ operations by 40%, either in terms of employees or net worth (if the funds are invested into an existing business venture).

Working with Legal Counsel

Perhaps the best way to go about applying for an EB-5 investor visa is to do it with the help of an immigration and visa attorney. An immigration and visa attorney can help the EB-5 applicant become eligible for an EB-5 visa under program requirements and, once eligible, can help the applicant move forward with the application process. Once all the paperwork is filled out and submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the attorney will keep the applicant informed on the status of his or her application until a visa decision is made by immigration officials.