Posts Tagged ‘ eb5 investor program ’

Using Rental Income for an EB-5 Investment

Posted on: August 9, 2013 by in EB-5
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bigstock-Citizenship-documents-43205116Foreign citizens interested in applying for an EB-5 investor visa will no doubt have several questions about the visa itself and the application process. They may wonder what they need to do to qualify for the program and how to go about applying for the visa once the qualification requirements are met. The reason for so much hesitation is not unfounded, as U.S. immigration policy is inherently complex and continues to evolve. This is one of the main reasons why foreign investors should work with a qualified and experienced immigration attorney to facilitate the process.

Funding the EB5

In order to qualify for an EB-5 investor visa, foreign investors must invest at least $500,000 into an American based venture from a predesignated, hard hit and financially struggling industry, or at least $1,000,000 into a business of any other industry. For many foreign investors, coming up with the minimum required amount of investment capital is not a challenge. However, the United States has notoriously stringent proof of income requirements when it comes to foreign funds being allowed to enter the U.S. economy. Any income earned by a foreign investor to be invested into a U.S. based business venture must have been earned through a provably legitimate source. The federal government requires foreign investors to show that their investment funds were legitimately earned in order to avoid promotion of organized crime and terrorism.

Income Legitimacy

So long as an income has been earned legitimately, there are nearly no limits on where the funds can come from. If a foreign investor earns the money from rental property, this should not present any problems. To show the income was earned legitimately, foreign investors can present bank statements and tax documents along with an EB-5 visa application.

Other Requirements

In addition to meeting minimum investment amount requirements, the cash invested must create at least 10 jobs for American workers, if the cash is invested in a new U.S. based venture, or must expand a business’s net worth or employee force by at least 40%, if the cash is invested into an existing U.S. based venture. Additionally, the investment must have already been made, or a substantial step toward the investment already made, by the time the EB-5 visa application is submitted.

One thing that investors need to realize is that simply making an investment is not enough. After an application is approved, a conditional visa can be issued. If the business venture into which the capital was invested, however, is unable to sustain the 10 America jobs or the 40% expansion of the business for a set amount of time, then the investor will be unable to transition from the conditional visa to a permanent visa.

Regional Center Benefits

Along with investing directly into a business venture, foreign investors can invest in Regional Centers, which are privately held corporate entities that direct and manage EB-5 investment funds into regionally based business ventures on behalf of foreign investors. This offers a bit of security to the foreign investor because those who invest in Regional Centers are more likely to see their investment succeed than those who try investing into a business directly.

EB5 Visa Sponsorship

Posted on: July 24, 2013 by in EB-5
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bigstock-Passports-31148What’s the EB5 Investor Program?

The EB5 investor program was launched by the U.S. government in the 1990s as a way to attract foreign cash into the United States. To do this, the law established the EB5 investor visa, which was awarded and continues to be awarded to foreign investors who invest a substantial amount of capital into the U.S. economy by way of investing in a U.S. based business venture. Minimum investment amounts require investors to invest at least $500,000 in predesignated, hard hit and financially struggling American industries, or at least $1,000,000 in any other industry.

Do I Need a U.S. Citizen or Resident to Sponsor an EB5 Visa?

Perhaps the best part of the EB5 investor program, aside from giving foreign citizens the chance to legally live and work in the United States, is the fact that foreign investors are not required to find a sponsor in order to successfully pursue the investor visa. Unlike other visas that require a sponsor, the EB5 visa is granted on the foreign investor’s own merits and ability to come up with the required investment amount.

Specific Rules that Investors Must Follow

The EB5 investor program is a great opportunity for foreign citizens on the path toward eventual permanent residency, and even naturalized citizenship, in the U.S., but those that fail to follow the strict investment guidelines required by U.S. immigration policy can face unnecessary delays and application denials. For starters, the venture into which the foreign investor places his or her money must be a legitimate U.S. based venture, requiring a significant amount of due diligence on the part of the investor to ensure that only a legitimate and lawful business is being funded.

Further, the funds used as an investment must also be legitimate, and provably so. The government is strict on this point to deter money laundering by organized crime and terrorist organizations. Tax documents and bank statements will usually suffice to prove the legitimate origin of an investment.

Finally, the last major hurdle that foreign investors must face is proving that the investment will create at least 10 new jobs for U.S. workers (in the case of an investment into a new venture) or will expand an existing venture by at least 40% (in terms of net worth or employees).

The Risk of Applying for a Visa Without an Attorney

Foreign investors who try to navigate the EB5 investor visa application process are encouraged to work with an attorney to do so because of the risks that those who don’t work with an attorney can face. Only a limited number of EB5 visas are granted per year, 10,000 as of last count, and they are granted on a first apply, first served basis. A foreign investor who fills out an application wrong, or who fails to show that the investment to be made complies with established policies, may have to reapply for the visa from the beginning, requiring them to add several months to the amount of time they will have to wait in order to be awarded the visa. Those who are eager to begin living and working in the U.S. should work with an attorney in order to minimize the risk of application denials.