Posts Tagged ‘ eb5 visa ’

EB5 Visas and Foreign Professionals

Posted on: July 26, 2013 by in EB-5
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bigstock-Charismatic-Manager-During-A-M-11046482Is the EB5 Visa a Good Idea for Foreign Professionals?

The answer to this question largely depends on what the professional’s intentions are once they reach the United States. For the purposes of this discussion, a professional is someone who would need to be licensed, certified, or accredited in order to work in his or her profession in the United States.

Doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, and architects are just some of the types of professionals who would have to meet U.S. standards before being allowed to practice professionally in this country. Whether or not a person is awarded an EB5 investor visa will have no bearing on the person’s ability to practice in their former profession.

Therefore, if a person’s only desire is to work in his or her former profession in the United States, the EB5 investor visa may not be the best route to U.S. residency. Not only would the person need to come up with the minimum investment amount to qualify for the EB5 visa, but the person would then need to pay to meet U.S. licensing and certification requirements for the profession he or she wants to work in.

Who Should Consider the EB5

If foreign citizens don’t care about whether or not they will be able to work in their profession of choice, then the EB5 visa may be something they will want to consider. If approved for an investor visa, foreign investors will also be able to get visas for the members of their immediate families, including husbands, wives, and children up to age of 21. Once approved for an investor visa, a foreign investor may also be able to help more distant family members get their own visas, but these would be issued on a case by case basis following a standard application process.

Who Can Qualify

Almost any foreign citizen who meets certain financial requirements can qualify for an EB5 investor visa. The government requires foreign investors to invest at least $500,000 in certain hard hit American industries or $1,000,000 in any other. The cash must be invested in a U.S. based venture and must lead to the creation of at least 10 jobs for qualified U.S. workers. The law also requires that the money invested remain “at risk” or, in other words, the funds can’t be guaranteed by any secondary agreement (otherwise, the money would be a loan, not a true investment).

Word of Advice

Once an investor invests any amount of money into a U.S. venture, there is no guarantee that the investor will make a profit or even earn back any of the original investment at all. This is a risk of making an investment.

Foreign investors, before investing any cash, are encouraged to contact a U.S. immigration attorney who can ensure the venture is legitimate and qualifies as an investable business under EB5 rules. Simply investing in a U.S. venture without first having some due diligence performed can be a very costly mistake that may only prolong the EB5 approval process.

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.

Guaranteed EB-5 Investments

Posted on: July 12, 2013 by in EB-5
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Investing in the U.S. for an EB-5 Visa

The EB5 investor program allows foreign investors the chance to live and work in the U.S. in exchange for a substantial contribution in America’s economy. Some of the rules involved require the amount invested to meet minimum investment amounts and, if invested into a new venture, to create at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers or, if invested into an existing venture, to expand the business by at least 40%.

Getting a Guaranteed Investment

Unfortunately, in order to qualify for an EB-5 visa, foreign investors are not allowed to accept any form of guarantee that an contribution will be profitable. In other words, the investment must be “at risk”, or unguaranteed, for the time that it is invested into a qualifying U.S. based venture. If the expense were guaranteed, then it would be more of a loan, not a true investment.

After an expense is made, the foreign investor can be issued a conditional EB-5 visa, however, if the expense fails to create the necessary amount of jobs or, in the case of an contribution into an existing venture, fails to expand the business by 40%, the visa can be revoked. In other words, an expense must be provably profitable in order for an EB-5 visa to stay in effect.

What if an Investment is Lost?

If an expense is lost, there is no legal recourse for the investor. A lost contribution is a lost investment, which is why investors must understand the risks involved with making an contribution into a foreign venture.

Even if the party receiving the contribution makes a promise to repay an contribution if it is lost, the law will generally not step in to make the investor whole in the event that the contribution is actually lost.

What Does This Mean for Investors?

Foreign investors interested in investing in the U.S. economy must make absolutely sure that the venture into which they are investing is legitimate and has a high chance of success. Rushing into an investment just to become eligible for an EB5 visa can actually lead to the investor making a bad investment, or failing to see one of the risks involved with the investment. For the most hopeful results, foreign investors are urged to perform ample due diligence into a potential expense opportunity to ensure the contribution  is as secure as possible.

How to Make a Strong Investment

The fact that an EB5 expense is at risk means that investors have a lot on the line if they make a bad investment. In terms of an EB5 investment, not only would the investor lose the cash that went into the investment, so too could the investor lose the opportunity to remain in the U.S. on an EB5 visa because, if an contribution fails, an investor’s conditional visa can be revoked.

An experienced immigration and EB-5 attorney can help the foreign investor ensure that an contribution is legitimate and can advise the investor on the precise risks involved with an investment.