The Process of Investing in the EB-5 Program
BENEFITS TO EB-5 APPLICANTS
The Regional Center Program is ideal for the retiree or inactive investor because of the (1) security that USCIS approval offers a potential investor, (2) the benefit of “indirect employment creation” that aids an EB-5 investor in meeting the job-creation requirement, and (3) the passive investment nature of the investor in a limited partnership role.
In the current economic climate, foreign investors are being presented with many investment options. The ability of a Regional Center and the specific projects undertaken under the Regional Center umbrella to receive USCIS approval demonstrates that the United States government has vetted the business group and the group has committed their financial and business resources to prepare the materials required for submission of the complex EB-5 application. Further, upon Regional Center designation, the group oversees the acquisition of investment funds, the development and successful operation of the project and the reporting requirements mandated by the USCIS so the investor achieves their immigration goals as well as the return on and of their investment.
An investment through the Regional Center program alleviates the burdensome job-creation requirement. The Regional Center program removes the 10 direct-employee requirement of the Traditional EB-5 Program, and substitutes a less-restrictive “indirect employment creation.” The investor satisfies the requirement by presenting evidence that the project will create 10 new jobs within the Regional Center economy as a result of the proposed project. This is evidenced by a USCIS approved econometric analysis performed by WJ on behalf of the client.
The role of a limited partner satisfies the management requirement imposed by federal regulations, while simultaneously permitting the EB-5 investor to make a passive investment. As a limited partner, the investor has limited policy-making involvement, yet no business making or day-to-day management authority. Thus, for the vast majority of immigrant investors not interested in day-to-day or active management of a business, Regional Center programs offer the most attractive option. This form of business structure also protects the investor, as the investor is only liable to the extent of the amount of their investment.
Another advantage of the Regional Center program is the investor is not required to live in the place of investment. Rather, he or she can live wherever he/she wishes in the United States. For example, the investor may invest in a Regional Center in the State of California, but choose to live in Florida.
Under mandate by Congress, Regional Center EB-5 petitions are given priority often resulting in a quicker path to approval.
A Regional Center must be pre-approved to be eligible for an immigrant investor to apply for an EB-5 Green Card.