Frequently Asked Questions about the EB-5 Visa
EB-5 investors include people from all walks of life; professionals, business people, parents wanting to facilitate a child’s education, and retirees. EB-5 investors may continue to work or operate businesses in their native countries; however, since the EB-5 visa permits employment in the U.S., many EB-5 investors become involved in American businesses. EB-5 investors are not required to work; therefore, some investors choose to travel throughout the United States without restriction, or they maintain dual residences in America and their native home. Simply put, of any employment-based visa, the EB-5 visa gives the investor the greatest flexibility to do what they want in the U.S.
Children of families who immigrate under EB-5 are permitted to attend public elementary (Kindergarten-8th grades) and secondary (grades nine through twelve) schools without paying tuition. Children who attend college or university in the United States will not be required to pay the international student tuition rate, which is substantially higher. They apply to American universities in the same manner and pay the same tuition as U.S. residents.
A conditional Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application with the USCIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested and employment created. When the conditional resident status has been lifted, permanent resident status is granted with the option to pursue U.S. Citizenship.
With the help of an attorney, you must prepare complete biographical information and must prove the source of the investment funds. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires five years of personal and business tax returns (if any), proof of ownership in any businesses, and business licenses. You must present a track record of an honest course of dealing. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as a sale of a house, inheritance, or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred, by providing an official document, such as a closing statement, contract or other official documents. This is not an exhaustive list. Other documents may be required and vary on a case-by-case basis.
Legally, yes. However, people from countries without reliable tax and other financial documentation will find it much more difficult. USA InvestCo is able to recommend an Immigration Attorney who may help to resolve these matters.
The first requirement of any investor after they receive the visa at the United States overseas consulate office is to enter into the United States within 180 days of visa issuance. The investor must then establish residency in the United States. Evidence of intent to reside includes opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver’s license or social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, renting or buying a home. Generally, all permanent residents must remain in the U.S. for more than 6 months each year, unless they obtain a re-entry permit, or they may be deemed to have abandoned their permanent residence status. A Green Card holder is entitled to live and/or be employed permanently in the United States with entitlement to all the protections of its laws. A Green Card holder may travel outside the United States, provided they do not remain outside the United States for more than one year without obtaining a re-entry permit or returning resident visa. As a Green Card holder, you may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:
- Move to another country intending to live there permanently.
- Remain outside of the U.S. for more than one year without obtaining a re-entry permit or returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned, any length of absence from the U.S. may be considered, even if it is less than one year.
- Remain outside of the U.S. for more than two years after issuance of a re-entry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the U.S. may be considered, even if it is less than one year.
- Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the U.S. for any period.
- Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your tax returns.
A Green Card holder can travel freely to and from the United States. A passport from the country of citizenship is normally all that is needed. To re-enter the U.S. a Permanent Resident normally needs to present the Green Card for re-admission. The law provides that you are free to travel abroad, provided that your trip is “temporary”. Generally, the USCIS views any absence from the United States for longer than six months as not temporary. Thus, it is advisable to obtain a “re-entry permit” before your departure.
The most common problem area has been insufficient documentation of the source of funds. Many people try to disclose the least possible information only to have the file returned with a request for further information. It is better to provide too much information rather than too little information. In this era of terror alerts and suspicions about money laundering, USCIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds.
Processing times vary. You can check the current estimated processing times on the USCIS website by clicking here. After an application has been processed and approved by USCIS, each investor must clear Form I-485 or the consular interview process after I-526 approval and before green card issuance.
A general outline of the application process follows. USA Investco’s Immigration Attorney can provide a more complete description. The following is a basic overview of the steps required.
- File form I-526 Petition for Alien Entrepreneur with the appropriate USCIS Service Center. This petition requests USCIS to certify the applicant and the investment as eligible for EB-5 visa status.
- Upon approval of the I-526 petition,
- a. If you are in the United States you may apply for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Residence by sending form I-485 and supporting documents to the USCIS regional processing center nearest your U.S. residence.
- b. If you are abroad you must wait for notification from the Embassy in your home country to prepare documents for the visa interview. The purpose of the Adjustment of Status or consular visa interview is to make sure you are not subject to grounds of exclusion, e.g. a criminal past, infectious diseases, etc.
- Upon approval, you receive a form evidencing the approval as well as a travel document. You will also receive the temporary green card in the mail. If you are abroad you must enter the U.S. within six months of the date of the Embassy approval.
- After two years, you may file for removal of conditions for your permanent green card using Form I-829. This procedure permits USCIS to verify that you have maintained your approved investment for the required two-year period and the requisite number of jobs was actually created.
An investor purchases an interest in the limited partnership. The limited partnership is the business entity responsible for creating and operating the new commercial enterprise used to satisfy the requirements of EB-5. The immigrant investor becomes a limited partner in the partnership and the percentage of shares conveyed to the EB-5 investor depends on the percentage the investment bears to the value of the project. The prospectus for each project will describe the valuation methodology.
As with any investment, there is risk of loss. USAInvestco provides investors with projects that are compliant with the EB-5 program. The investment, in order to qualify for the EB-5 program, has to be “at risk”. Our goal is to meet the “at risk” criteria, while at the same time minimizing the risk of loss for all investors. USA Investco seeks projects that achieve this. Ultimately, an investor needs to put a level of trust in their broker, our team, and our proven track record. We also urge all investors to independently verify information contained in a project’s business plan and thoroughly review the Offering Package. Our goal is to build a network of global investors that will continue to invest in our projects. Success is the best way for all of us to ensure that this goal is realized.
Funds for the investment must come from a lawful source. Lawful sources of funds include: earned personal income, profits from the sales of a property, stocks or bonds, profits from business, a loan secured by personal assets of the immigrant investor, business transactions, gifts, and inheritances. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires five years of tax returns, five years of bank records, proof of ownership in any businesses, financial statements for each business, and business licenses. The idea is to present a track record of an honest course of dealing. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as sale of a house, inheritance or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred by providing an official document, such as a closing statement or contract, or other official documents.
The level of return an investor can expect depends on the business opportunity into which they invest. Therefore, the expected returns are presented on a case-by-case basis. Generally, a higher risk investment will bear a higher return. Likewise, the lower the risk, the smaller the return an investor can expect. Most importantly, the receipt of an EB-5 Green Card does not depend on the return on investment; only that the investment creates the number of required jobs. USA Investco cannot guarantee investments, but does work diligently to maintain the security of the investment at all times, comply with EB-5 guidelines throughout the entire project cycle, as well as maximize the potential return on investment.
You can find out information on EB-5 Green Card Law on the USCIS EB-5 Immigrant Investor website.
EB-5 investment opportunities are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Investors who need additional time to gather or coordinate their capital investment may make a non-refundable deposit of $50,000 for a 90-day period to raise the required amount. The deposit and/or the full amount of the capital investment shall be wire transferred to a bank escrow account to secure your investment opportunity. Immigration Attorneys used by USA InvestCo will immediately begin counseling you on the necessary documentation that needs to be organized for your initial visa application.
If the I-526 petition, including adjustment of status or consular interview processing, is denied (except a denial based on your failure to disclose a material fact, omission of a material fact or your fraud), USA InvestCo shall refund the capital investment as written in the Escrow Agreement. If the denial is based on your failure to disclose a material fact, omission of a material fact or your fraud, the applicant shall forfeit a subscription fee and administration fee to Atlantic Regional Center for Foreign Investment.
The individuals comprising the General Partnership have over 80 years combined experience in real estate development and management. This experience demonstrates a proven track record in acquisition, entitlement, development, managing and sales. Accomplishments span all segments, including commercial, mixed-use, and residential master-planned communities. The general partners have raised over 100 million dollars in equity for past projects. The members have developed over 15,000 single family and multi-family lots, and substantial commercial square footage. Past projects have been located in Colorado, Florida, California, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas.