Frequently Asked Questions

There are many important facts to consider with the EB-5 Visa Program and there are often many questions. We do our best to answer some of your questions and provide other facts to help you understand the program.

EB5 Visas Program Frequently Asked Questions

How is the program regarded by the US Government – The program has seen ups and downs since it was formed.  At the present time, the program is receiving favorable treatment from the US government as funds are needed to create economic opportunity.  Approvals are up, projects can get approval quickly, and other requirements can be satisified with more ease than in the past.

Can I change from Regular Program to Regional Center – You can do this, but it can be very challenging. It will require some paperwork and time as your application and case are converted to investment in a regional center. We recommend that you strongly consider which route is best beforehand because conversion can create problems and delays.

Do I get a guarantee that I will get my investment back? - No, it is required in the EB-5 Visas Program that an investor’s money must be at risk.  No project nor regional center can legally guarantee your investment or provide a repayment of funds upon initial investment.  Most regional centers have a buyout program but it cannot provide any guarantees.

What kind of jobs count as part of the requirement? - The basic rule is that a business must create ten full time jobs that do not count construction workers unless through a regional center.  A full time job is 35 hours a week.

How long does the process take? – In most cases, initial approval for a foreign investor is 9-15 months to get approval and a green card.  From there, you have two years to hire ten full time employees.  Once this is complete, a review panel will issue you full time and permament residency.

Am I required to invest with a regional center? - Investors are not required to participate through a regional center. RC’s are available to invite investors to participate in approved projects.  They provide certain advantages over the regular program but investors must realize that there is a lot of flexibility in regional center projects and they must review projects to make sure about the arrangement.

Can I buy a home in the US? – Yes, foreign investors may buy real estate in the US when they receive their conditional green card.

Can I invest in other businesses? - Yes, once an investor receives their green card, they are free to create or invest in other businesses outside the EB5 Visa Program.

Are my children eligible for in-state tuition? - Yes, once approved permanently, your children will be eligible for in-state tuition for the state in which you live.

Does it matter where the money comes from? – Yes, each investor is required to provide documentation and tax returns to prove that funds were obtained in a legal and lawful manner. Also, transfers into the escrow account must show the source of funds to the investor.

Can I invest capital other than cash? – Yes, an investor can provide cash, equipment and other assets to the business. The fair market value is considered at the time of investment in US dollars.

Who can be eligible under the program? – Any foreign national can be eligible for the EB-5 Visas Program so long as they can satisfy the requirements set for in the program. It does not matter which country you are a citizen of.

How many EB5 Visas are provided each year? - Currently, there are approximately 10,000 approved, of which 3,000 are designated for investment through a regional center.  However, not all the visas are currently being allocated.

How is the money transferred? – An investor must wire money into an escrow account in the US that directs the fund into the business.  Please be sure that you cover your bank’s wire transfer fees because exactly $500,000 or $1,000,000 must enter the escrow account net of any fees.  Please consider also that laws may exist about how much money you can transfer or exchange from your country of origin.  We can assist you in solving any problems in this area.

Will my investment be returned if I am denied? - Each investor must transfer funds into an escrow account. In most cases, this investment will be returned if the applicant is denied for their I-526 application.  However, legal and application fees will not be returned to you.

What could cause a denial of application? - Applicants must prove that they are in good health, do not have any diseases that could threaten the general population, do not have any felonies or other convictions of crime, have lawfully obtained financial means, and they are in good standing with the state department.

What is an equity model? What is the loan model – Both of these terms refer to how an invesment project is structured when you participate through a regional center. When you invest through a regional center, there is usually a new entity that is created that owns the project.  This new venture, usually a limited partnership, can either own the project itself or loan money to developers and collect loan payments.  In the equity model, the joint venture owns the land or the business and requires a vote to disolve the partnership.  In the loan model, the venture loans money to another organization (private or public) and receives loan repayments from the borrower.