DC Lawyer and EB-5 Visa Open Doors to USA Investment and Green Card
Living and investing in the United States is the dream of many people, young and old. For some foreign families willing to settle in the USA, the EB-5 Investor visa program may be the ideal route to permanent residency, as well as an opportunity to take advantage of a dynamic economy and a higher return on investment.
Created in 1993, EB-5 (Employment Based 5th Category) has had a varied success attracting applicants. Even though the rewards were huge (access to US education, growing economy, standard of living, citizenship…), changing rules, lack of flexibility and investment risks often kept candidates at bay.
An in-depth reorganization in 2003 and the recently published EB-5 Adjudications Policy proposals are now changing the game. This is the time to look at EB-5 again.
What can foreign investors expect from EB-5 today?
The purpose of the new EB-5 program rules, as proposed by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is to protect the integrity of the program, and to make sure that its purpose is fulfilled. This definition rests on three elements:
- The immigrant’s investment of capital
- In a new commercial enterprise
- That creates jobs.
The proposed new rules go on to define, in much greater detail than ever before, every single part of the above elements. Important aspects of the program, like Regional Centers, Target Employment Areas, the management role of the investor, the traceability of the invested capital, and procedural issues are all clarified and outlined in depth.
Back in 1993 the first intention of the USCIS was to attract investors who would come up with a minimum capital of $1 million, create a new company, hire at least 10 full-time employees and manage the enterprise themselves. This appeared to be unrealistic and soon led to the creation of Regional Centers (RC), approved funds that manage job-creating businesses.
With RCs, foreign investors avoided the high startup risks and costs of creating a new company from scratch and the investment limit was lowered to $500,000 in some areas. The requirement of creating 10 additional jobs can be satisfied by showing that indirect jobs are generated by the new venture. Furthermore, foreign investors may pool capital within the RC, which is likely to reduce management responsibilities, while simultaneously increasing the job creation potential. This frees the investor from the obligation to live close to the created company and to be directly involved in its management.
Investing in the right Regional Center. There are close to a hundred approved RCs and, if they all want your money, they do not always live up to your expectations. Some, like the Washington DC Regional Center, are involved in ventures that are mostly immune from an economic downturn, because of the overwhelming presence of government-related businesses and institutions in DC. The selection of the right investment vehicle for your capital is a specialist’s work, one in which our experience and integrity is invaluable.