Update: The minimum investment amount for the EB-5 Regional Center Program increased from $500,000 to $900,000 on November 21, 2019.
Q: What is the EB-5 Investment Immigrant Visa?
A: It’s a tremendous program in the US that allows a foreign national to invest in a USCIS approved business enterprise, and by making that single investment, obtain a Green Card for themselves, their spouses and their minor children.
Q: How much is the EB-5 investment?
A: As we sit here today, the investment is $500,000.
Q: What am I investing in?
A: Generally you’re going to be investing in a USCIS approved real estate development.
Q: How likely will I get a EB-5 Green Card?
A: If you invest in the right project, you’re represented by the right counsel, your chances are very very good at receiving your Green Card for yourself, your spouse and your minor children.
Q: How long does it take to get approved?
A: Difficult question, but I’ll let you know that USCIS quotes about 24 months. They don’t tell us how long it’s going to be. They only tell you what their averages are. Our averages are lower, probably closer to a year.
Q: Do you charge for consultations?
A: Absolutely not. What generally happens is that I speak with them in the beginning to understand their immigration goals to make sure EB-5 is even a good alternative for them. And those free consultations may last several months, but I want them to have all the information they need to feel comfortable. It’s an important investment, and it’s an investment in their family’s future.
Q: Once I’m approved, what would be the next step?
A: Well, that’s going to depend on where you are. If you’re in a foreign country, we would immediately begin working with the National Visa Center here in the US, who would in turn send an entire package to the consulate in your home country, you and the entire family would go in for an interview and at the conclusion of that interview, they would stamp your passport with what is called an immigrant visa – this is a special visa that allows you to immigrate to the United States. After you have that visa, sometime during the next six months, the entire family is going to come to the United States and you’ll go through customs. When you go through customs, they will stamp your passport and from that moment on you are considered a US Permanent Resident.
Now on the other hand, if you’re here on a temporary visa, such as a student visa or an H1 as a worker, in that case, if you’re lawfully present in the United States, we cam immediately file for your Green Card in the US and there’s no requirement that you return to your home country.
Q: I understand you get a conditional Green Card. What does that mean?
A: A conditional Green Card has all the rights and privileges of any Green Card. And the only condition is that the project did what it said it was going to do and your money remained in that project.
Q: Why now?
A: That’s a critical question. As we sit here today, with the Federal Office of Management and Budget is a USCIS proposal to raise the investment amount to $1.35 million. That’s almost triple of what it is today and we don’t know how soon this is going to happen, but we do know it’s going to happen in the coming months. If a person invests today, they are investing under the law as it is today and they can obtain those benefits at $500,000. They should not wait for the Government to act and raise that investment amount beyond what they might be able to afford.
Q: Tell me more about the investment.
A: Essentially what happens is you become a limited partner with your investment in a limited partnership, which in turn loans the money to the USCIS approved development. Generally the projects are between 5-7 years. We see most common at about six years. The return on your investment is the Green Card for yourself, your spouse and your minor children. You will receive nominal interest generally at 0.25% to 0.5% per annum.
Q: What are the advantages of a Green Card in the United States?
A: That’s a critical for each individual applicant to address. And that’s one of the things that I discuss with them during those free consultation, but we both know that they are going to receive unlimited educational opportunities in the US. They are going to receive the possibility of all the economic benefits of the US. And lastly we value the freedoms in the United States that are all part of our lives.
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