Q: What is the EB-5 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 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 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: How likely is it that I’ll get a Green Card?
A: It can be almost certain. As long as you invest in a USCIS approved enterprise that it does what it says it’s going to do, and you work with an experienced investment immigration attorney.
Q: Do you charge for consultations?
A: Absolutely not. It’s my philosophy that I want my clients or potential clients to have all the information they need to make the wisest decision they can for themselves and their family. That may take one consultation, it may take several and it may take several months, but I want them to have the information they need to feel comfortable. It’s an important investment, and it’s an investment in their family’s future.
Q: What do I get?
A: You receive permanent residency – a Green Card in the United States for you, your spouse and your minor children – all with a single investment.
Q: I’ve heard the Green Card is conditional. What does that mean?
A: That’s a great question, and that’s something that’s misunderstood. You do receive a Green Card when you’re approved, and that Green Card is so-called “conditional”, but it’s conditioned on only two things: one, that your funds remain invested and that the investment you made did what it said it was going to do – it created the jobs in the United States. A conditional Green Card has all the rights and privileges of any Green Card.
Q: Once I’m approved, can you take me through the process?
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: Why now?
A: Very important question. Because with the Federal Office of Management and Budget is a USCIS proposal to raise the investment amount to $1.35 million, which in my belief puts it beyond the means of many of my clients. It’s important to move now, because if you invest today under the existing program, you’re investing under the law as it is today at $500,000.
Q: Tell me more about my investment.
A: Well, what happens is you make an investment and you become what is called a limited partner in a limited partnership. That limited partnership then in turn loans the money to the USCIS approved development.
Q: How long does the money remain invested?
A: Generally the projects are between 5-7 years. We see most common at about six years.
Q: What is the return on the investment?
A: That’s something I have to explain to my clients. Essentially in real terms, 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: Are there any guarantees that the investor gets their money back?
A: That’s a word we can’t use. You’re making what’s called an “at risk” investment. Those are the terms used by the USCIS. That means there has to be investment risk, but it does not need to be a large risk, so careful selection of a project can be critical to secure the return of your investment capital.
Q: How do they select the investment?
A: My recommendation is they secure the counsel of a securities professional that will provide them with the due diligence on the project that they are looking at to invest.
Q: What are the advantages of a Green Card in the United States?
A: Well that’s a question that’s unique to each individual. We both know that the United States has tremendous educational opportunities, really, unlimited. The economic opportunities in the United States are just tremendous. Also we have the freedoms in the United States that we value so much. And this Green Card holder can enjoy those freedoms.
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