Interviewer: So who is the typical investor, and what is their experience?
Vaughan de Kirby: Well the typical investor from my experience, to understand the motivation of the investor, it’s generally related to their family as a whole, more specifically the opportunities that immigration to the United States will afford their children, both education and economic. Many of our clients are university students, where their parents have actually made the investment on behalf of their university student, because some of the visas to allow them to continue their stay in the United States can be very difficult. The parents are in a financial position to make that type of investment for their children, they do that. We also have many clients who are concerned about the education of their younger children, right down to grammar school all the way through high school, and frequently in those cases sometimes they’ll make the sacrifice of one spouse actually immigrating to the United States to watch over the kids and nurture the children, because they’re so concerned about the education and future of their children. So I’d say the primary motivation is about the family, and really the underlying values of their children. From the standpoint of what the experience is, basically right now, if someone were to make the investment today and we were to do their application today, the period to get approval is about 12-14 months, then they go through an interview process, if they’re in China they’ll go through an interview in the consulate in Guangzhou, if they’re a university student in the United States, it’s much simpler, if they’re here on a student visa they can actually get their green card almost in the mail, they can get their green card here in the United States. The investment is $500,000, the time period, generally most of the Regional Centers require an investment of approximately six years, so your invested capital is for six years. The return on this capital is very low, it’s generally less than 1%. The fact that the investor is getting the green card is the primary motivation, it is an investment, it must be at risk, but the motivation is not really to make money. It’s to provide that opportunity to the family. At the end of six years, depending on the structure of the Regional Center, they’ll receive their capital back.
Interviewer: So how difficult is that for families to make that adjustment, and possibly go to future opportunities?
Vaughan de Kirby: Well personally I can tell you I know what it feels like, I know what it feels like to leave your son in Beijing and to know your son is 6,000 miles away from the family, he’s living in a different culture and a different environment so I really understand the sacrifice they’re making, because they value the future of their children, they value the cultural diversity that their children will achieve in the United States, they value the great universities we have in the United States, and the opportunities, they value the employment opportunities that EB-5 offers their family members. That’s the primary motivation.