EB-5 Direct Investments and Qualifying Employees

It’s no secret that the route to becoming a legal U.S. immigrant is long and filled with roadblocks. In an effort to gain a leg up, some individuals enter the EB-5 direct investment program as a way of achieving favorable immigration status in the United States. According to a report by the Washington Post, since […]

Recent Activity Affecting EB-5 Programs and Investors

Several recent announcements made by USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offer interested parties a glimpse at trends in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, especially how future participants may be affected. While some of these pronouncements may fuel speculation of possible future actions, only by remaining informed can EB-5 advisors and legal […]

Retaining Control Through EB-5 Direct Investments

In the beginning of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, all projects involved direct investments because the regional center option did not appear until several years later. The arrival of the regional center option saw a dramatic move away from direct investments and toward this new investment vehicle. Many EB-5 advisors believe foreign nationals are overlooking […]

The Surging Presence of Brazilian Participation in the EB-5 Program

Brazil, the largest and economically strongest South American nation, has lately become a key participant in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. This is partially due to a recent slowing of its economy, which has been expanding since the 1990s. Brazilian citizens are now investigating investment opportunities beyond their country’s borders and developing a strong interest […]

When Redeployment is Used for an EB-5 Investment

There may be a time during an EB-5 investment that redeployment of the original funds is required. If fund redeployment occurs, investors should understand why it happened and how it should be managed to stay within the EB-5 guidelines as outlined by the USCIS. Because this process is complicated and operates differently depending upon the […]

Potential New Obstacles on the Horizon for EB-5 Visas

Although the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program began in 1990, it wasn’t until the 2008 repression negatively affected developers, impacting their ability to obtain funding for their ongoing projects, that the program experienced a surge in popularity and participation. While foreign nationals have realized since the inception of the EB-5 program that the easiest route […]

A Closer Look at Green Card Requirements and Approval

There are many paths to immigration in the United States, but all of them require the individual seeking citizenship to acquire a green card. A green card grants the holder a permanent resident status that expires after five years, at which time the holder is eligible for naturalization. Some green card holders are given conditional […]

Basics of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Now almost 30 years in existence, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has proven to be a winner both for immigrants seeking citizenship in the U.S. and for the American economy. Begun in 1990, this program has been responsible for driving billions of dollars into the economy while also generating much needed new employment across the […]

E-2 Visas: Alternative to EB-5 Visas

With foreign nationals from China and other countries facing increasing waits and backlogs for their EB-5 Visas, many are now investigating other options that get their foot in America’s door. One of the emerging options that appears to offer either a good first stage, or simply an alternative, to the popular EB-5 Immigrant Investor program […]

Defining At Risk, Debt Arrangement, and Guaranteed Redemption

In the past, attorneys have brought cases against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when the agency challenged the validity of EB-5 petitions, often claiming that the investment was either not at risk, was a debt arrangement, offered a guaranteed redemption, or some combination of the three. Curiously, the USCIS often confuses or applies all […]

Why You Should Use a Broker-Dealer for EB-5 Investments

There is a reason that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) exists. Its primary function is to protect investors from unscrupulous or unethical principals. To do so, the SEC expects its licensed agents to remain highly knowledgeable and current in the world of investments. Salespersons who attempt to circumvent the purview of the SEC […]

Assessing EB-5 Investment Strengths and Weaknesses

With the surge of interest and participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, there has been a similar explosion of regional center investment offerings to keep pace with this growing demand. This offers the immigrant investor more EB-5 investments from which to choose. Since there are many variations in the structure of regional center investments, […]

EB-5 Capital Redeployment Options

Whichever part of the EB-5 investment process you find yourself in, whether you’re still just researching or already invested in the program, it’s never too late to learn about EB-5 capital redeployment. Defining Capital Redeployment When an investor has an ongoing EB-5 investment project and they are filing form I-829 to lift the conditions from […]

Important Things to Look at When Selecting a Regional Center

The EB-5 Visa process was formed so the U.S. could attract investors with high net worth. Qualifying investors are able to get a visa through the EB-5 Program, but only if they meet the investment standards, including a $1 million minimum investment or a $500,000 minimum investment in certain geographic areas. While there are a […]

Where is My Green Card?

EB-5 investment is a path to getting a green card, but it can sometimes take longer than expected and involve more steps than you might have imagined. I-526 Petition Approval After you have submitted your I-526 petition for review, you have officially started the process for EB-5 based permanent residency. But approval of your I-526 […]

Understanding Employee Qualifications for Direct EB-5 Investments

All investors appreciate the necessity of analyzing and assessing financial opportunities. It is crucial to inspect every possible aspect of an investment to ensure that all potential risks are factored in. When evaluating an EB-5 investment, even more scrutiny and due diligence is demanded of the prudent investor. EB-5 Direct Investment Opportunity Foreign nationals desirous […]

Assessing South Korean Immigration to the U.S.

Among Asian nationals, South Koreans tend to have a good understanding of the immigration picture in the United States. In conjunction with their improved economy, South Korean citizens have recently exhibited greater interest and participation in the EB-5 Visa program offered through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Overview […]

India & the EB-5 Visa Boom

The EB-5 Program has recently seen a dramatic increase in the number of Indian EB-5 Visa applications filed. On April 6, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the congressionally mandated H-1B Visa cap for fiscal year 2019 had been reached within only five days of the agency opening applications. Yet again, the […]

Surge in EB-5 investors from Latin America

According to the US Department of State, FY 2016 saw nearly two times as many EB-5 immigrant investor visas being issued to Latin Americans as had been issued in FY 2015. This was a result of greater effort being put into encouraging Latin Americans to participate in the EB-5 Program in addition to the current […]

The Use of Bridge Financing in EB-5 Projects

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) established the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in 1990 as a way for foreign nationals to legally immigrate to the United States with an eventual opportunity for citizenship by making a substantial investment that bolsters the U.S. economy. The investment must be made in an approved project that will […]

Rescuing Troubled Projects

While many issues negatively affecting the success of an EB-5 project and the associated immigration process are related to fraudulent practices, that is not always the case. At times, financial difficulties may arise that put an investor’s immigration at risk. When this happens, a project is labeled as “troubled” and must be carefully monitored. All […]

The Use of Digital Currency in EB-5 Investments

There has been a recent increase in problems arising during the transferring of investment funds for EB-5 immigrant investors. Several countries, including China, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, have instituted regulations regarding how much currency they will allow to be changed into U.S. dollars and have imposed stringent requirements regarding the transfer of investment funds to the […]

SEC Regulations and Their Relevance to EB-5 Investments

There are two questions regarding EB-5 dealings that commonly come up in the legal arena. The first is whether individuals or entities who are recruiting EB-5 investors are permitted compensation if they are not registered broker-dealers. The second is whether a limited liability company (LLC)’s interest in an EB-5-funded new commercial enterprise (NCE) can legally […]

Choices to Make: The Risks and Benefits Associated with Various EB-5 Investment Models

Making decisions involving large amounts of money is never a simple process. For immigrant investors interested in participating in the EB-5 program, this process usually involves researching hundreds of available projects and investment options. One consideration for investors is whether to put their money into a regional center project or to invest directly into an […]

Making Sense of EB-5 Admin Fees

Though the EB-5 immigrant investor program can be an express lane to permanent residency, navigating its process and requirements can be a bit overwhelming. Since EB5AN is the foremost vendor for EB-5 regional center setup and access, our expertise is a reliable resource for investors, lawyers, and developers who need a little help to make […]

Grenada’s CBI Program Expedites EB-5 Investment

The bottleneck created by EB-5 retrogression has prompted prospective Chinese investors to seek another path to US investment and citizenship. As the sole possessor of both a citizenship-by-investment program and a bilateral investment treaty with the US, the tiny island nation of Grenada provides another option for these investors in the form of the E-2 […]

The EB-5 And Africa’s Economic Boom

Since the global financial meltdown of 2008, foreign direct investment (FDI) in the southern hemisphere has risen steadily, coinciding with explosive economic growth on the African continent. African countries such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, and Ethiopia have become both sources of wealthy investors and destinations for investment from other nations. African Investment Barriers Though […]

I-829 Petition Approval Requirements

Getting the I-829 petition approved is the final hurdle that EB-5 investors need to clear to complete the EB-5 process and become legal residents of the United States, on their way to full citizenship. In order to get his or her I-829 petition approved, the applicant must prove that the requirements of the EB-5 Program […]

The Uncertain Future of the EB-5 Program

To avoid a long-term government shutdown, the President and Congress just agreed to a defense spending budget for FY 2018 and FY 2019.The agreement also included a decision to provide continuing funding to several federal programs, including the EB-5 Program,through March 23, 2018. Labeled as the “Continuing Resolution,” this portion of the legislation also laid […]

USCIS Fourth Quarter I-526 and I-829 Data Released for FY 2017

USCIS recently updated its online data for I-526 and I-829 Petitions to include Q3 of fiscal year 2017. During Q3 (April through June), the Investor Program Office (IPO) significantly increased its processing of I-829 Petitions, outpacing the receipt of new petitions for the first time in years—and by a significant margin. This increase in processing […]

Navigating EB-5 Project Challenges

As the EB-5 industry expands and matures, it continues to face several serious challenges that threaten the integrity of the program as a whole. These concerns include fraud, misuse of investor funds, and other improper actions undertaken by regional centers and developers—which, in turn, might lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate. […]

USCIS Announces Regional Center Compliance Audits

On March 20, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced new EB-5 regional center compliance audits. Generally speaking, these audits are intended to enhance integrity within the EB-5 Program, to ensure that regional centers are operating in compliance with the law, and to determine whether they are promoting regional economic growth and job […]

Upcoming Changes to EB-5 Minimum Investment Amounts

For some time now, EB-5 professionals have been anticipating possible changes to the program—either through legislation or through regulation. Each time the EB-5 Program has been due for renewal over the past several years, some level of concern and speculation has arisen regarding potential changes to the program. The EB-5 Program is once again due […]

2017 Changes to the EB-5 Program and Industry Landscape

The EB-5 Program may be facing a number of changes in 2017 from a number of sources—a new administration focused on addressing immigration, a legislature poised to enact comprehensive immigration reform, newly proposed regulations by USCIS, and changes to Chinese capital export restrictions. Taken together, these factors indicate a high probability that changes will occur […]

Proposed EB-5 Program Revisions – January, 2017

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has proposed a number of revisions to the EB-5 Program. These revisions were published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017, and written comments will be accepted through April 11, 2017. The four primary revisions under consideration are […]

EB-5 Program Poised for Success under Trump Administration

After a contentious and in many ways unprecedented election season, one question looms in the minds of many: What next? What will President Trump do and how will his actions shape the future of the EB-5 Program? Much of Donald Trump’s platform relied on tough talk, particularly toward immigration, and as a result, many immigration […]

Five Recent Causes of RFEs and NOIDs for I-526 Petitions

In response to changing economic needs and securities regulations over the years, various trends have emerged in the adjudication of EB-5 visa petitions as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) focuses on new areas of concern within the program. As the I-526 petition is a crucial determiner of whether investors successfully navigate program requirements […]

USCIS Fee Increases Announced 10/28/2016

Today the Federal Register published U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule, a final rule adjusting the fees required for most immigration applications and petitions. Out of the above changes, the fee increase for Form I-924 is the most significant – a 186% increase from $6,230 to $17,795. This fee increase applies to new regional […]

Preparing for Changes in the EB-5 Program

Recent uncertainty regarding the future of the EB-5 Program harkens back to temporary shakeups in 2013 brought about by the publication of the May 30 memorandum by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While EB-5 practitioners were quick to adapt to the adjustments outlined in the memo, similar concerns have arisen in the present […]

Primary Elements of a Safe EB-5 Project

The evolution of the EB-5 market has encouraged investors to undertake increased levels of due diligence prior to committing to projects. Aside from assessing whether a project will remain financially viable throughout the visa application period and beyond, investors have been encouraged by recent actions concerning EB-5 projects by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) […]

Marketing the EB-5 Program in India

India has a long history of emigration beginning in colonial times and culminating in the recent migration of educated laborers to the West, Southeast Asia, and the Arabian Gulf. With its booming population and substantial middle class, India currently poses a significant opportunity for EB-5 developers. The Indian Economy In 2013, India was facing its […]

Marketing the EB-5 Program in Latin America

Recent delays in the processing of EB-5 visa petitions from Chinese investors have encouraged regional centers to focus on Latin America as a potential investment source. Despite political and social instability over the past decades, many Latin American countries are now experiencing economic growth, and the United States has emerged as an appealing destination for […]

EB-5 Regional Center Investments for Brazilian EB-5 Investors

The EB-5 Program offers unique opportunities for investors in Brazil to immigrate to the United States. However, despite the fact that Brazil has the largest economy and population in Latin America, few Brazilian EB-5 investors have applied for EB-5 visas over the past years. The reasons for this are twofold: Firstly, the booming economy in […]

Overcoming the Challenges Facing Iranian EB-5 Investors

Although Iranian EB-5 investors currently represent a small percentage of the overall number of EB-5 cases, only 0.7% as of 2014, recent changes brought about by the issuance of a general license by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) have opened a door for this untapped market. However, immigration attorneys and Iranian investors poised […]

EB-5 Petition Processing Statistics USCIS: Q2 2016

On May 31st, 2016 USCIS released official statistics on current I-526 and I-829 processing through March, 2016 (Q2 of FY2016). I-526 Petition Trends The most recent quarter (Q2 FY2016) showed a substantial decrease in new I-526 filings due to the extraordinarily high number of filings in the previous two quarters. I-526 filings spiked at the […]

EB-5 Petition Filings Stronger than Ever and Growing

EB-5 Petition Filings Stronger than Ever and Growing According to recently released data from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an increased number of EB-5 filings has resulted in a growing backlog of pending petitions. The updated data from USCIS provides numbers for Q1 of FY2016.   Increased Number of I-526 Petitions The record number […]

USCIS Proposed Fee Changes for the Regional Center Program  

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently published a notice on proposed changes to USCIS’ fee schedule for the EB-5 Regional Center Program.  Key Highlights of the Proposed USCIS Fee Changes:  Annual Form I-924A Filing: $3,035 fee – – Additional new fee for all existing Regional Centers Form I-924 Application Filing: Increase from $6,230 to $17,795 – […]

Secrets to Bringing an EB-5 Project to Market

The EB5Investors conference in Las Vegas in January, 2016 had 800+ attendees and was the largest EB-5 gathering in US history. One of our founding partners, Mike Schoenfeld, participated on the EB-5 Myth-busters panel. This was a panel geared at newer members of the industry and the content was focused on helping participants understand the […]

Should you file an I-924 “Exemplar” Petition before September 30th?

Since the introduction on June 3, 2015 of the bipartisan American Job Creation and Investment Promotion Reform Act by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) the Grassley / Leahy Bill, there is increased discussion on whether potential projects should file an I-924 “exemplar” petition prior to September 30th, 2015, the date on which […]

Why are Hotel Projects so Popular for EB5 Regional Centers?

Why are Hotel Construction Projects so Popular for EB5 Regional Centers? New hotel construction is one of the most popular types of EB5 regional center investment today. The reasons behind this relate to the two primary goals for EB5 investors: (1) Obtaining a Visa (with the highest chance of it becoming permanent) and (2) Return of Investment Principal […]

Updated Processing Times from USCIS

USCIS updated the processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office on February 11, 2015. The processing times are slightly longer than previous figures: 14 months for I-526 Petitions. 11.4 Months for I-829 Petitions. 11.1 months for I-924 Applications. The processing times can be accessed at the following link: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do

Implications of EB-5 Visa Retrogression

While the mechanics of visa retrogression on a per-country basis are complex, the reality is that there are only 10,000 visas available each USCIS fiscal year in the EB-5 category. Since each investor has an average of approximately 2 family members applying alongside them, this means that there are roughly 3,300 EB-5 investors that USCIS […]

Impact of Current EB-5 Processing Times

On October 24, 2014, USCIS released an updated EB-5 Processing Report of average processing times for the Immigrant Investor Program Office as of August 31, 2014. This recent report indicates that current average processing times are 13.8 months for Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur); 7.2 months for Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to […]

Targeted Employment Areas

Getting an EB-5 project a targeted employment area (TEA) designation can be incredibly important for EB-5 investors. The required EB-5 investment amount is lowered from $1 million to $500,000 if the EB-5 project is conducted in a targeted employment area.

EB-5 in the Capital Structure

The EB-5 program allows for the flexible use of the investment funds. It can serve as equity funding or serve as junior, unsecured mezzanine debt. EB-5 funding is ideal for filling in the typical

EB-5 China Market Landscape

In the past year we have seen a significant spike in new entrants to the EB-5 market in China. With USCIS I-526 times projected to decrease, the number of potential projects for which EB-5 capital could work has largely increased.

USCIS May 2014 Call Transcript

Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci, Chief, Immigrant Investor Program, USCIS USCIS投资移民项目主任Nicholas Colucci发言稿 Prepared Remarks of Nicholas Colucci Nicholas Colucci发言稿