Foreign nationals from many countries have participated in the EB-5 investment program and obtained U.S. permanent resident status. Unlike other immigration opportunities, which can be extremely uncertain and lengthy, the EB-5 program sets out clear requirements for its investors. As long as a foreign national makes an EB-5 investment in compliance with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations, the investor will qualify for a permanent green card. In fact, the EB-5 program also includes an investor’s spouse and unmarried dependent children.
Still, the EB-5 process can be difficult to navigate on one’s own—USCIS sets out numerous regulations regarding the way an EB5 investment can be made, what kinds of businesses are eligible, and other matters. EB-5 investors must file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor and Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, to obtain their visas. If USCIS denies any of these visa petitions, an EB-5 investor will be unable to relocate to the United States.
In light of the above, it is crucial for EB-5 investors to work with an immigration attorney who has experience in the EB-5 industry. Immigration counsel can help an investor make sense of the EB-5 program’s requirements throughout every step of the process. It is especially important to work with an immigration attorney when selecting an EB-5 project, completing the source-of-funds documentation for Form I-526, and compiling Form I-829.
It is just as important for EB-5 investors to choose their immigration counsel carefully; working with an immigration attorney who lacks EB-5 experience could jeopardize an investor’s chances of success. When evaluating potential attorneys, EB-5 investors should look for the following characteristics.
A Solid Track Record
The most reliable immigration attorneys have a history of successful I-526 and I-829 petitions, and all immigration attorneys should be willing to provide their past success rates. Of course, investors must keep in mind that past success does not guarantee that their upcoming visa petitions will be approved. Moreover, if an immigration attorney has a high success rate but has only worked with a few EB-5 investors, the success rate becomes less meaningful.
Ideally, immigration attorneys should be available to answer their clients’ questions regularly; it is important to communicate with one’s attorney transparently. Moreover, attorneys should be able to respond to questions in a timely manner and provide information about their experience in the EB-5 investment industry.
Positive Client Testimonials
If an immigration attorney can provide positive client testimonials, their reliability increases substantially. EB-5 investors should also ask for client references and look for online reviews of the attorney’s services.
A Source-of-Funds Strategy
As mentioned previously, gathering the legal source-of-funds evidence for Form I-526 is a particularly challenging aspect of the EB-5 process. Immigration attorneys should have a solid strategy for helping their clients compile the necessary evidence and be willing to devote significant time and effort to completing Form I-526.
All EB-5 investors will benefit from working with a competent, experienced immigration attorney. EB5AN can help investors find the most reliable attorneys in the EB-5 industry today.