The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of the best ways for foreign nationals and their families to relocate to the United States and enjoy the country’s thriving economy and delightful culture. To qualify for permanent resident status, foreign nationals must make an EB5 investment in a qualifying U.S. enterprise and create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs. Moreover, potential EB-5 investors received encouraging news on June 22, 2021—the EB-5 Modernization Rule had been invalidated, so the required minimum investment amounts decreased to $500,000 for targeted employment area (TEA) projects and $1,000,000 for non-TEA projects. Since United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could take action to raise these minimum amounts, EB-5 investors should take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts.
Admittedly, interested foreign nationals may feel apprehensive about making an EB-5 investment due to the June 30, 2021 suspension of the regional center program. Still, they can be confident that the program will be reauthorized in the coming months—after all, the regional center program previously expired in December 2018 but was later resumed. In fact, the program may be reauthorized in Fall 2021 as part of a spending bill.
Regardless of whether potential investors are interested in investing directly or making a regional center investment once the program is reauthorized, the following guidelines will help them prepare for the EB-5 investment process.
Procure Source-of-Funds Documentation
USCIS has put in place strict guidelines regarding the source of funds of EB-5 investments. When filing Form I-526, investors must provide exhaustive evidence that outlines the sources of their funds and proves their legality. To make matters more complicated, the required documentation will vary depending on the source of funds in question. For instance, EB-5 investors using funds gained from real estate sales will have to submit a property ownership certificate and purchase and sales contracts. On the other hand, foreign nationals who use gifted EB-5 capital will have to procure a written gift agreement signed by both parties. Proving the legality of EB-5 investment funds can be difficult and time consuming, so be sure to gather all the relevant documentation as early as possible.
Work with EB-5 Professionals
The many regulations governing the EB5 investment industry can be confusing to foreign nationals who are new to the program and want to minimize their investment risk. If a foreign national’s EB-5 investment does not comply with all the applicable guidelines when their I-526 petition is filed, USCIS may deny their application or send a request for evidence (RFE). Therefore, EB-5 investors should hire an experienced immigration attorney. Investors can also work with EB-5 consulting firms, which can help them keep up with the rapidly-changing EB5 investment industry.
Identify a Suitable EB-5 Investment Opportunity
Interested foreign nationals should start doing research on available EB-5 projects as soon as possible. When evaluating potential EB-5 investment opportunities, they should be on the lookout for high-risk or suspicious projects that do not have contingency plans in case of a capital shortfall. The safest EB-5 projects have taken steps to ensure their completion even if they do not gather all the planned capital, and EB-5 consultants can help identify such projects. For example, EB5AN offers highly reliable EB-5 projects and has a 100% I-526 and I-924 project approval rate.
Making a successful EB-5 investment requires careful planning and research, but it can lead to a new life in the United States. Schedule a meeting with EB5AN to learn more about current EB-5 investment projects.