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What Are Partial EB-5 Investments?

Since 1990, the EB-5 investment program has made it possible for foreign nationals to relocate to the United States by investing in qualifying businesses. Foreign nationals who make a successful EB-5 investment are given a green card and can even apply for citizenship after holding permanent resident status for five years. Of course, the EB-5 investment industry is not only good for investors—since each EB-5 investment must generate at least 10 jobs, the U.S. economy also benefits from this much-needed source of capital.

The EB-5 program is also popular because of the flexibility that it grants to investors: foreign nationals from any country can participate, and their family members are also entitled to receive permanent resident status. In addition, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows investors to use a wide variety of sources of funds to obtain EB-5 capital.

USCIS is also flexible regarding the way EB-5 investments are made. In some cases, foreign nationals are not required to provide all of the EB5 investment capital right away—instead, they can make what is known as a partial or installment investment.

How Partial Investments Work

A partial EB-5 investment occurs when a foreign national makes an initial investment and later provides the rest of the funds in installments. After providing the initial funds, the investor will be given a set period (usually 6 to 12 months) to contribute the rest of the EB-5 capital.

The investor must give the EB-5 project a promissory note with a pledged security interest in assets worth at least as much as the amount of capital that will be paid in installments. The EB-5 project that holds this promissory note will have an enforceable lien on the investor’s pledged asset(s). Therefore, if the investor fails to provide the needed capital within the agreed period, the EB-5 project will be able to liquidate the pledged asset(s) and receive the promised funds.

USCIS allows partial investments because they constitute an irrevocable commitment of the EB-5 funds. The USCIS Policy Manual states that EB-5 investors “must document the path of the funds to establish that the investment was made, or is actively in the process of being made, with the immigrant investor’s own funds.” In light of this policy, partial investments are considered as “actively in the process of being made.”

Still, USCIS carefully examines partial EB-5 investments to make sure that the pledged funds will indeed be provided within the approved period. Therefore, investors must document the terms of their partial investment in great detail when they file Form I-526E and submit other documents to USCIS. It is especially important to prove that the lien is enforceable by the promissory note holder—doing so indicates that the EB-5 investment funds have been irrevocably committed to the project.

A Hypothetical Example of a Partial EB-5 Investment

In practice, how could a foreign national make a partial EB-5 investment? Suppose that a potential investor only has $300,000 to invest. The minimum EB5 investment amount for targeted employment area (TEA) projects is $800,000, so the investor would need an extra $500,000 to make an investment. However, he has the means to provide the $500,000 in installments. The investor also owns a liquid asset: a hotel property that has a market value of more than $500,000. The investor controls 100% of the hotel’s equity.

Now, the investor can make an EB-5 investment of $300,000 and provide a promissory note for $500,000 with a pledged security interest in the hotel. Through the promissory note, the EB-5 project will have an enforceable lien on the hotel. Of course, an independent report will have to prove that the hotel property is worth at least $500,000.

The investor will be given a period of 6 to 12 months to pay the remaining $500,000 in installments. If he fails to do so, the EB-5 project will be able to enforce the lien against the hotel.

To help guide EB-5 visa applicants through the partial investment process, EB5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN) and Beshara Global Migration Law Firm presented a joint webinar explaining how to make a partial EB-5 investment. Download the presentation below or watch the webinar on YouTube to learn more about partial investments.

Why Make a Partial EB-5 Investment?

If an EB-5 investor cannot invest the full amount of $800,000 straightaway, making a partial investment and then completing the investment amount in installments can avoid unnecessary delays in the immigration process. The investor and their dependent family members may be able to relocate to the United States sooner through a partial investment.

Moreover, under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, EB-5 investors who already live in the United States under a non-immigrant visa can now file the I-526E and I-485 petitions concurrently. Since Form I-485 is used by EB-5 investors to adjust their immigration status, filing the petitions concurrently can allow investors to change their status to “pending adjustment” and apply for employment authorization.

EB-5 investors who file forms I-485 and I-526E concurrently may be able to obtain employment authorization in six months—or less. This provision can also be useful to investors whose non-immigrant visas are nearing expiration.

EB-5 investors who hold non-immigrant visas such as the H-1B, L-1, E-2, F-1, and TN categories may consider making a partial investment.

Wohali Utah: An Institutional-Quality EB-5 Project Accepting Partial Investment

EB5AN is currently accepting partial investments in its Wohali Utah project near Park City, Utah. This residential golf community in a scenic natural location offers EB-5 investors high chances of immigration and financial success: more than 300 EB-5-compliant jobs have already been created, and EB-5 investors in Wohali Utah will receive job creation and I-526E approval refund guaranties. In addition, the Wohali Utah development follows a proven and profitable business model in the housing sector.

Wohali Utah’s designation as a rural TEA puts investors in line for set-aside EB-5 visas, which can remove years-long delays in the immigration process for investors from countries with an EB-5 visa backlog. Investors will also receive priority processing of Form I-526E.

For more information on how to make a partial investment in Wohali Utah, or for further information on partial EB-5 investments, please schedule a call with EB5AN. Partial EB-5 investment can accelerate the EB-5 immigration process and help EB-5 investors relocate to the United States sooner than would otherwise be possible.