June 25, 2018

EB-5 Investment Options – How to Choose the Right One for You

By: Anish Parikh

This article is for editorial discussion purposes only. Please do not interpret the content contained herein to constitute legal advice or be an interpretation of any laws or statutes. As always, seek counsel with an attorney with regard to your specific legal issue.

With the EB-5 Visa category growing in popularity annually, foreign investors are increasingly faced with the question of what the type of investment project is the best one for them to choose. EB-5 investors must cautiously choose an investment enterprise that will not only provide them with the best chances of successfully attaining approval on their application, but one that will make the most return on investment of their requisite capital. As many of us already know, the amount of capital EB-5 petitioners is required to invest in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise is no small number. As discussed in previous articles, depending on the category and location of the investment, anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000 in capital funds is required. Further, regardless of the type of enterprise, the main condition which will determine the success of your application is whether the enterprise will create at least ten (10) full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers. In this article, we explore the different types of projects that potential EB-5 investors, including many of our clients, have chosen to fund and the impact of those investment choices.

EB-5 investors have a wide range of options in which they may invest, provided that the enterprise meets basic requirements as determined by the USCIS. Acceptable EB-5 commercial investments span a vast array of fields and industries from hotels, medical facilities, manufacturing, agriculture development, real estate development, restaurants and retail, to casinos and stadiums. Choosing the right type of EB-5 investment requires much research and due diligence on the applicant’s end. The type of project undertaken is arguably the most important factor in determining whether the project will meet USCIS criteria, create ten (10) jobs, and be a successful business in the long run that will allow the foreign investor to remove the conditions of their permanent residency status. With so much riding on the choice of investment decision, it is imperative for foreign investors to consider some the following questions:

  • Why do I want to invest? To make a return on my investment, for green card purposes, or both?
  • What type of business enterprise aligns with my education, skills, strengths, and interests?
  • What are the risks associated with this type of business?
  • Where is the best location for me to invest in this type of business and what is the minimum required capital investment?
  • Is the business plan compliant with USCIS requirements?
  • How will the business create jobs?
  • Are there other EB-5 investors participating in this project?
  • What are the industries associated with USCIS’s designation of the regional center? What other regional center-specific implications and questions do I need to consider?
  • Does the project require any additional forms to be filed?
  • What is involved from a corporate law standpoint?
  • Can I prove that the funds being used for investment have been legally obtained?

The above questions are not exhaustive of all of the questions and considerations that must be taken into account regarding an EB-5 investment choice; however, they provide a good starting point for potential investors to assess the type of business they may fund and how that choice of business will impact the approval of their application and their success afterwards. While these considerations may seem difficult to ponder for a potential EB-5 investor who may have no background in business, investing, or a particular industry, they demonstrate how important it is to give proper consideration to the type of commercial entity in which the capital requirement is made. We at PLG are here to help you navigate difficult questions such as these and take into account your unique circumstances and how this will impact your EB-5 application. Our experienced immigration attorneys are here to guide and advise you on the right choice and help you throughout the process. Please contact us for an in-depth case evaluation. For more detailed information regarding the EB-5 process, please visit our website at www.plgfirm.com.