It doesn’t take a lot of research to see that American immigration policy is becoming somewhat volatile. Investors want to stay informed and manage risks with EB-5 investments. It helps to understand a little about how EB-5 works, and how it’s being treated by politicians and officials in the U.S. government.
About the EB-5 Visa
An EB-5 investment can help an investor obtain a green card and achieve citizenship. By investing $500,000 in a regional center that’s approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), investors can create this special status for themselves and make good use of capital to create jobs in the U.S.
But EB-5 project completion doesn’t happen without work. It requires coordination by stakeholders and specific kinds of effort by attorneys and other parties, including eligible regional centers that help investors manage their projects.
The Role of Regional Centers
One of the primary requirements for a successful EB-5 investment is that the investment must meet standards for job creation under the EB-5 program.
That’s where regional centers come in. A regional center is defined as a “service agent organization” for investors and other stakeholders who want to set up a successful EB-5 program.
A major role of the regional center is to manage job creation to help applicants comply with job creation requirements. The regional center can be a private or public firm or organization or other entity that promotes job creation and economic growth in an area.
Instead of actively managing their investment, the EB-5 investor can set up an investment fund with the regional center and purchase equity stakes. The fund then gets linked to the regional center, and jobs are created indirectly, which benefits the investor since it helps to meet these important program requirements.
Regional centers were created under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program in 1992. This law sets a standard of 10 full-time jobs for each related investor. Regional Centers must apply through USCIS using form I-924 and work in a designated geographic area to foster job growth. Filing fees can get up to several thousand dollars, and approval can take up to a year or more.
Focusing on the Customer
The best regional centers will prioritize protecting the interests of their investors.
It takes concentration and attention to detail to navigate the EB-5 process, including appeals and other kinds of contingency planning. It takes prudent financial management to make sure investment money is deployed correctly to lead to job creation in an area. A regional center should be transparent and work closely with clients, as the investors need to know what’s going on at any time. If a regional center tries to misguide customers or take shortcuts in terms of immigration law, the investors are the ones who lose.
The regional centers with the most experience and the most professional acumen can help clients work through the volatile political circumstances that are threatening successful EB-5 completion. When the regional center’s professionals have experience with big commercial and real estate deals, and understand what the legislature is likely to do, they can give better advice to clients. When the regional center has diversified financial experience, it can work in more economic sectors to make sure the EB-5 process works.
The EB-5 program has been in place for a long time. However, the process has quite a few complications. The attorneys involved need to be savvy about the nuts and bolts of completing the application correctly and achieving the desired result. Look for a regional center that can help investors stay the course even when political changes roil immigration policy.