It’s no secret that the United States is the number one destination for tourists and immigrants worldwide. As a global economic and cultural leader, the United States is the country people across the world look to when they want to make a better life for themselves. The business opportunities are vast, the entertainment options are plentiful, the lifestyle is unbeatable, and the freedom is unparalleled—life in the United States is truly a dream for many.
For most people, immigration to the United States is a pipedream, but the situation for foreign investors is different. Thanks to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, a foreign investor can obtain U.S. green cards for themselves and their spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21. What’s even better is that while investing in a better life for themselves and their family, an EB-5 investor can also earn lucrative returns on a wisely managed EB-5 investment. With enough careful due diligence, EB-5 investors can use the program as a way to store and protect their hard-earned funds as they move forward to a life in the United States.
Choose the Right EB-5 Investment for You
The beauty of the EB-5 program is that investors have plenty of choice in their investment path. While there is a minimum investment amount, there is no maximum investment amount set by the EB-5 program, meaning that investors may invest as much of their funds as they wish in an EB-5 project. The minimum investment amount is $1.8 million, which is reduced to $900,000 if the project is in a targeted employment area (TEA).
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts many different types of funds—investment funds, business funds, sale of asset funds, gift funds, and more—but EB-5 investors must provide evidence for all their EB-5 capital that proves it was obtained lawfully. Thus, as long as an investor can document the lawful sources of their funds, they can invest any funds they wish in an EB-5 project.
Finally, EB-5 investors can choose between investing directly in an EB-5 project and investing through an EB-5 regional center. While regional center investment is the more popular route, direct investment is a fantastic solution for investors with extensive managerial expertise who wish to retain control over their EB-5 capital. Since investors who invest directly are required to engage in day-to-day managerial tasks at the new commercial enterprise (NCE), they can exercise more control over their investment funds and, potentially, elevate their returns.
Invest in a Safe Project with Due Diligence
One of the requirements of the EB-5 program is that an investor’s capital must be at risk for the duration of the two-year investment period. Of course, this doesn’t mean the investment must be risky—it just means the investor must incur the potential to both earn and lose money on the investment. With careful due diligence, EB-5 investors can safeguard their funds by investing in a low-risk project that nonetheless fulfills EB-5 requirements.
When conducting due diligence, EB-5 investors should assess both immigration risk and financial risk. Since most EB-5 investors are more concerned with immigration, they may be willing to invest in projects with higher financial risk if they offer low immigration risk. However, if an investor places great importance on a financially lucrative investment, it’s important to weigh the two. The EB-5 Project Risk Assessment Questionnaire offered by EB5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN) is a free tool that allows investors to assess a prospective project’s financial and immigration risk, helping them determine whether the project is suitable for their goals.
Regional center investment can also come in handy to investors looking for low-risk projects. Regional centers carefully handpick the most attractive EB-5 projects in their regions to entice investors, so regional center projects are more likely to be low-risk than direct EB-5 projects. Of course, regional center projects are not guaranteed to succeed or to even be low risk, so EB-5 investors should always conduct their own due diligence as well to ensure they feel comfortable investing in the project.
U.S. Permanent Residency is the Ultimate Investment
If investors put in enough care and research, the EB-5 program can be a great way for them to store and grow their hard-earned capital, but they shouldn’t overlook the ultimate return the EB-5 program offers: U.S. permanent resident status. Regardless of the returns an investor makes from their EB-5 investment, the business opportunities in the world’s strongest economy offer the potential to make much more. EB-5 investors can work anywhere in the United States or open their own business, propelling their career to new, untold heights.
A life in the United States offers more than just financial opportunities, however. U.S. citizens and residents have access to some of the world’s top medical facilities, potentially prolonging their lifespan, and enjoy a safe, secure environment for themselves and their families. Their children learn in one of the best school systems in the world—one that strikes a balance between rigorous study and social education, allowing students to explore their interests and hone their unique skills as they learn to navigate the world.
An investment in the EB-5 program is also an investment in quality education. EB-5 visa holders can gain admission to competitive U.S. universities more easily because they compete in the same pool as U.S. citizens, not international students. They may also be eligible for in-state tuition savings, and depending on the school, the savings can be significant.
In this way, investing in the EB-5 program is unlike any other investment. It’s not only an investment in a new business—it’s an investment in a new life, a better, brighter, happier, and more prosperous life for the investor and their immediate family members. It’s an investment that an investor’s family can enjoy for generations to come as they establish solid roots on U.S. soil. It’s an investment in happiness, prosperity, and the most quintessential American value, freedom.