The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of the most reliable and secure ways for foreign nationals to relocate to the United States with their families. In addition to providing thousands of investors with a route to permanent U.S. residency, the program creates jobs and benefits the U.S. economy.
There are several factors that EB-5 investors should consider when evaluating potential projects. The standard minimum investment threshold is $1,000,000, but projects in targeted employment areas (TEAs) require a minimum investment of only $500,000. In addition, this capital must remain at risk, meaning there can be no guarantee that the funds invested in an EB-5 project will be returned.
When choosing an EB-5 investment opportunity, investors should avoid suspicious projects and projects with a high immigration risk.
How to Avoid EB-5 Fraud
Fraud and embezzlement have occurred in EB-5 investment projects in the past; there have been cases where EB-5 funds were used unlawfully for a different purpose unrelated to the EB-5 project. In addition, some businesses have marketed themselves as EB-5 projects despite not fulfilling United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) criteria.
To avoid these situations, it is essential for potential investors to investigate the background and legal status of the project managers. Foreign nationals should make every effort to meet the EB-5 investment fund managers and seek maximum transparency.
Assessing Immigration Risk in EB-5 Projects
Permanent residency in the United States is often the primary objective of EB-5 investors. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure that all USCIS requirements are met.
Sometimes EB-5 projects cannot be completed due to a shortage of capital. For example, if a project is hoping to attract 10 EB-5 investors, but only acquires two, the shortfall may leave the project unviable. This is a key aspect of determining the immigration risk of a project. It is advisable to look for projects that have alternative sources of financing in case there is a lack of capital. This will considerably increase the project’s chances of success.
Another aspect of immigration risk is the ability of the EB-5 project to generate the needed number of jobs. Foreign nationals looking to invest in an EB-5 project are advised to examine the business plan carefully and ensure there is real job creation potential. Some EB-5 projects will offer a job cushion.
For a successful permanent residency petition, foreign nationals need to ensure that, by the time USCIS adjudicates Form I-829, the 10 jobs have already been created. Otherwise, the investor may be denied permanent resident status. In addition, if a potential EB-5 project already holds an approved I-526 petition, this indicates that USCIS criteria are being met.
To date, numerous foreign nationals have obtained their permanent residency through the EB-5 investment program, and many have qualified for citizenship later on. All that is required is careful planning so that no detail is overlooked. To find trustworthy projects, potential investors are advised to contact EB5AN, where they can receive personalized information on how to begin the EB-5 process.