How to Find a Reliable EB-5 Project and Immigration Attorney: Surya’s Story

I’m Surya, an EB-5 investor originally from India. It’s my pleasure to share my experience of the EB-5 process, my journey to the United States, and the path I’m taking to U.S. Green Cards for me and my family.


Why I Chose the EB-5 Visa

My journey to the U.S began in 2015 when I came over on an F-1 visa before moving onto an H-1B visa in 2020. As an IT project manager, I found fulfilling work with various clients while living in Dallas. At the same time, I was on the queue for a Green Card, with my I-140 application approved.

As I waited, I started exploring other routes for permanent residency that could offer a quicker solution.

Although I did consider other visa options, I found the EB-1 category wasn’t suitable for me due to the required year-long work outside the U.S. With my personal commitments, this was practically impossible.

Therefore, I chose to invest through EB-5. I knew that the documentation process would be extensive, especially the source of funds.

The Importance of a Skilled Immigration Attorney

To overcome this hurdle, I had to find the right immigration attorney. I started by holding conversations with more than five different attorneys, each offering their unique approach. However, it was my interaction with Anahita George, introduced to me by EB5AN, that resonated most.

From our first conversation, I knew she was the one I would proceed with.

My decision was based on two main factors: ease of communication and Anahita’s experience working with investors from India, especially documenting their source of funds. As someone who needed to source the majority of the funds from India, I wanted an attorney who could swiftly navigate through the complex documentation process.

Working with Anahita was a refreshing departure from the traditional attorney-client communication model, which usually involved long wait times. I prefer a more prompt response to sort out my issues and, in this case, Anahita met my expectations. She demonstrated a deep understanding of my needs and was highly proficient at managing the source of funds documentation. This made my experience relatively seamless.

As for the source of funds process, I spent a couple of weeks working closely with Anahita, planning the sourcing of funds from India. Even though it was meticulous, we had a solid plan, and I was well-prepared for the required documentation. Over the following two to three months, we gathered the necessary documentation to prove my funds. It took me a total of four months to complete the process, owing to some delays.

Regarding the sourcing of the investment funds, about 20% came from my earnings in the U.S., while the remaining 80% was a gift from India. With the funds coming from two different countries, each with its own tax regime, having an immigration attorney with specific experience in documenting sources of funds from outside the U.S. was crucial.

In my view, this was the turning point in my EB-5 journey and the main factor in my attorney selection process.

My advice to fellow EB-5 investors would be to select an attorney based on their comfort level and the attorney’s expertise in managing the source of funds documentation. Look for an attorney who has extensive experience in documenting the entire process appropriately, ensuring every channel through which the funds come is well accounted for.

How I Found a Safe EB-5 Investment Project

I began by investigating the different projects available in the market. I will admit, this was a daunting task with so many potential investments to assess. The starting point for my journey was EB5AN’s regional center. I had already heard about EB5AN through previous conversations with colleagues and family.

From EB5AN, I came across two intriguing projects: one in Utah, and the other in Georgia. After some thorough evaluation, I felt a stronger pull toward the Twin Lakes Georgia project. It seemed more in line with my expectations.

The project’s builder, Kolter, has extensive experience with similar projects and a solid track record of meeting commitments. This gave me a reassuring certainty.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Twin Lakes project was its rural designation and the job creation aspect.

The project already had a significant number of jobs created and was well into the construction phase. Its location also piqued my interest: Twin Lakes is about an hour from Atlanta airport and the area seemed ideal for senior citizens. I could see myself living there when I hit that age. I figured, if I felt comfortable living there, others surely would as well.

As part of my due diligence, I also evaluated other projects, one of which was a hotel development in Cary, North Carolina. After assessing the pros and cons, I concluded that the Twin Lakes project had a more predictable return on investment. On the other hand, the hotel’s performance would heavily influence the outcome of the North Carolina project.

Ultimately, I prioritized the safe recovery of my investment along with a reasonable return, leading me to select Twin Lakes over the alternatives.

Why I Chose EB5AN

Aside from the specific attributes of the project, I must highlight the importance of working with a reputable regional center. For me, that was EB5AN. Their credentials, reputation, and the positive impact they had on me since my first interaction gave me the confidence to continue my investment journey with them.

Final Thoughts

As part of my project evaluation, I conducted independent research with a firm that helped me identify the key aspects of a project. For instance, it’s beneficial if a project, even if rural, is in close proximity to an urban area. It’s also vital to scrutinize the builder’s background and experience, their completion record, their commitment to investors, and any potential legal issues.

You should also carefully evaluate the return on investment and how well the project is positioned to recover your investment.

Lastly, I want to express my appreciation to EB5AN and the team who introduced me to one of their attorneys. They were all crucial in helping me find a good EB-5 project and get started on the path to a U.S. Green Card.