EB-5 investors from West Virginia seeking an EB-5 investment should consider the benefits of investing in an EB5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN) EB-5 visa project.
Why Do Most EB-5 Investors Use Regional Centers?
EB-5 regional centers streamline the EB-5 investment process for potential EB-5 applicants and make it easier to demonstrate required job creation. Specifically, only regional centers may use the indirect method of calculating jobs through an approved economic methodology. This means that EB-5 investors must show only that their invested funds were spent according to the business plan rather than documenting that full time (W-2) employees were hired and remained employed for at least two full years.
EB5AN maintains multiple USCIS-approved regional centers with broad geographic coverage, enabling it to immediately sponsor strong EB-5 projects across the United States, including West Virginia.
The EB5AN State of West Virginia Regional Center
Potential EB-5 investors may select EB-5 investments located anywhere in the United States. Those living in West Virginia, however, may simply want to invest in projects located within the state, and EB5AN already has a USCIS-approved regional center in West Virginia.
The EB5 Affiliate Network State of West Virginia Regional Center covers select counties in the state of West Virginia. Since 2009, West Virginia has seen increased growth of privately owned housing units, both in new buildings and housing units. In 2014, roughly 300 privately owned units were authorized by building permits. Most of these units are in West Virginia’s largest cities, which include Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Parkersburg, and Wheeling.
Green Card Benefits for West Virginia EB-5 Investors
The direct benefits of making an EB-5 investment in West Virginia include the following:
Residency and Citizenship Benefits
- EB-5 is one of the fastest methods to gain permanent residency in the United States for the EB-5 investor, his or her spouse, and their unmarried children under 21 years of age.
- Retired green card holders can access their pensions earned abroad and in the United States. They may also qualify for Medicare and other social welfare programs.
- Green card holders may apply for U.S. citizenship after a minimum of five years of established permanent residency in the United States.
- Green card holders are free to live and work anywhere in the United States, without restriction.
- Live anywhere, from the beaches of California and Hawaii to the mountains of Colorado, from a quiet, rural town to the hustle and bustle of New York City.
- Live in states such as West Virginia and Texas with no state income tax.
- The EB-5 program does not require a visa sponsor or employer sponsor
- Green card holders do not need H-1B work visa in order to work
- Green card holders can leave and enter the country without being denied reentry, although some travel restrictions apply.
- Green card holders are free to travel to any part of the United States.
- In the event of a political change or significant event in the investor’s home country, the investor and his or her family can immediately gain entry to the United States.
- Green card holders have free access to public elementary, middle, and high schools and lower-cost in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
- U.S. residency improves the likelihood of U.S. university admission by as much as 350%.
- Green card holders qualify for in-state tuition, financial aid, and scholarships.
- Permanent residents can also work while studying, complete internships, and apply for postgraduate positions.
Primary EB-5 Investment Requirements
The primary EB-5 investment requirements can be summarized as follows:
- Investing a minimum of $900,000 for EB-5 investments made in rural or high unemployment areas designated as targeted employment areas (TEAs). Projects outside of TEAs require an investment of $1,800,000, but all of EB5AN’s EB-5 investment projects are located in TEAs and qualify for the lower investment threshold of $900,000.
- Creating or preserving at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers that last a minimum of two years.
- Investing in a new commercial enterprise or a troubled business.
- Maintaining the at-risk status of the investment and using investment funds that have been lawfully sourced.
How to Evaluate EB-5 Investment Projects
EB-5 investors based in West Virginia should evaluate both financial and immigration risk when selecting an EB-5 investment project.
One of the requirements of a successful EB-5 visa investment is that the investment capital must be at risk for the duration of the investment. This is to ensure investors actually invest their capital and are not simply “buying” a U.S. green card.
“At risk” does not mean that EB-5 investors are required to invest in “risky” projects. Quite the contrary—EB-5 investors are strongly recommended to conduct thorough due diligence to minimize their exposure to financial and immigration risk.
EB5AN, in collaboration with Klasko Immigration Law Partners, has developed an EB-5 Project Risk Assessment Tool for EB-5 investors. This highly functional, easy-to-use tool guides investors through the initial diligence of EB-5 projects from both financial and immigration risk perspectives.
More Information about West Virginia
West Virginia: Population and Income Demographics
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the State of West Virginia has a population of approximately 1.5 million people over the age of 16. Of this, there are approximately 826,000 people in the labor force, with 756,000 who are employed and 69,000 who are unemployed. These population numbers represent approximately 741,000 households.
West Virginia: General Economic Outlook
West Virginia covers an area of 24,230 square miles, with a width of 130 miles and a length of 240 miles. This implies a population density of 77.1 people per square mile, which makes West Virginia the 29th-most densely populated state in the United States.
The capital of West Virginia and the largest city is Charleston, and the largest metro area is the Huntington metropolitan area. The gross domestic product (GDP) of West Virginia in 2010 was $65 billion. This implies a compound annual growth rate from 2000 to 2010 of 4.55% and a per capita GDP of $30,217. West Virginia has the 39th-largest economy in the United States by GDP.
West Virginia would nominally have the 62nd-largest economy globally, behind Iraq and ahead of Croatia, according to 2009 World Bank projections, and the 64th largest, behind Iraq and ahead of Libya, according to 2009 International Monetary Fund projections. West Virginia had a projected nominal GSP of $63.34 billion in 2009, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis report of November 2010, and a real GSP of $55.04 billion. The real GDP growth of the state in 2009 of 0.7% was the seventh best in the country. West Virginia was only one of ten states in 2009 that grew economically.
EB-5 Investors from West Virginia
EB5AN has EB-5 investment projects that are available to residents of the state of West Virginia. EB-5 investors from West Virginia can inquire about EB-5 investment projects that are currently open to investment and are sponsored by an EB5AN EB-5 regional center.
No matter where you live in West Virginia, if you are a foreign national considering making an EB-5 investment, the team at EB5 Affiliate Network can help. Click here to schedule a call to learn more about currently available EB-5 investment opportunities.