EB-5 investors from Puerto Rico 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 the required job creation. 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 proving 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 Puerto Rico.
The EB5AN Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Regional Center
Potential EB-5 investors may select EB-5 investments located anywhere in the United States. Still, those living in Puerto Rico may want to invest in projects located within the state, and EB5AN already has a USCIS-approved regional center in Puerto Rico.
The EB5AN Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Regional Center covers all municipalities in Puerto Rico, including its largest cities. San Juan, located on the north coast of the island, offers tourists several reasons to visit, including the El Morro fort in Old San Juan and the beautiful Ocean Park beach. Ponce, located in the southern part of the island, is Puerto Rico’s second-largest municipality and possesses many famous museums dedicated to local history, culture, and art. Mayagüez, meanwhile, is a major college town with outstanding universities such as the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
Green Card Benefits for Puerto Rico EB-5 Investors
The direct benefits of making an EB-5 investment in Puerto Rico include the following:
Residency and Citizenship Benefits
- The EB-5 program is one of the fastest ways to gain U.S. permanent residency for the EB-5 investor, their 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 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 restrictions.
- 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 Puerto Rico 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 an 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 their family will be able to gain entry to the United States immediately.
- 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 admission to U.S. universities by as much as 350%.
- Green card holders qualify for in-state tuition, financial aid, and scholarships.
- Permanent residents can 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 in an EB-5 project located in a rural or high unemployment area designated as a targeted employment area (TEA). 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 requirement 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 lawfully sourced investment funds.
How to Evaluate EB-5 Investment Projects
EB-5 investors based in Puerto Rico should evaluate both the financial and the immigration risks when selecting an EB-5 investment project.
One of the requirements for a successful EB-5 visa investment is that the investment capital must be at risk for the duration of the investment. This regulation ensures that investors actually invest their capital and are not simply “buying” a U.S. green card.
The “at-risk” requirement does not mean that EB-5 investors are required to invest in “risky” projects. On the contrary, EB-5 investors are strongly recommended to conduct thorough due diligence to minimize their exposure to financial and immigration risk.
In collaboration with Klasko Immigration Law Partners, EB5AN 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, considering both the financial and immigration risks.
More Information about Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico: Population and Income Demographics
According to the U.S. Census, Puerto Rico has a population of approximately 15.5 million people over the age of 16. Approximately 9.3 million of them are in the labor force; 8.2 million are employed, and 1.1 million are unemployed.
Puerto Rico: General Economic Outlook
Puerto Rico covers an area of 3,515 square miles with a population density of 908.6
people per square mile. These figures place Puerto Rico among the top 40 most densely populated territories in the world. The capital of Puerto Rico is San Juan, which is also the largest city and metro area. Puerto Rico’s 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) was $109.2 billion.
The main drivers of Puerto Rico’s economy are manufacturing (primarily pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and electronics), followed by the service industry (namely, tourism and hospitality). The island’s primary trading partners are the United States, Ireland, and Japan. Further, Puerto Rico has the highest GDP per capita in Latin America.
Tourism is a significant part of the island’s economy, providing up to 10% of Puerto Rico’s GDP. Many international cruise ships stop at the island, and many tourists visit cities such as San Juan, Ponce, and Arecibo.
EB-5 Investors from Puerto Rico
EB5AN has EB-5 investment projects that are available to residents of the state of Puerto Rico. EB-5 investors from Puerto Rico can inquire about EB-5 investment projects that are currently open to investment and are sponsored by an EB5AN EB-5 regional center.
If you are a foreign national considering an EB-5 investment, EB5AN can help you no matter where you live in Puerto Rico. Schedule a call to learn more about currently available EB-5 investment opportunities.