The EB-5 investment program does not have formal restrictions on where investors must live within the United States. However, EB-5 investors are required to be actively involved in managing the project in which they have invested. In some cases, this means that it is in the investor’s best interests to live near the project.
Whether an EB-5 investor should live near the project they are investing in largely depends on which investment path the investor takes. Investors can either choose to make their EB-5 investment directly in an EB-5 project or instead invest through a regional center approved by United States Citizenship and immigration Services (USCIS). Historically, most EB-5 investors have chosen to make their investments through USCIS-approved regional centers.
Regional centers typically make the investor a limited partner. This investment structure usually restricts the involvement of most regional center EB-5 investors to policy formation. In these situations, investors seldom have an obligation or a reason to live near the project. The limited involvement in the day-to-day management of the project and the flexibility regarding where they can live are two of the things that attract EB-5 investors to regional center projects.
EB-5 investors who invest directly in a project can be in a trickier situation. There is no formal requirement for a direct investor to live near the project they are investing in, but if an investor is required to manage the daily operations of the new commercial enterprise (NCE), they may find it impractical to live far away from the project. The more hands-on management requirements of some direct EB-5 investments make them more attractive for investors with a business background who want direct control of their investment funds.
To ensure that EB-5 investors meet all the requirements of the EB-5 program without incurring unnecessary financial or immigration risk, investors are advised to consult with an EB-5 immigration attorney and related industry professionals.