Investors looking for active EB-5 projects have several resources at their disposal. For example, immigration attorneys can help them find suitable projects or refer them to knowledgeable industry specialists (however, immigration attorneys should not refer clients to specific regional centers or projects). Investors can also examine the list of current regional centers provided by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Alternatively, they could use search engines to find active projects and regional centers.
When deciding whether to get involved in an EB-5 project, potential investors need to carefully examine it and make sure that it complies with all of USCIS’s regulations. Performing thorough research on potential EB-5 projects will minimize investors’ risk and increase their chances of successfully applying for permanent residency.
Potential investors should look for the following criteria when assessing EB-5 projects:
1. Potential for Employment Creation
To gain permanent residency through the EB-5 program, investors must be able to prove that they created or saved 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. Trustworthy EB-5 projects aim to create more than the required number of jobs per investor, thus accounting for possible contingencies. The project’s hiring plan and job creation procedures are good indicators of its potential for employment creation.
2. Financial Return
Investors who are aiming to obtain significant financial returns from EB-5 projects should examine its earning potential. On the other hand, other investors may only focus on gaining permanent residency through the project, so they could be satisfied with projects that have a low immigration risk but may not yield high returns.
3. Financial and Immigration History
One of the most important factors to consider when assessing an EB-5 project is its track record. Investors should find out if the project’s developer and regional center have a history of high denial rates for I-526 and I-829 petitions. If so, the project would likely be untrustworthy.
The project’s developer and its regional center should provide potential investors with all the necessary information regarding their finances and operation. They should have a reputation for communicating openly with their investors.