Investors who choose to participate in the EB-5 program expend significant amounts of time, energy, and resources to become permanent residents of the United States. Typically, they will make investments of $1,800,000, or $900,000 if their project is located in a targeted employment area (TEA). Further, they are aware that the immigration process could take several years and that the EB-5 program is extremely complex.
For all of these reasons, investors must perform thorough due diligence (that is, careful research) on potential EB-5 projects, developers, and regional centers. They should keep in mind that the projects should be able to sustain themselves during the entire visa application period and provide returns on their investments.
When evaluating potential investment opportunities, investors should consider the following factors:
1. Has USCIS officially approved the project?
Investors should look for projects that have already been reviewed and approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Additionally, investors should make sure that the project has been granted any other necessary licenses or permits.
2. Can the project meet the employment creation requirements?
The EB-5 program requires each investor to create 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. residents. To be on the safe side, the most reliable projects strive to create more than the required number of jobs per investor. These projects also time job creation in such a way that each investor can take credit for the right number of jobs.
3. What is the regional center’s track record?
If the regional center managing the project has a history of visa denials for no legitimate reasons, it may not be trustworthy. Further, investors should favor regional centers that have already handled EB-5 projects successfully.
Since there are many more factors to consider when evaluating EB-5 projects, investors should hire a qualified professional to conduct due diligence for them. For example, immigration attorneys who have experience working with the EB-5 program can protect investors from fraud or misrepresentation. They can also involve other due diligence experts.