When should a foreign national considering an EB-5 investment hire an immigration attorney?

The earlier a potential EB-5 investor hires a U.S. immigration attorney, the better. A qualified attorney with EB-5 experience will be able to help the foreign national determine if the EB-5 program is the best immigration option available. If so, the attorney will then be able to help guide the investor through the rest of the process, from conducting due diligence on a regional center to preparing the I-526 petition, answering any questions the investor has along the way.

An EB-5 immigration attorney can help an investor with every step of the EB-5 process, beginning with choosing a visa option and determining whether the investor qualifies for the EB-5 program. Once eligibility has been confirmed, the attorney can help the investor decide whether direct or regional center investment is the best fit. If the latter, the attorney can then help the investor to assess the immigration risk of the regional center projects available.

However, an EB-5 immigration attorney specializes in immigration law as it relates to the EB-5 program. This means that the attorney will not be able to provide all the advice and services the investor needs. For example, while the immigration attorney can assess the immigration risk of the investment, they might refer the investor to a financial professional to assess the investment risk. Similarly, if the investor decides on direct investment, they will need to approach an economist and a business plan writer to obtain the accompanying documents needed for their I-526 petition.

In most cases, the EB-5 immigration attorney will be able to refer the investor to the required professionals. If not, the attorney will be able to advise the investor about the professionals they need to consult. The initial phases of the EB-5 process lead to the first step: submitting the I-526 petition. Working with an immigration attorney, and other professionals, from the outset, will facilitate I-526 preparation and submission and improve the likelihood of success.