Who should a potential EB-5 investor consult before applying?
The first professional a potential EB-5 investor should consult is an immigration attorney with EB-5 experience. After discussing the investor’s goals and plans, the immigration attorney will be able to recommend other professionals as needed, which may include securities counsel, a business plan writer, an accountant, and possibly others.
While the EB-5 investment process seems simple, each step in the process involves complexities that are not immediately obvious. For example, making the required minimum investment seems simple enough, but it involves careful due diligence to find the right project and to minimize immigration and investment risk. Then, the investor usually needs to move money from their country of origin to the United States, which is subject to local laws and regulations, all while keeping in mind that they have to document the source of the funds. The investment must also comply with other EB-5 regulations, such as remaining at risk throughout the required investment period.
Consulting an EB-5 immigration attorney is the safest first step in this process. While an immigration lawyer will focus on the aspects of the EB5 investment visa application that relates to immigration law, they will know how the actual investment should be approached to comply with EB-5 regulations, and they will be able to identify potential pitfalls. Each application is unique because each investor has unique circumstances. An immigration attorney considers those circumstances when helping a client through the EB-5 process.
Other professionals involved in the EB-5 application process can include a financial or securities attorney, an economist, a business plan writer, an EB-5 professional with expertise in the preparation of petitions and accompanying information, an accountant, and a local attorney. Although this sounds like a daunting list, an immigration attorney can usually refer potential EB-5 investors to the additional professionals they need to consult—or at least provide them with a list of professionals to work with.