United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers statistics regarding the total number of approved and denied EB-5 petitions every fiscal year. However, these statistics have little bearing on any individual EB-5 case. Because every investment is unique, each EB-5 petition is examined on a case by case basis. Factors such as investment type and project location will affect the criteria that must be met and whether or not an investor must guide a project to success on their own.
Acceptable EB-5 businesses exist across a variety of fields and industries, including medical facilities, real estate development, restaurants, casinos, and many more. Furthermore, there are multiple investment types available to EB5 applicants, i.e. regional center investment or direct investment. Investors who opt for direct investment must also decide if they will purchase an existing business or create a new one. These are all factors that influence the challenges each EB5 investor will face.
Regardless of the defining features of an investment, USCIS requirements still apply. In general, the success of an investment depends on the EB5 businesses’ ability to create enough jobs. There are, however, certain investment types that have additional requirements to fulfill. For example, an investor who chooses to directly invest in a business established before 1990 must generate a 40% increase in either employment or net worth.
Arguably the most important step in the EB-5 investment process is conducting thorough due diligence before making a final decision. This is especially important when considering regional center investment, as the integrity and quality of the affiliated center can affect an investor’s success. By evaluating a regional center’s track record and history, an investor can get a general idea of the center’s petition approval rates. Investors and their immigration attorneys should carefully weigh their options and decide on an investment that is feasible for their individual circumstances. Doing so will prepare an investor for the EB5 process and set them up for success.