North Carolina Foreign Nationals Considering an EB-5 Investment

If you are a foreign national currently in North Carolina and you are looking into making an EB-5 investment, it is worth your while to learn about the benefits of choosing an EB-5 visa project through EB5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN).

There’s a Reason Regional Centers are Popular with EB-5 Investors

Investors in EB-5 projects have long-realized the benefits of investing in projects through EB-5 regional centers. These centers streamline the application process and are also approved to calculate job creation using the approved indirect method. With the indirect method, EB-5 investors only have to prove that their investment was spent as detailed in the business plan. They do not have to show that employees were hired in full-time positions or that those positions existed for two years or more.

EB5AN has a number of regional centers across the U.S. that have been approved by USCIS, including one right here in North Carolina.

EB5AN’s Regional Center for North Carolina

If you decide to become an EB-5 investor, you can choose to put your money in any project anywhere across the U.S. However, N.C. residents might have a desire to make an investment closer to home, and EB5AN’s North Carolina regional center makes this process easier.

North Carolina’s EB5 Affiliate Network Regional Center has coverage across the state’s 100 counties, as well as the two biggest cities.

In Charlotte, you not only get the biggest city in North Carolina, but also the regional center for entertainment, industry, finance, and technology. The state capital of Raleigh may not be quite as large, but it makes up for this by being part of the “Research Triangle” of cities that also include Durham and Chapel Hill, home to North Carolina State University.

Do EB-5 Investors in North Carolina Qualify for Benefits Related to Their Green Card?

Absolutely! There are all kinds of benefits that come with making a North Carolina EB-5 investment:

Benefits Specific to Citizenship and Residency

  • It’s hard to find a quicker way to get permanent residency in the U.S. than becoming an EB-5 investor. Keep in mind that this also applies to your spouse and any of your children younger than 21 who are not married.
  • When you retire as a green card holder, you might be able to get Medicare and other qualifying social programs, and you will be able to use any pensions you are entitled to both in the U.S. and abroad.
  • After you have been a permanent U.S. resident for at least five years, you can apply to be a citizen.

Benefits Associated with Jobs and Employment

  • You do not need an employer or visa sponsor to get into the EB-5 program
  • No H-1B work visa will be required to get a job
  • There are no restrictions to where you can live and work in the U.S. Everywhere in the U.S. is open to you. You can also choose to reside in a state that does not charge income tax.

Benefits Related to Freedom of Movement and Travel

  • Want to take a trip around the world? Visit relatives in your home country? As an EB-5 investor, you can! (Some travel restrictions apply)
  • Along with the ability to live and work in any area of the U.S., you are also free to take trips to anywhere in the country.
  • You can be admitted immediately to the United States if your country suffers political upheaval or another significant event.

Benefits Related to Schools and Universities

  • In the United States, public schools are free through high school. As a permanent resident, you will have access to these schools. Additionally, you will be able to pay the lower in-state tuition fees to attend universities and colleges in your state.
  • Increased likelihood of admission to a university in the United States. How much of an increase? U.S. resident are up to 350% more likely to be admitted.
    • As a permanent resident, you also qualify for scholarships and financial aid.

Green card holders are permitted to hold jobs while attending school, accept internships, and take positions after graduating.

What Does It Take to Get an EB-5 Visa?

There are five primary requirements that EB-5 investors must meet:

  • Invest the minimum amount. EB-5 investors must invest at least $1.8 million in a qualifying project. However, if they choose to invest in a designated targeted employment areas (TEA) this minimum is halved to $900,000. TEAs must be approved and they are typically in low-population rural areas or places where there is a high level of unemployment. At EB5AN, we only choose projects that are located in TEAs. This means that no one who uses us ever has to invest more than $900,000.
  • Be a source of U.S. jobs. A successful project must make or preserve 10 or more full-time jobs for American workers, and those jobs have to stick around for 2+ years.
  • Investing in a qualifying project. This includes both “troubled” existing businesses as well as approved new commercial enterprises.
  • Keep their money “at-risk.” Throughout the investment period, the invested funds must remain “at-risk” so that the investor stands to gain or lose depending upon the success of the project in question.
  • Use lawful sources to obtain their funds. There are specific rules about where investment money may come from, and potential investors must abide by these rules very carefully. Investors must maintain the at-risk status of the investment and use investment funds that have been lawfully sourced.

The Importance of Evaluating Projects for EB-5 Investments

Never invest in an EB-5 project in North Carolina without first carefully evaluating the potential risk it poses to both your immigration status and your finances.

Keep in mind that you will not be able to complete the EB-5 process and become a permanent resident through the program unless your investment remains at risk for the duration of the investment period. Why? Because lawmakers want to make sure the program isn’t simply a way for people to “buy” a U.S. green card.

That being said, do not equate “risky” and “at risk.” Every investment comes with risks – meaning you could make money or lose it. Some investments are riskier than others, though, which is why we highly recommend that you conduct thorough due diligence. This will decrease the potential risks you face to both your finances and immigration.

One way to engage in this due diligence is to use the EB-5 Project Risk Assessment Tool. Along with Klasko Immigration Law Partners, EB5AN put together this tool for anyone interested in investing in EB-5 projects. With the tool, you can gain a better understanding of the risks associated with particular projects.

Download our EB-5 Project Risk Assessment Questionnaire

Important Stats and Facts Related to Investing in North Carolina

North Carolina: Population and Income Demographics

The most recent U.S. Census counted 7.6 million people in North Carolina older than 16. About 4.9 million of those individuals are in the work force, with around 4.2 million employed and 527,000 without a job.

A Deeper Look at the Economy of North Carolina

The population density of North Carolina is 202.6 people per square mile. That makes North Carolina the 15th-most densely populated state.

Raleigh is North Carolina’s capital, and Charlotte is the state’s biggest city. Unsurprisingly, Charlotte is also part of the largest metro area. The gross domestic product (GDP) of North Carolina was $425 billion in 2010, and from 2000 to 2010 the state had a compound annual growth rate of 4.21%. North Carolina possesses the ninth-largest economy in the U.S. by GDP.

The technology sector in North Carolina has exploded in the 21st century, with STEM industries in and around Raleigh growing by 17.9% since 2001. This puts the Raleigh-Cary area at number 5 of the 51 largest U.S. metro areas with booming technology sectors. North Carolina’s economy is spread across 15 metro areas, and the state’s working population is employed in a wide range of industries. In 2010, the state was twice-honored –by the magazine Chief Executive Officer for being the second-best business state, and by Forbes as the third-best business state.

The average unemployment rate for North Carolina in 2015 was 5.7%. In the final three months of that year, the rates were 5.5%, 5.4%, and 5.3%, respectively.

If You Are a Foreign National in North Carolina and You Want to Invest in an EB-5 Project

EB5AN has countless EB-5 projects available to North Carolina foreign nationals. To learn which EB5AN EB-5 regional center investment projects are currently open for people in Charlotte, Raleigh, or other cities, get in touch.

Even if you are a foreign national living elsewhere in North Carolina, EB5 Affiliate Network is able to assist you with your EB-5 investment. Click here to schedule a call and discover which EB-5 investment opportunities are available right now.

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