For many people seeking permanent U.S. residency, the EB-5 program is the simplest immigration path. The EB-5 visa isn’t based on applicants’ skills or professional abilities or on some other seemingly unattainable quality—anyone who can meet the investment requirements of the EB-5 program can qualify for an EB-5 visa.
The program is designed to stimulate the U.S. economy though foreign direct investment, so the two primary EB-5 program requirements are making a qualifying EB-5 investment and creating 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers through that investment. The current investment amounts are $1.8 million for investments in regular EB-5 projects and $900,000 for investments in EB-5 projects in targeted employment areas (TEAs).
Considering what’s at stake—not only a substantial investment amount but also a new life in the U.S.—performing thorough due diligence is a key aspect of making an EB-5 investment. As part of this diligence, prospective investors can greatly benefit from hearing the experiences of other investors who have worked with project developers and regional centers and can provide insights from their own EB-5 visa journeys.
In this video, Lorrie Rojas, an EB-5 investor from the Philippines who invested in EB5AN’s and the Kolter Group’s Hyatt Fort Lauderdale project, describes her EB-5 journey. She discusses her reasons for immigrating to the United States and choosing the EB-5 program and then explains why she chose to work with EB5AN—and why she invested in the Hyatt Fort Lauderdale project. She also explains what it was like working with the EB5AN team and which free EB-5 tools and information offered by EB5AN she found particularly helpful.
Full Interview with Lorrie Rojas – EB-5 Investor in the EB5AN Hyatt Fort Lauderdale Project
Transcript of the Interview with EB5AN Investor Lorrie Rojas
Why did you decide to immigrate to the United States?
Hi, my name is Lorrie Rojas, and I am an EB-5 investor with EB5 Affiliate Network.
I’m from the Philippines, and I was educated in Cebu City.
I came to the United States for graduate school and decided I wanted to stay. I love the United States: the culture, the diversity, the political stability, the great economy, the food, the weather, and most importantly, the educational opportunities.
Why did you choose the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program?
I first came to the United States on a student visa.
Once I decided to stay in the U.S. long term, I looked for a visa that would allow me to live and work permanently without any restrictions.
The EB-5 visa was a perfect fit for me.
With a single investment, I can continue as a graduate student and then eventually start my own business.
For me, the EB-5 program was the fastest way to get a green card and, eventually, citizenship.
Why did you choose EB5 Affiliate Network (EB5AN)?
I attended an EB5 Affiliate Network presentation and was very impressed with their experience and the professionalism and transparency of their materials.
I did a lot of research on the EB-5 industry.
I spoke with several EB-5 companies and explored several EB-5 projects.
The team at EB5 Affiliate Network answered every single one of my questions clearly and confidently.
In the end, I wanted a company that would treat me as a member of the family, so to speak, and not just a number.
Five hundred thousand U.S. dollars is a lot of money. I wanted to make sure the company I trusted my investment with would update me regularly.
The other EB-5 companies I spoke with did not have a regular, set investment reporting process.
EB5 Affiliate Network sends me a quarterly investment report. It contains all of the up-to-date information I need about the project and my investment.
That said, what really solidified my decision to invest with EB5 Affiliate Network was the high quality of the project and particularly the track record and financial stability of the Kolter Group, the developer of the Hyatt Fort Lauderdale project that I invested in.
Kolter is one of the largest private developers in the U.S. and has been developing successful projects like the one I invested in for more than 25 years.
Describe the EB-5 project in which you invested.
I chose to invest in the Hyatt Fort Lauderdale EB-5 project.
At the time I invested, the Hyatt Fort Lauderdale project was already preapproved by USCIS, and multiple EB-5 investors had already received I-526 approval.
EB5 Affiliate Network was able to arrange for me to visit and tour the project in person, and speak with the on-site real estate sales team.
The Hyatt Fort Lauderdale project was under construction and had already created all of the jobs required for all EB-5 investors, including me, to get their permanent green cards.
It also had a construction completion guaranty and an I-526 refund guaranty, which was really unique and made me feel even more confident in my decision.
Kolter and EB5 Affiliate Network have worked together successfully on multiple EB-5 projects in the southeastern U.S., including several that are nearly identical to the Hyatt Fort Lauderdale project that I invested in.
It was important to me that the developer was familiar with EB-5 and had successfully developed previous projects using EB-5 investment.
What was it like working with the EB5AN team?
The EB5 Affiliate Network team was professional at every step.
They were always available, and they would always respond to my questions quickly.
If you’re going to invest through the EB-5 program, you need to stay organized because it’s very complex, and the EB5 Affiliate Network team was on top of every detail and always ahead of schedule.
What tools or information did EB5AN offer that you found helpful?
EB5 Affiliate Network gave me so much information.
They have hundreds of informative videos and blog posts on their website.
And their book—The EB-5 Guidebook—is very helpful to understand any aspect of the EB-5 program.
EB5 Affiliate Network also has a risk assessment questionnaire that is very good for comparing and evaluating EB-5 projects.
That was very helpful for me as I compared the EB5 Affiliate Network project against several other EB-5 projects that I was considering.