Like many other countries, the United States offers foreign investors great opportunities when they invest in the country. However, you still need a VISA to enter the country to invest.
The VISA investors will use the employment fifth preference, or ‘EB-5’ immigrant visa, which guarantees permanent residence upon entering the US, like a green card.
To get the EB-5 VISA, investors must invest a significant amount in the business and take an active role in the business. There are policies and procedures for EB-5 investments, as we will see below:
There are various policies you need to adhere to, including:
The exact minimum amount for EB-5 investments has changed over the years. It used to be between fifty thousand and a million dollars. The minimum amount is typically applied to investing in targeted economic areas or TEAs (in rural or high-unemployment areas).
However, things have changed, and as EB5AN explains when you refer to this paragraph, the minimum investment is currently $800,000 in TEAs and $1,050,000 in other places.
There is an annual limit on EB-5 visas,with green cards for investors being limited to ten thousand. No country ever reached that limit, so it was a sufficient number for a long time until applications from Asian countries like China, Vietnam, and India significantly increased.
If there are more than ten thousand applications in a year, you will be on a waiting list until the USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) works its way down the list until they reach you.
The eligibility standards for getting the EB-5 visa are relatively lax compared to other eligibility requirements for citizenship in the US, which are very stringent. You are eligible if you have the funds to invest in or run a business in the country according to the minimum investment.
You also have to live and work in the US instead of working and traveling to and fro the US. There are many other eligibility requirements, but the most important thing to note is that EB-5 visas are conditional, meaning they are conditional and only last for two years. You should have started your business, hired at least ten workers, and made sales within that time.
You can apply for an EB-5 visa in two ways. The first is through a regional center or an organization that starts businesses and creates jobs. It is often the better choice as investors don’t have to risk starting their businesses.
The second way is to directly invest in real estate or a company or start your own business. The procedure for getting an EB-5 visa is as follows:
Engage EB-5 Professionals
The first step is to find the right EB-5 professionals to advise you on the type of investments you should make. Though the requirements of the investment program look relatively straightforward, there is a lot of complexity involved. You can follow the process yourself, but there are high chances of running into issues. Therefore, finding legal, accounting, financial, and tax professionals to guide you is best.
Determine Where To Invest
Even in the US, few people have a million dollars, so if you do, you will find investment opportunities. However, investment opportunities vary widely, so you will have to assess the viability of every direct EB-5 investment opportunity. You can take the safe route and invest in a regional center, which means you will have to assess various regional centers.
Since you must create ten jobs per investor for at least two years, smaller investments requiring fewer investors are usually best. If you invest in a regional center, you have to make an equity investment in the project in a new commercial enterprise even though you do not get to choose it.
You will also have to develop a business plan the government has to approve for you to invest. It should contain a plausible project or business that will be profitable and employ the necessary workers. The business plan will also help you determine which investments are best to work with a good business plan writer.
Marketing The Project
After investing in the project, the next step will be to market it. Your marketing strategy will depend on the business or the project. However, you should have enough in your marketing budget to meet your goals and ensure you can attract business.
Most investors hire a local American marketing firm to do the marketing for them as they better understand how to appeal to the target market.
A seminal part of any investment is reducing risk; you will have to do the same with an EB-5 investment. It would be best if you began by reducing immigration risk, which is the chance that you will be denied citizenship in the US.
Ensuring you have a plan to get long-term workers will also reduce immigration risk. Finding ways to store your money to gain value while still being accessible as working capital, for example, in money markets, is a way to reduce financial risk.
You need to know much to be involved in EB-5 investment, but it is the best way to invest in the US as a foreign national. The above policies and procedures are the tip of the iceberg of the EB-5 investment process. Consult a professional to find out more about EB-5 investments.