EB-5: Separating Myth from Fact

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EB-5: Separating Myth from Fact

The EB-5 visa program can sometimes be portrayed as a long and complicated process. It is not unusual for prospective EB-5 investors to become confused by all the information they see during their due diligence and fact finding stage. In fact, many EB-5 investors have a hard time separating myth from fact when it comes to all the requirements they need to meet in order to successfully obtain their permanent green card under the EB-5 visa program.

To help you get an accurate description and a better understanding of the EB-5 visa program, here are six myths exposed.

Myth #1: The EB-5 Program Allows Wealthy Foreign Investors to Buy Green Cards.

Fact: EB-5 is an investment visa program. Its primary goal is to stimulate economic development in the United States through job creation and the introduction of capital from foreign investors.

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) has strict requirements in place for foreign investors that need to be met before they are eligible to receive a Green Card (permanent residency) under the EB-5 program. This includes making an “at-risk” investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time American jobs.

The requirement to invest in a new commercial enterprise and create jobs for qualified U.S. workers means that participants in the EB-5 program are not buying green cards, but instead investing in the U.S. economy in exchange for an immigration benefit opportunity.

Myth #2: The EB-5 program is a fast way for foreign investors to receive a green card.

Fact: Every visa program for residency in the United States has an adjudication period and a set number of visas that can be given to petitioners under that visa category each year. (For the current adjudication timeframes for the I-526 and I-829 petitions under the EB-5 program, please click here . Under the EB-5 program, only 10,000 visas are available each year to be issued to eligible EB-5 investors, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21. If demand from an individual country exceeds the allocated number of visas for that country, a visa backlog—commonly referred to as retrogression—can occur, resulting in delays before a visa can be issued. Although the EB-5 visa may not be as “fast” as some other visa categories, what sets it apart is that it provides for permanent residency for the investor, their spouse, and unmarried children under 21.

Myth #3: An EB-5 regional center’s associated petition approvals in the past mean automatic approval in the future.

Fact: A regional center is a USCIS approved entity that sponsors capital investment projects under the EB-5 visa program that is authorized to operate in a certain geographic area. As each immigration petition is adjudicated individually by the USCIS, previously approved petitions associated with any specific regional center do not guarantee future petitions associated with the same regional center will be approved. However, while past success is not a guarantee of future success, a regional center’s track record and longevity can be an important consideration for anyone considering the EB-5 Visa as their route to a new life in the USA.

Your success in using the EB-5 visa program for U.S. permanent residency is largely dependent on you understanding all the facts. Please make sure you fully understand exactly how the program works.

Download Your EB-5 Visa Step-by-Step Guide

This 10-step guide will take you through each step on your path to permanent residence using the EB-5 Visa Program - It's Free
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Myth #4: The EB-5 program guarantees you Permanent Residency (a Green Card).

Fact: A green card is not guaranteed through participation in the EB-5 program, as no one can ever guarantee the outcome of any immigration petition. The EB-5 program involves both as an investment project and an immigration program. You cannot be guaranteed any particular outcome regarding the investment or your immigration status. This is why a very careful analysis of the claims of success made by regional centers and other EB-5 practitioners as well as the investment itself is very important when performing your due diligence.

Myth #5: $1 million is the minimum investment amount under the EB-5 program.

Fact: This is a common misconception among potential EB-5 investors. The required investment under the EB-5 program is $1 million. However, this amount is lowered to$500,000 if the investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area (“TEA”), which is either a rural area or an area of with an unemployment rate at least 150% of the national average. According to the USCIS statistics, most EB-5 investors make their investment in a TEA, as over 90% of all EB-5 investments were approved for the lower investment amount in 2016.

Myth #6: A targeted employment area (TEA) is a permanent designation.

Fact: Another misconception among potential EB-5 investors is that TEA’s have permanent designations. In reality, this status can change each year as it is based on the most up to date unemployment data. To qualify as a TEA, an investment area has to be either a rural area or a defined area with a high unemployment. Unemployment in those areas has to be 150% of the average rate in the United States. As investment, migration and other economic and demographic factors influence these areas, the area in question can lose its status as a TEA each year.

What is the Process of Applying for an EB-5 U.S. Investment Visa?

The step-by-step guide (see link below) will help you with a simple outline of each of the steps you need to take to apply for an EB-5 visa to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. for yourself and your qualified family members.

Download Your EB-5 Visa Step-by-Step Guide

This 10-step guide will take you through each step on your path to permanent residence using the EB-5 Visa Program - It's Free
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Need Help with Your EB-5 Visa Planning?

Our team of experienced professionals has a long tradition of helping investors  from all over the world achieve their goal of permanent residency in the United States. If you want to learn how we can help you make a successful transition to a new life in America, contact us today for a personal consultation.

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