EB-5 Investor

The Takemori Law Firm, in affiliation with Takemori Consulting, assists individual investors and entrepreneurs from around the globe in acquiring green cards through the Immigrant Investor Program, known as the EB-5 Investor Green Card program. The program was first authorized in 1990 and has been renewed thereafter to allow investors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to purchase lawful permanent residency status for themselves, their spouse, and their minor children under the age of 21 by making qualified investments here in the US.

A qualified EB-5 investor may make a direct investment (buy an existing business) or create own start-up for a $1,000,000 minimum capital investment, or $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) (Targeted Employment Area is defined as an area with high unemployment of at least more than 150% of national average or rural area outside of a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside of the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census. This type of direct investment is perfect for a foreign investor or entrepreneur who has a keen interest in developing a new business entity here in the United States and who wants to act as a “hands-on” Investor, managing day-to-day operations. These types of direct investments would require the investor to live close to the new business venture in order to be involved with all management and operational decisions of the business.

Another approach for an investor or entrepreneur who may not wish to be involved in day-to-day operations or hands-on management is the capital investment through one of the 600+ USCIS approved Regional Center (RC) projects located throughout the US. In this type of investment, the threshold limit is lowered to $500,000, and the investor will not be required to be a hands-on manager of the business, but is only required to be actively involved in policy-making. The investor would simply make his investment in one of the Regional Center (RC) projects in any location in the United States, and then he would be free to live in any locality, as his role in the Regional Center project would be limited to that of either a corporate officer or a member of Board of Directors.

The EB-5 investors green card program requires that the investor will create or preserve at least 10 full time jobs for employees other than the investor and his/her immediate family. These jobs must be created within a certain time frame to be detailed in length by your attorney.

The source and path of the funds used for the investment must be fully disclosed. Monies which are gifted to the investor may be used, however, if gift taxes apply in the foreign investors home country, all documentation must be provided to ensure that the gift tax has been paid. The Attorney will assist you by providing you with a checklist of documents required to show the source and path of the funds so as to provide evidence that all monies utilized have been lawfully earned and come from legal sources.

There is no minimum age for the EB-5 Investor. Therefore, if you wish to send your son or daughter to US to study or settle down, you could easily gift an 18 year old with the seed money for the EB-5 program and have him/her apply as principal investor.

The EB-5 investor green card is great for families, as the principal investor, as well as his/her spouse and the dependent children under 21 years old, all will receive the green card upon successful investment and approval of USCIS.

The process is three-fold:

First, after monies are received in escrow in US, the Attorney will assist with the filing of the I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. Once this petition is approved by USCIS the money will come out of escrow and fund the investment.* (this may vary according to type of investment, i.e. direct or regional center)

Second, once the I-526 is approved by USCIS, if the investor and family members are in the US in another type of valid legal status, they will file the I-485 adjustment of status applications to register permanent residence or adjust status. Upon the approval of the I-485 applications, the investor and his family members will become conditional residents of the United States. (Conditional Residency is valid for 2 years).

If the investor is outside of the US when the I-526 is approved, he will file for immigrant visa through consular processing at the US Embassy in his home country. Once he enters the US on the immigrant visa, he will receive a 2 year conditional green card in the mail.

There are certain quotas established for the EB-5 category of immigrant visas. It currently stands at 10,000 per fiscal year. All countries except China are current. Due to the high number of Chinese investors, it has been learned that it will be necessary to cause a retrogression for Chinese nationals. This means that there will be no immediate availability of visas for nationals of China and they will need to wait for some period outside the US until a visa becomes available (if applying from outside of US). If inside the US, they will need to maintain legal status under another visa category until such immigrant visa becomes current.

Third step, removing the conditions on the conditional green card. 90 days before the expiry of the conditional permanent resident card, it is necessary that the investor and any family members remove conditions on the green card to be granted a permanent 10 year green card. At such time, the Attorney will assist in the filing of the I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on the green card. Once this is approved, the investor and any derivative family members will be allowed to live and work permanently in the US as lawful permanent residents.

This summarizes the complex EB-5 Investor Green Card Program. The legal team at Takemori Law Firm are committed to providing excellent service and will be pleased to discuss with investors and entrepreneurs all opportunities during a legal consult geared specifically towards the EB-5 program. Please contact our office today at +1.240.644.2637, or gina@takemorilaw.com to set up a SKYPE, e-mail, phone or in-person business consult. We look forward to serving you.