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Questions & Answers

Do all immigrant investors have to invest through EB-5 Regional Centers?

Is it possible to qualify for the EB-5 visa investment program without investing through a Regional Center? Could I invest in another existing company or start my own instead?

Answers

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    Clem Turner

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not need to go through a Regional Center to participate in the EB-5 Program. There are many so called "direct" EB-5 deals available. Direct (i.e. Non-Regional Center) deals will not be afforded job creation credit for indirect or induced jobs. Therefore it is very important that the direct employment figures in Direct EB-5 investments be conservative. You want to make sure that at least ten direct jobs will be created as a result of your investment. You can invest in another company or start your own, so long as the job creation figures are adequate to meet the USCIS requirements.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can choose to invest in an existing commercial enterprise or your own commercial enterprise. If you invest in a preexisting commercial enterprise by expanding it, you are generally required to expand by at least 40% in the net worth of the business or in the number of employees (this could require creation of more than 10 full-time jobs directly if the pre-investment number of employees was more than 25). If the business is not in a targeted employment area or rural area, the required minimum investment amount is $1 million rather than $500,000. In a direct EB-5 investment you are required to create 10 full-time jobs directly. Only investment in a regional center project does not require an EB-5 investor to create 10 full-time jobs directly. Do not hesitate to contact our office, should you have further questions.

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    Roberto Ortiz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can invest in a new business or an existing business. However, if you invest in an existing business, you must demonstrate that you will increase by 40% either the net worth or the number of employees. If you invest in a new business, you will need to create ten full time jobs. Also, the amount of investment will depend on the location of the new business. If the business is located in a rural area or a targeted employment area, the investment will have to be $500,000.00. If not, it will have to be $1 million. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Foreign national investors can invest in a new business venture or in some cases in an existing business as a vehicle for seeking US permanent residence status under the EB-5 program.

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    Marisa Casablanca

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Applicants can obtain EB5 permanent residence through their own investments. They may qualify if they make the investment amount and create the 10 new jobs as required. We have a lot of experience in preparing and successfully getting individual EB5 cases approved.

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    Karen Weinstock

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you may start up your own new company or buy an existing business.

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    Magdale Labbe Henke

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is absolutely possible to qualify for the Eb-5 investment program by investing in another existing company or starting your own instead. You do not have to invest through a Regional Center. The benefits of investing through a Regional Center are that they have already been reviewed and approved by the government, and confirmed that for each investor 10 direct or indirect jobs will be created. When starting your own company, you have to show that 10 direct jobs will be created as a result, and when investing in an already existing company there are more specific requirements depending on if it is a troubled business or not.

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    Taher Kameli

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Investors can invest in their own projects. There is no requirement to go through a Regional Center.

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    Rebecca White

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, and quite often it is beneficial to do so.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are correct,you can directly invest in your own business as an equity investor.

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    Farah Abbas

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, all immigrant investors do NOT need to invest through Regional Centers. Investors may make a direct investment and start their own business through the EB-5 program, or invest in another business as long as it meets certain qualifications through the EB-5 program. It is very important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney when evaluating businesses to invest in.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    You are not required to invest through a Regional Center, there are other programs that you can utilize as well , including investing on your own or starting a company.

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    Mona Shah

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Immigrant investors are not required to invest in Regional Center projects. However, many do so because of the benefits of investing in such projects. Another option to Regional Center investor projects is direct investment in a stand-alone project. This investment may be made in a new or existing company - however, the requirements are slightly different depending on the chosen option. You may also start up your own independent project, as long as the EB5 requirements are met.

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    Daniel McCarthy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you can make a direct investment in your own project and there may be other visa options, such as E-2 Investor visa or L-1A Inter-company transferee. It all depends on what you want to do. Yes, you can make a direct investment in your own company of 1 million and create ten jobs.

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    Margo Chernysheva

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you do not have to invest through a Regional Center - you can start your own company. You will have to satisfy the requirements for EB5 - qualified investment and 10 new US jobs. You will need a good attorney to assist you as well.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you do not have to invest in the Regional Center. There are two ways to invest in the U.S. under the EB-5 program: 1. Own and Operate Your Business: This method requires an investment of $500,000 if the business is in TEA or $1 Million U.S. currency and that the investment directly creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years; or 2. Invest in a Certified Regional Center: This method still requires an investment of $500,000 or $1 million and the creation of at least ten (10) permanent, full time jobs for U.S. workers, but the jobs created may be indirect as well as direct.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Absolutely. We have done several EB-5 cases where the investor put his or her money into his own company. Typically this will be a $1 million requirement unless your business will be located in a Targeted Unemployment Area. You would then need to create ten new jobs within two years of receiving your condition green card.

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    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No. Investors can invest in individual projects. Depends on the location of the projects, investors may qualify for $500,000. The normal fund for EB-5 is $1 million dollars.

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    Laura A Edgerton

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, it is possible to be an EB-5 investor without investing in a Regional Center, as long as your investment met all qualifying regulations for an EB-5 investment.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Answer: No you do not have to invest through a Regional Center to qualify for EB-5. You can qualify for an EB-5 investor visa through investment in your own business or businesses/projects that are not a part of a Regional Center. The only potential drawback would be that you couldn''t count indirect hires to meet the job creation requirement.

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    Darren Silver

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 Direct program allows you to invest into an existing business.

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    Jor Law

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    No, you do not have to invest in a regional center sponsored project. It?s possible to invest in an existing business that is not connected with a regional center, or you could start your own.

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    Steven Anapoell

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    No. Direct investments are becoming popular and don''t involve regional centers.

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    Philip H Teplen

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Absolutely, the investment does not need to be in a Regional center.

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    Larry J Behar, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no legal obligation to invest through a regional center. Individual applicants who commit the finances and create the US jobs can apply on their own with careful planning.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is possible to qualify for EB-5 classification without investing in a regional center.

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    Susan Pilcher

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, you do not have to invest through a Regional Center. It is possible to secure an EB-5 visa by making a job-creating investment into your own business, provided it is structured and planned properly.

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    Steven Riznyk

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, your EB5 investment does not have to be in a Regional Center. The reason people invest in Regional Centers is because it''s easier than running your own show and many people may lack business experience, for them, this works. You are welcome to start your own operation or even purchase an existing business (some specific rules apply). The catch is that you have to hire 10 full-time employees. Luckily, full-time is not 40 hours as in the real world, but only 30. Not all businesses require a large number of employees at the inception, and as a result this may be difficult for some (ie a printing operation). For others, such as a restaurant, or a motel, as we did for an entrepreneur, the 10 employees are not so much of an issue.

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    Ali Brodie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you may start your own company and utilize the EB-5 investor program. There are different requirements depending on whether you invest in a Regional Center or directly into a non-regional center business. You will need to consult with an attorney to discuss the options and various requirements.

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes. The EB-5 program allows you to manage and direct your own investment. Although, the regional center is more popular, investors may create their own enterprise and be responsible for both its management and job creation. For further information please contact Rahbaran & Associates.

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no requirement to invest in a project under a Regional Center. The investment can be made into any for profit business. One of the key differences between a direct investment and a Regional Center based investment has to do with the jobs. For both there is a requirement to create ten full time jobs. However in the Regional Center context the jobs can be direct or indirect while in a direct investment the jobs must be direct (ie W-2 employees). There are other particulars in connection with job creation when the investment is in an existing business that you should address with EB-5 immigration counsel.

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    Jeffrey E Campion

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can. The advantage of a RC, however, is that you can count indirect and induced jobs not just direct employees.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are not required to invest through an EB-5 Regional Center in order to qualify. There is the individual EB-5 investor program which would allow you to make an investment in your own company. Individual EB-5 investments come with a host of additional requirements, namely the ones which the Regional Center Program typically fulfills: job creation, direct management of the business enterprise, and additional EB-5 compliance matters. You can also invest in another company which is not a part of an EB-5 Regional Center, but the company would only be able to count new direct jobs that are created from your investment. Also, pooling investments in an approved EB-5 Regional Center is different from pooling investments in the non-Regional Center context. Regional Centers are able to structure lending company models which provide loans to the actual job creating enterprises; whereas an individual EB-5 investment will need to show job creation in the actual company being infused with EB-5 capital. For more information or to discuss please feel free to contact me.

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    Lana Kurilova-Rich

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is possible, but among other applicable rules, your minimum investment has to double, so it would be $1 mill, not $500,000.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, but you will need to invest $1 million, not $500,000.

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    Alice H Sun

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No. They can do a regular EB5 program.

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    Neville M Leslie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can set up your own stand alone project.

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    Boyd Campbell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are able to invest in an existing company or begin your own.

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    Kate Kalmykov

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, EB-5 investors may invest in their own or an existing business through an individual EB-5 petition. Investing in a non-regional center EB-5 requires that the investor create ten direct full-time jobs for U.S. workers. However, Investors are not required to go through a regional center to receive a benefit through the EB-5 program. As long as investor can demonstrate their day to day involvement in a new commercial enterprise and create ten direct full-time U.S. jobs they will be able to obtain an EB-5 based green card.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Regional centers are merely one option.

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