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Do I have to be an accredited investor to qualify for an EB-5 Visa?

I am researching my options to immigrate to the US in the future. Is an accredited investor requirement mandatory from an immigration point of view to obtain an EB-5 visa? Or can I invest US $500,000 and meet all other requirements, except of having a net worth of US $1 million, and still be granted my EB-5 visa?

Answers

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Unlike the Canadian investment program, there are no net worth requirements for the EB-5 visa. For further information please contact Rahbaran & Associates.

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    Igor Serbinin

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Accreditation is not a requirement for EB5 classification. If you intend to invest $500,000 your only choice is the Targeted Employment Areas or Rural Areas and your net worth has nothing to do with the amount of capital that is required for immigrant classification under EB5 program. As long as you can show that you invested or in a process of investing requisite amount of capital for your specific petition you have met the requirements for consideration by USCIS/DOS.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS does not require that you be an accredited investor to qualify for an EB-5 visa. This is rather the US securities law requirement. Under the current US securities laws, a company that offers or sells its securities must register the securities with the US Securities and Exchange Commission or find an exemption from the registration requirements. Under the current US securities laws, companies are given a number of exemptions from the registration requirements. To that end, any approved regional center or other securities issuer, such as a lawful business entity offering a business interest for sale, may use an exemption to offer you, as an investor, an equity interest. One of the common exemptions from the registration requirement in the EB-5 regional center context is offering an equity interest for sale (generally, a limited partnership interest or unit) to an EB-5 investor who qualifies as an accredited investor under Securities Regulation D. In this context, to be an accredited investor, you must meet either one of the following requirements: (1) have an individual net worth, or joint net worth with your spouse, of more than $1million at the time you purchase an interest less the value of your primary residence (i.e. your main home), or (2) have an annual individual income of more than $200,000 or annual joint income with your spouse of more than $300,000 in each of the preceding 2 years and a reasonable expectation of the same level of individual or joint income in the current year (i.e. 2009, 2010, and 2011). Values are in US dollars.

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    Laura Danielson

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, particularly if you are applying as an investor through a regional center. Any reputable regional center will ask if you are an accredited investor, as this is a requirement through the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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    Alice H Sun

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your investment fund must be from lawful sources to be qualified for EB5 investment.

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    Larry J Behar, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Most if not all investors need to be accredited primarily for the reason of ensuring that they make an informed, educated decision on the investment component. While EB 5 has an excellent immigration residency component, the investment component is not to be minimized.

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    Clem Turner

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not have to be an accredited investor to qualify for an EB-5 Visa. However, Regional Centers and other EB-5 Issuers must have a valid exemption from the registration requirement mandated by the Securities laws, in order to properly offer their equity interests for you to purchase. The most common exemptions used in EB5 are Regulation D and Regulation S. In order to be eligible to invest in an EB5 Offering that is relying on the Regulation D exemption from registration, you need to be an "accredited investor." Generally speaking, that means you must have either (1) individual net worth, or joint net worth with your spouse, that exceeds $1 million at the time of the purchase, excluding the value of your primary residence OR (2) annual income exceeding $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year.

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    Michael G Homeier

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Technically, NO. The ‘accredited investor’ requirement is not a requirement of the EB-5 Program, or of USCIS. Rather, it is a U.S. securities law requirement, in order for the ‘issuer’ (the U.S. business selling investment opportunities to the immigrant investors) to sell those opportunities without registering the sale with the U.S. government (specifically, the Securities and Exchange Commission). For the issuer to rely on the registration exemption provided by ‘Regulation D,’ practically speaking all investors solicited to invest need to be accredited investors. This would mean each investor needs to satisfy the Regulation D requirements, either as to net worth or annual income. So, while the technical answer is NO, the practical answer is NO (BUT YES), for all intents and purposes issuers relying on Regulation D will only offer their investments to prospective investors who satisfy the accredited investor definition. (Note, there is another primary exemption used by U.S. EB-5 issuers, called ‘Regulation S’ for sales exclusively to ‘non-U.S. persons,’ so if the issuer is relying on the Regulation S exemption and not on Regulation D (and not on both, simultaneously, which necessitates satisfying the requirements of both regulations), then the accredited investor requirement is waived.)

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    Rana Jazayerli

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The accredited investor requirement is a securities/ SEC requirement based on the nature of the investment, and not an immigration requirement. Whether an investor must be an accredited investor if investing in a regional center depends on how the regional center has structured the investment.

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    Charles H Kuck

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not need to be an "accredited investor" you simply have to prove you legally acquired the amount of the investment.

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    Steven Anapoell

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    You are not required to be an accredited investor to qualify for an EB-5 Visa. ''Accredited Investor'' status is a securities law matter only. It is not an immigration matter. Some projects, however, limit their investors to accredited investors only.

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    Sufen Hilf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    When you mentioned about ''accredited investor'', did you mean you had to prove the funds to be invested came from a legal source? If this was what you meant, than the answer will be yes. If you meant you have to be authorized by a government agency to invest into EB-5 business or a regional center, you do not have be accredited. How much are you required to invest, half a million or one million? It depends on where your business or where the project(s) are located. If these EB-5 businesses or projects are located in TEA (targeted employment area) or rural area, then the invested fund requirement is half a million. Otherwise, it is one million.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An EB-5 investor does not need to be an accredited investor. In order to qualify as an EB-5 investor, you either must have earned income over $200,000 per year for the past 3 years or have the assets over $ 1 million. Thus, if you do not have $1 million in assets, you need to show that you have earned income over $200,000 per year for the past 3 years. Also, please note that $500,000 investment into an EB-5 project is an exception to the rule for investing $1 million. This exception is valid only if the project is located within a TEA (150% over the national average of unemployment). Please consult with a reliable immigration attorney to see if a project you intend to invest in is located in a valid TEA.

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    Marjan Kasra

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not necessary to live near the regional project. You can invest in a given project and live anywhere in the U.S.

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    Anthony Ravani

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should not worry about the requirement of ''accredited investor.'' That is not an immigration requirement. Please talk with your attorney and he will be able to guide you on how best to overcome that.

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    Ira Kurzban

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The accredited investor concept arises solely because the regional centers or the individual project are not offering securities that are covered by the Securities acts. If they were registered and were openly selling their participation as a security then no accredited representation concept arises. Because they are not selling it as a security covered under the act it is necessary that they are selling it to accredited investors to not run afoul of the Securities laws.

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    Olga Karasik

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Thank you for contacting our office. There is not requirement for you to be an accredited investor in order to apply for EB-5 visa. Some investment projects include this requirement for their investors, but this is not a USCIS requirement.

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    Neville M Leslie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You typically need to be worth $500k to $1m.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can invest $500,000 in a regional center.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To qualify as an EB-5 investor, you must invest the minimum requisite amount of funds which are your personal funds and which you have obtained by legal means. The federal law provides that $1,000,000 is the minimum amount to invest. However, you may invest $500,000 if the EB-5 business project is located in a high unemployment area or a rural area.

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Certain Regional Center Projects are authorized to accept a limited number of non-accredited investors. As this is an SEC requirement (not a USCIS requirement) it is worth checking with the project administrators.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A foreign national investor obtain an EB-5 Visa,based upon a direct investment in their own U.S. business or by their investment of personal funds in an EB-5 regional center project. If the personal investment is in an EB-5 regional center project then the foreign national investor has to be an accredited investor. There are certain financial background requirements needed to be an accredited investor. For instance, the foreign national investor may be gifted a certain amount of funds to be invested in the EB-5 regional center project. Even under these circumstances the foreign national investor will still need to have a net worth of U.S. $1 million,after the investment of USD $500,000.00. Therefore, there is no requirement to be an accredited investor if the foreign national investor decides to invest their own personal funds in their own Direct U.S. business. Under these circumstances the foreign national investor may obtain an EB-5 Visa.

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    Boyd Campbell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No. But if you sign an exempt securities offering (normally a subscription for a limited partnership unit), you do.

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