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How do I make a safe EB-5 investment?

I am interested in investing in the U.S.A. to get the benefits of the EB-5 program. Are there safe investment opportunities with Regional Centers? Do any of these have the certainty of a return? Any advice you can offer regarding making a safe EB-5 investment is appreciated.

Answers

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Similar to any other investment opportunity, it is important to conduct your own due diligence of the project and the regional center that is involved.Understanding the business model, the projections and the history of the parties involved is important and it may be most beneficial to obtain the guidance and advise of consultant/investment advisor to assess the risks of the investment itself.Your immigration counsel should be able to provide you with information and advice on the viability of the project for the EB-5 program in particular.

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    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    One of the requirements of EB-5 program is that your investment is at risk. There is no certainty of a return. That?s why carefully selecting a regional center is the key. Please feel free to contact us for your EB-5 questions.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need to do your due diligence. Ask as much questions as you need to understand and feel comfortable with the project, the regional center management, and its financing and past track record. You should always ask about the regional center?s operating history and success rates in the EB-5 Investor filings associated with the regional center projects. Ask for references from past investors and talk to an Immigration Attorney with experience dealing with regional centers.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should engage in due diligence efforts in order to choose a Regional Center and a specific project.Often times, immigration attorneys will be able to guide you what type of Regional Centers historically have strong statistics in approvals of I-526 petitions and most importantly I-829 petitions (when restriction on a 2-year conditional green card is removed and an EB-5 investor receives a permanent green card in the US).Many Regional Centers allow you to review their offerings upon signing a Confidentiality Agreement.You are strongly encouraged to have an attorney review the documents and advise you about specifics of a particular project or projects.You are also strongly encouraged to hire a qualified investment broker/financial advisor to review at least several Regional Centers and projects before making an investment in a particular Regional Center/project.Under EB-5 regulations, investment must be at risk to qualify for this type of visa. Attorneys do not provide investment advice. However, EB-5 attorney and an investment broker/financial advisor help you mitigate the risk by avoiding investing into a Regional Center which does not have established statistics.Please do not hesitate to contact our office should you have further questions.

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    Karen Weinstock

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Anyone who guarantees a return or tells you there is no risk or safe investment in connection with the EB-5 program is not being truthful with you. There is risk and you have to consider your options very carefully before investing because your investment amount must be at risk. There are financial advisors who specialize in researching the risk/reward aspects of the investment.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As you may already know, there are over 225 Regional Centers that have received regional center designation by USCIS over the years. Most of these were approved in concept only without any specific projects and are very new. Since I-829 could be approved as early as 4-5 years from investment, some Regional Centers that had been established in 2008 or before could have I-829 approved and many pending for their early investors. There are 9 Regional Centers that have had I-829 approvals that I know about: CMB Export, CA; EB-5 Capital, DC; California Agri-Growers, CA; American Life Inc. Regional Center; Seattle, WA (Golden Rainbow & Gateway Freedom Fund); CanAm Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) Regional Center; Jay Peake, Vermont; State of Iowa Regional Center; Whatcom Opportunities Regional Center (Washington State); South Dakota State Regional Center However, most RCs have had several different projects since their inception and their business model could be drastically different from project to project. USCIS will review each project of the regional centers separately, so the previous track record alone does not guarantee success in your case. In fact, I believe that only CMB Export, CA, EB-5 Capital, DC, California Agri-Growers, CA, have not had any I-526 denials thus far. Thus, I recommend you to do your research to verify how their latest project may be same/similar to the successful ones that had I-829 approvals and how they may be different. Also, note that while EB-5 is an investment vehicle, you should not focus on how much of investment returns are being promised by the regional centers. Focus, instead, on how they are creating jobs that could be proven to USCIS and what the exit strategy is - how do you get your money back after you get your I-829 is approved - as part of your risk analysis. Recently, USCIS has opined that certain regional center that promises definitive return on the investment could be violating the EB-5 rule, which requires the investment be put ‘at risk.’

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    Roberto Ortiz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The best recommendation is for select 4-6 Regional Center projects and do due diligence on each one in order to decide which one will be the best for you.Also, there are companies out there that help you with this task.If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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    Kirk A Carter

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    While there are no guarantees in life, nor in investing, many of the Regional Centers offer sound strategies to meet the needs of different investors. For some the paramount need is to get in, get a green card and get out. For these folks loan based programs are typically best because there is a defined exit strategy. However, these programs typically offer little to no return on investment. Others, offering higher rates of return, tend to be equity based investments, for those willing to park their money long term. These programs are often real estate development projects in up and coming areas. What type of program is right for you depends upon your particular investment objectives. What specific Regional Center, and what specific project within that Regional Center works best for you, depends upon a business and financial analysis of that project, its business plan, and assumptions. These investments are not marketable securities and have detailed private placement memoranda that should be reviewed by competent investment advisors. EB-5 attorneys are not investment advisors and should not be relied upon to make this decision for you. We typically work with EB-5 Analytics, a company in New York that specializes in analyzing EB-5 programs from an investment standpoint and make recommendations as to which programs fit a specific investors objectives. John Roth of EB-5 Analytics is an attorney, an MBA, and hold an SEC Series 7 license. While such advise is not inexpensive and does not come with a guarantee, it does provide significant peace of mind in that you have done your due diligence and fully understand the nature of your investment.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You need someone with financial credentials, including the proper licensing, to advise you on the relative safety of particular EB-5 investments. The EB-5 immigrant investor law requires that the invested capital be ''at risk,'' so just like any other investment, the entire principal is subject to loss. Regional center projects are not any safer, or any less safe, than other financial investments. Of course, there are legitimate ways to minimize financial risk, but you cannot eliminate it completely. Be very careful with anyone who ''guarantees'' any amount of return or the return of the principal (a fixed amount on a date certain); this is not allowed under the EB-5 immigrant investor law. You can find companies and individuals on the internet with experience in INDEPENDENTLY reviewing and conducting due diligence on regional center investments. You should contact one of these entities to represent your interests before you decide whether or not to invest.

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    James Stuber

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All EB-5 investments involve some risk - indeed, the regulations require that the investment be ‘at risk’, and CIS decisions prohibit guarantees of return of investment. So the investor’s task is to minimize risk (or optimize the risk/return ratio). These questions should be considered from the point of view of (i) the regional center, (ii) the project sponsor, and (iii) the project. Re (i) and (ii): What is the expertise and track record of the regional center managers and the project sponsor? Re (iii): What are the risks of project failure - in the macro sense (e.g., economic downturn) and micro sense (local market). Project failure can result not only in loss of the invested funds, but also denial of conversion from conditional to permanent resident status. In addition, one must assess the ‘exit strategy’ - even if the project is successful and removal of condition is approved, will there be a vehicle and/or market to obtain a return of the EB-5 funds, through a sale or refinancing? These questions are best addressed with the assistance of an attorney and/or due diligence advisor.

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    Ali Brodie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Each Regional Center provides a unique investment opportunity. Certain Regional Center?s may offer a significant return on investment and this should be reviewed carefully by each investor with the advice of counsel.

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    Boyd Campbell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Hire a good certified financial advisor or counselor to examine one or more EB-5 investment projects offered through regional centers.

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    Susan Pilcher

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 investments are required by law to be genuine commercial development projects that are subject to risk of loss - there can be no guarantee of "safety." It is important to seek independent advice regarding the soundness of the proposed business plan.

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    Mona Shah

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB5 rules mandate that the investment money must be at risk. The EB5 project or Regional Center is not allowed to state that there will be a certainty of return. Notwithstanding this, it is a good idea to not only look at the job creation and exit plan of the projects, but to also assess and carefully look at the projects from all perspectives, such as the location and the nature of the business. Does the exit plan make logical sense? I would also recommend independent advice from an attorney or consultant.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All EB-5 investments have to be at risk.Any statement in the offering documents guaranteeing the return of the investment funds to the investor will not be in compliance with the US immigration rules. You may analyze those EB-5 Regional Center projects that have had a history of immigration success over the past several years in respect to the foreign national investors obtaining there Permanent Residency.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A potential EB-5 investor can minimize risk by investing in a business project associated with a regional center which has a track record of success.

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    Lana Kurilova-Rich

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This would be an investment advice, not a legal one. Any such investment should be evaluated by an investment specialist, as any investment involves a certain amount of risk. It may be advisable to hire a consultant who would evaluate and give his/her professional opinion as to how risky a particular investment may be. As lawyers, we can only advise you as to the history of a given regional center, the number of visas that were approved and whether ultimately the conditions were removed from the permanent resident status. This would a historical data, easily discoverable during basic due diligence. But beyond that, as far as how ''safe'' an investment is, it is not a lawyers'' job or training/qualifications/licensing, in my opinion, to provide an investment advice.

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Like any business investment there are no guarantees of success. In fact the EB-5 regulations stipulate that the investor''s capital must be ''at risk''. However, this does not mean the investor must invest in a risky enterprise. With the help of competent counsel and a financial advisor investors can mitigate their financial and immigration risks. For further information please contact Rahbaran & Associates.

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    Steven Anapoell

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    All investments must be at risk. You can hire an investment advisor to evaluate the proposed investment to determine the level of risk associated with the transaction and undertake appropriate due diligence.

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    Jor Law

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    EB-5 investments must be at-risk. As with all investments, there is some degree of risk, even with something appears to be safe. How you determine whether an EB-5 investment is safe enough for you to invest in would require that you analyze each investment as you would any other investment and conduct detailed due diligence. Looking at background information on the project principals and geographic location, verifying that demand for their goods/services exists in the area, looking at their financials to determine whether they seem sound or not, analyzing their projections to see if they are reasonable or not, confirming your priority if there is a mishap in the investment (i.e. first lien holder vs unsecured holder), etc., are some of the things you should consider. A qualified investment advisor and diligence experts can help you analyze investments, but bear in mind that they generally cannot guarantee that an investment is 100% safe.

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    Neville M Leslie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can only do as much due diligence as possible. There are no guarantees.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We cannot really give investment advice, you must review each investment and make a judgement.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have to carefully undertake due diligence on each project. We can help you evaluate immigration risk. Need a finical advisor to evaluate financial risk.

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