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How does investing through an EB-5 Regional Center work?

I am keenly exploring EB-5 as an investment option, but I need some information before moving forward. First, if I work with a regional center, am I still eligible to work for another employer? Second, EB-5 is an investment visa; so, what happens to the investment when working with a regional center?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Based upon the investor''s commitment of their personal funds into a regional center project, the EB-5 investor first can obtain conditional permanent residency. Once a conditional permanent resident, the investor can be employed by any employer. By your investment in an EB-5 Regional Center project, there is usually no role for the investor to be employed by the regional center project. The EB-5 investment is really passive and the investor has a minor management role.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Most people obtain their Lawful Permanent Residency or so-called "green card" status by investing through an EB-5 Regional Center given the fact that these projects are already set up and all you have to do is make the investment decision and have funds available. The approval rates are very high, particularly if you invest in a Regional Center that has a record of successful projects similar to yours. Yes, if you seek to qualify through a Regional Center, once you are eligible for employment and have either an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or you have been admitted to the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident, you can work for any other employer in the U.S. Once you make your investment, the investment funds are expended on the project as described in the Private Placement Memorandum and the other materials that will be provided to you through the EB-5 project and Regional Center.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will need to review offering documentation of a particular Regional Center project to determine the terms of your EB-5 investment, including your exit strategy: your subscription agreement, private placement memorandum, limited partnership agreement, etc. Generally, a majority of the EB-5 projects are structured as limited partnerships in which a Regional Center is a general partner vested with the rights and duties to manage the partnership business and affairs. EB-5 investors are limited partners commonly vested with the right to engage in policy formulation decisions sufficient to qualify for an EB-5 visa. They do not participate in the day-to-day management of the partnership. If you have an underlying work visa authorizing you to work in the United States, such as H-1B, L, E-2 or another lawful immigration status, then you must continue maintaining your underlying immigration status in the U.S. to be able to adjust status to a conditional permanent resident upon approval of your individual I-526 petition. Please ensure you engage the legal services of an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney. He or she will be able to guide you through this process and competently prepare your case.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 regional centers have received designation from the USCIS to offer EB-5 investments and count indirect job creation to meet the requirements of the EB-5 law. There are also direct EB-5 investments, which can be a single investor or a pooled investment of multiple investors all seeking EB-5 classification based upon direct job creation only. Simply applying for the EB-5 Program by first submitting Form I-526 to USCIS does not grant any immigration benefit, so a pending I-526 petition does not give the right to remain in the United States or to work in the U.S.; it merely seeks to qualify for the EB-5 category. Therefore, if you are in the U.S. and wish to remain and/or work, you will need a nonimmigrant visa status that allows work authorization. There is no restriction on applying for EB-5 and, at the same time, seeking a nonimmigrant visa category (assuming you qualify for such category). As to what happens to the investment, the terms and conditions are included in a PPM, subscription agreement, and possibly other agreements signed between you/the investor and the regional center project or direct EB-5 project. You should have a qualified professional review those agreements with you prior to signing so that you understand everything about the investment.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are investing in a project that is overseen by the Regional Center and your role would be that of a limited liability partner. You would not be working for the project; you would just be investing your money in the project. Before you do, however, you should thoroughly vet the Project and Regional Center to make sure the terms are what you are looking forand if they have a positive record of performance.

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your I-526 Petition is approved, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence in the United States. As a permanent resident, you are free to live and work (or not work) anywhere in the U.S. The fact that you have invested in a regional center project will not impact this. Most regional centers pool their investor funds, which are then used in the development of the project.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are basically two types of EB-5 investments. Over 90% decide to invest in regional center projects as they allow for indirect job creation as opposed to hiring 10 full-time workers. If you make an investment in a regional center, the first step is to find a good project. You do this by retaining a due diligence specialist. This EB-5 investment will not impact alternative visa options such as applying through an EB-2 or EB-3 employment application.

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