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How long does it generally take for a business to qualify for EB-5 funding?

If a company wants to accept funds as a direct investment rather than as a regional center, how long will it usually take? Is this faster than affiliating with a regional center? What are the typical costs for a business during the direct EB-5 process?

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no qualifying process for a non-regional center (direct EB-5 project) to receive funding. At a minimum, any direct EB-5 project should be advised by an immigration attorney (to supervise all activities), a business attorney (to draft a deal package with agreements and make sure that any offering complies with SEC requirements), and a business plan writer with EB-5 experience writing Matter of Ho compliant business plans. If you do not need to count indirect job creation to make your EB-5 project feasible, then there is no reason to affiliate with a regional center.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This all depends how you go about the process. If you want to submit a project to USCIS as an exemplar so that they can pre-approve it, then you are looking at a good 10 months. If you then market it to investors and they submit an application, then another 10 to 12 months. The USCIS claims that regional center projects receive first preference, but I have not seen any real difference in processing times as to direct investment. As to the costs, it will all depend on the size and scope of the project. You need an economic study to prove job creation, probably a securities attorney, immigration attorney and a business plan done by an experienced firm. ($50,000 to $75,000? - only a guesstimate.)

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Whether it is a direct or EB-5 regional center project, there is a legal requirement for EB-5 supporting and compliant documents. Depending on the project, the project documentation will take the same amount of time. There are many factors that will determine whether there will be any investors and the timing of the investors committing to the project.

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For direct investment, there is no requirement to pre-register with USCIS or obtain any approval from USCIS. Therefore, there is no waiting period for a U.S.-based business to utilize EB-5 investment. Whether to affiliate with a regional center is a different matter; it depends upon such factors as the number of investors and the difficulty of the job count. The more investors required and the less direct jobs there are, it makes more sense to go with a regional center.

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    Robert Lee

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The direct EB-5 funding route tends to be faster because it does not have to go through as many hoops. The money can go into the company as soon as it is ready. However, the investor needs to go through a source of fund audit to ensure the money can be adequately traced. So once the money is clear it can go immediately into the business. The cost associated with the EB-5 direct funds is the lawyer fees for the EB-5 petition. Business expenses should be normal.

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    Steffanie J Lewis

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The answers to these questions are primarily dependent upon the status of the company involved and that of the regional center. All answers depend upon many variables. I suggest that the person asking the question be specific as to both the standard investment contemplated and the regional center to which it is to be compared. This may be a question that requires a personal communication with an immigration EB-5 attorney.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It will take time to properly set up the EB-5 infrastructure and market to potential investors. The project in a direct scenario cannot receive any pre-approval, but USCIS should afford deference to an approved I-526 for the project. The benefits of affiliating with a regional center are being able to use indirect jobs and the "brand" of the regional center for marketing, but there will be other fees and costs.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    There is no waiting period - you can accept immediately.

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