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Is an equity or debt investment better for the EB-5 visa program?

I am contemplating investment in the EB-5 Program though a Regional Center. What is better form of investment, equity participation or debt?

Answers

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should contact a certified financial adviser to review the individual project and its risks. For further information please contact Rahbaran & Associates.

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    Jennifer Parser

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Either may qualify but it is best that it be an equity investment as it implies more risk that debt, which would be a loan guaranteeing repayment. The monies invested must be at financial risk and capable of loss, which is more likely in an equity investment.

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    Sufen Hilf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It depends on your own preference. To make a choice, you have to full evaluate the project as an investor, not just for immigration purpose.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Whether some investment is better than another has to be a decision of the investor. However, you should note that certain equity investment was deemed to count against and deducted from the full investment amount to make the investor ineligible. For example, if you are given a deed for a condo worth $300,000 by a regional center that is developing mixed-use project, then USCIS may find that you have only made $200,000 in investment instead of full $500,000 and deny your petition. Also, the regulation requires that an EB-5 investor to put the full investment amount ''in risk'' to qualify. So, if the equity investment guarantees a certain return, for example, then it will violate this rule. Thus, please consult with an immigration attorney about any particular investment you are considering to make sure that the investment does not have some stumbling block such as above.

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    Boyd Campbell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Debt is the norm. Equity is fine, but most EB-5 investors just want their money back.

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    Anthony Ravani

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is a matter of opinion. I prefer equity participation.

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    Kamana Mathur

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no quick answer - you would need to schedule a consultation and we could go over exactly what your goals are.

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    Alice H Sun

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It depends on the particular situation. There is no absolute answer.

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    Larry J Behar, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are too many issues to make a categorical preference for equity or debt structure such as the EB 5 sponsor, the type of project, the capital structure and your own comfort level.

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    Steven Anapoell

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    If structured properly, both work. My experience is that investors prefer the loan approach (i.e., investor purchases equity in a pooled investment vehicle and the pooled investment vehicle loans the proceeds to the project company). The focus should be on the quality of the project and the associated paperwork. We are happy to assist you with evaluating the potential investments from a legal perspective.

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    Bita Hamidi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The answer to this is completely based on your preferences and personal circumstances. Either or both can be good investments.

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    Neville M Leslie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no answer. It is based on your comfort level with the regional center and due diligence.

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    Taher Kameli

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It depends on your risk tolerance. Usually Debt investment for EB5 is better.

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    Laura Danielson

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Please remember that ALL EB-5 investments must be equity. What is referred to as ''debt'' relates to regional centers in which the investor takes equity in a company that in turn loans money to a 3rd party project that promises to pay the loan back within a certain period of time. Some investors favor these projects due to the structured loan pay-back, but even a loan project is only as good as the borrower, who could always default on that loan. Whether to invest in a straight equity project or one involving a loan is a personal decision based on the specific project, your level of risk tolerance, the rate of return, and your concern about exit strategy. You should be sure that careful due diligence is done on any project that you are considering investing in, whether loan or equity.

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    Ron Klasko

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An EB-5 investment MUST be an equity investment. However, the most popular form of regional center investment is an equity investment in an LLC or LP, which then loans the money to the investment project (the job-creating enterprise). This form of regional center investment provides the best exit strategy for the investor.

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    Igor Serbinin

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Equity participation (very specific forms of it) is a more straight forward way of investment for USCIS to clearly see that your investment is at risk. With debt financing you will need probably more steps to show that it is secured by your personal property or assets of an enterprise (not the one RC investing your money in) controlled by you. Good luck and let the RC handle those questions for you; after all you will be paying them for this pretty penny.

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    Clem Turner

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Since USCIS requires you to own equity in a US company (which I will refer to as the "EB5 Entity"), I assume the question you are asking relates to the manner in which the EB5 Entity transfers your funds to the entity creating the jobs (the "Project Company"). The EB5 Entity can make an equity investment in the Project Company, or it can make a loan to the Project Company. It is difficult to answer your question in a vacuum, without knowing all the terms of the deals you are considering. Typically, the loan model is preferred, because it allows the EB5 Entity to hold collateral in the Project Company, as security for the repayment of the loan. However, under the equity model, the Project Company can provide other protections to the EB5 Entity, such as agreeing that the Project Company owners will not to take any distributions until the EB5 Entity has been paid certain amounts. Further, the collateral given to the EB5 Entity under the loan model can usually be subordinated to an institutional lender, which dramatically reduces the practical value of the EB5 Entity''s security interest. You should read and compare the actual terms of any EB5 investment and make an informed decision based on the actual protections offered by each investment. If necessary, the corporate lawyers on this site should be capable of helping you review any investments, provided they are not already representing the EB5 Entity (or its owners) you are considering.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Either can work but the details of the set-up would need to be analyzed against the EB-5 regulations.

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    Charles H Kuck

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    That is a personal decision and does not really touch on the immigration aspect of the process. That is a better question for your investment advisor.

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