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What are the main problems that EB-5 applicants run into?

I want to know more about getting a green card through EB-5. What type of business can I start in the United States? How much do I have to invest? What are the main problems that EB-5 investors run into during the application process?

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The best advice is to first retain the services of an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who has the expertise to guide you through the EB-5 process. EB-5 immigration due diligence would assist you in analyzing the best process for you. For instance, whether to invest in your own direct business or an EB-5 regional center project (which is the most cost-effective way to obtain permanent residency), whether you want to be responsible for hiring 10 full time employees at least for a few years and be responsible for managing these employees. In an EB-5 regional center project, you can obtain permanent residency through an investment of $500,000 plus administration fees of $45,000 to $55,000, plus EB-5 immigration attorney fees from $25,000 to $30,000 (less or more) depending on the circumstances of the case.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The main problems EB-5 applicants face include proving the invested capital was lawfully obtained, proving the invested capital is at risk, and proving that the new commercial enterprise is likely to create the number of jobs required. If you wish to know more about how to qualify for EB-5, you should speak directly with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can start or invest in any legitimate business in the United States. The amount is either $1 million or $500,000 depending on where the business is located. If it is an area of high unemployment designated by each state as a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), then the amount is 500,000. If not, then $1 million is required. Each investment must produce 10 new jobs. The two biggest problems seem to be proving that your funds come from a legitimate source and creating the 10 new jobs.

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    Steffanie J Lewis

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Making a wrong investment and failing to trace investment funds are probably the main problems that an EB-5 applicant might run into. An investment of $500,000 or $1 million in a new commercial enterprise that will generate 10 full-time positions in a two year time span, would meet eligibility requirements for a "green card," provided that the individual investor were not otherwise inadmissible.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 investment threshold is $1 million, unless your business could be located in a Targeted Employment Area - rural area of under 20,000 population or having 150% higher than national average unemployment - in a TEA, you could invest $500,000. The requirement of the business is any new business that will create more than 10 full-time, permanent jobs and sustain it for at least 4-5 years until the I-829, Removal of Condition application could be approved. Doing a direct EB-5 case with your own business rather than going through a regional center is when you tie your immigration benefits on the success and sustainability of your business. If the business is wildly successful, then it is fine, but starting a brand-new business in a country with which you are not that familiar, particularly of the business culture and marketing in the United States, is not easy. Any new business takes at least 2-3 years to get established and you are under a time constraint to create 10+ jobs within 2 years so that you and your family could keep the permanent residency; this is a lot of undue pressure on top of just operating your business.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The biggest problem for the application is usually source of funds. While it may appear straight forward, this part of the process is heavily scrutinized by USCIS and you have to fully understand the law.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You do not have to start your own business if you find a regional center project or a managed direct project. Nearly any for-profit enterprise with the right structure can be an EB-5 project and the basis for an I-526 petition. Problems can arise when a project has not been prepared or reviewed by qualified EB-5 counsel, or if EB-5 counsel has not assisted the investor with the authentication of the source of their investment funds.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    These are all great questions! You should discuss these in detail with your investment immigration attorney. The investment must be $500,000 if it is made in a Target Employment Area (TEA). There is no specific business selection - it just must create, at a minimum, ten full time jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. If the investment is not in a TEA then it will be $1 million with the same job creation requirement.

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