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What is a typical return on investment of a regional center?

I have two questions as follow: 1. One EB-5 agent told me there is a regional center which returns 50% of investment after 2 years. They didn''t disclose its name, so I couldn''t check if it''s true or not. Do you know of such a regional center? 2. Is there an expedited option for EB-5 so it would take less than 6 months to complete? Thank you for answers.

Answers

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, there is no expedited processing available. Regarding the 50 percent return in two years, please consult an experienced EB-5 attorney and financial advisor to analyze the project to minimize your risks.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The current processing time for I-526 is about 16 months. Once you get an approval on your I-526, you will file I-485 if you are in the U.S.or DS-230/DS-260 if you are outside of the U.S. It will be more realistic to plan 22-24 months to get a conditional residency. Hence, I do not see that any project can return you 50% of the total investment in 2 years after you make the investment but it may be possible if they start counting the 2 years from the date that you obtain your conditional green card. One condition for you to remove the condition is to remain your investment in the project during the entire 2- year conditional residency period. Early return may be possible but risky. There is no premium processing for I-526, while expedited handling is available for cases meet the expedited handling criteria.

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    Rohit Kapuria

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, unfortunately, there is no expedited process for the investor I-526 application (your application for the green card). Second, I would be very cautious on how you approach this particular regional center investment. EB-5 regulations do NOT permit guaranteed redemption. Your funds must remain at risk for the duration of the EB-5 loan term. This means that if you are successful in first receiving your conditional green card (I-526) and after 21-24 months, you are successful in removing conditions on this green card (I-829 to receive a permanent green card), then and only then would you be able to receive your money back. This period typically takes about 5 years. Further, even if the offering documents discuss a five year loan term, there can still be NO guarantee that you will get your money back at the end. Of course, it is hopeful that you will retain a very good immigration attorney and financial advisor to help conduct the necessary due diligence on the project prior to making your investment.

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    A Mina Tran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Hi, I am not familiar with a regional project that is offering a 50% return. And currently there is no expedited processing procedure. USCIS has been promising an expedite procedure but there is nothing currently available.

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Return of funds to the investor prior to receive permanent residence would invalidate the at risk requirement and the investor''s EB-5 petition may not be eligible for approval. If there is a guaranteed return of any portion of the funds the I-526 will not be compliant with the regulations and will likely be denied. At this time there are no expedite options available for EB-5 filings.

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    John Tishler

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    A 50% return on investment in 2 years is not realistic and I would consider such a promise to be an indicia of fraud. Please see the SEC/USCIS Investor Alert issued yesterday: http://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/ia_immigrant.htm. Immigration attorneys will probably also weigh in as to the effect such a return, if seriously intended, would have on the at risk requirement for approval of an I-526. I expect immigration attorneys will also weigh in on the second part of your question.

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    Kripa Upadhyay

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The return on investment will be different from one regional center to the next as the projects that each has will be different; hence, impacting the rate of return. Like any other investment decision, you need to be careful of promises or claims that sound "too good to be true." Be advised that although regional centers must go through a process of becoming certified as one by the USCIS; USCIS does NOT oversee their financial practices and does not guarantee that a regional center will deliver on any promises or statements they make as to rate of return. You would be well served by working with an immigration attorney who works with a team of professionals to ensure that any regional center you choose to do business with has sound business practices rather than relying solely on information that an owner/agent/employee of a regional center feeds you.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The return has to be on the investment not of the investment principal amount. For example, if the EB-5 project is associated with a regional center then more likely than not the investment funds are then subsequently loaned to the job creating energy. The job-creating entity then pays interest on the loan payment and that interest is usually paid to the new commercial enterprise, which is commonly called the fund which was a source of the foreign investors funds being loaned to the job-creating entity. The interest on the loan repayment can be low and as an example can be 1%. The investor has to be cautious by not accepting unrealistic representations from the owners of the EB-5 project that a higher interest will be paid on the loan proceeds, especially when the written documentation clearly shows that there are no guarantees as to the exact amount of the interest or what will be the return on the investment. Furthermore, there is no process for expedited adjudication of the I-526 petition unless under certain statutory allowances for expedited processing.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no "typical return" for a regional center investment, just as there is no typical return in any real world investment. The return (or distribution of profits) depends upon many factors, most of them related to how successful the business is in executing its business plan. There are many risk factors that should be disclosed in a project''s PPM. Also, any regional center that guarantees any return is violating the EB-5 law. There can be no guaranteed return on investment. The investor may receive a portion of the profits of the business, but may not receive any portion of the principal investment during the two-year conditional period (nor can it be guaranteed for later either). Currently, there is no expedited option for EB-5 cases. Basic EB-5 I-526 petitions seem to be processed quicker than regional center petitions at the present time; that could change in the future.

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    Margo Chernysheva

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First, the return on investment is different from return of the principal amount. Under the regulations for EB-5 visa, there cannot be a guarantee return of any amount of the principal, only market value at the time of sale of investor''s interest which cannot commence, in most cases, until after the condition is removed. The return on investment may differ. It is very unusual to have such a large return and if the sum of the return on investment amounts to the principal while the condition is not yet removed it may jeopardize the investor''s ability to remove the condition and receive 10-year legal permanent status. There is no expedite available for I-526 application process. There is an anecdotal information that sometimes when a project already has other approved I-526s additional applications'' process can take less time. There maybe a compelling reason to ask for emergency expedite, which is on a case by case basis and is mostly given for humanitarian reasons.

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    Anthony Korda

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Returns on EB-5 Regional Center investments are generally modest, in the region of 0-2%. Some offer more, but I have never heard of a return of 50% after 2 years. If this is from income, then it might be acceptable to USCIS, but it is highly unlikely that such a return would be regarded as an "at risk'' investment and qualify for an EB-5 investment. I would also be wary of such claims as they may be an indicator of fraud. Although USCIS have discussed premium processing for I-526 Petitions in the past, there is no expedited option for ordinary I-526 petitions at this time.

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    Jeffrey E Campion

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Hello. With respect to a return of 50% of your investment in 2 years, that seems to violate the provision against redemption and the fact that you must maintain your investment until the I-829 is approved. This would not be acceptable to USCIS. There is no expedited process of the EB-5 classification, unfortunately.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To answer your questions: 1. Generally, the return is 5% or less, but there may indeed be regional centers offering 50% returns. If so, I have not heard of it. 2. The processing times, unfortunately, are 12 months in most cases, and sometimes more. Filing an I-526 through an established regional center may help, but there is really no way to guarantee it will be approved in 6 months or less. There are some instances where you can request for expedited processing on an investor''s petition, but it is not the same as premium processing offered for other forms. For these issues, we definitely recommend retaining experienced EB-5 and Immigration counsel, like the attorneys at our law firm.

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