I have invested $500k in an EB-5 project and have the provisional green card approved. What happens with the $500k if I cannot live in the United States anymore because of personal circumstances? Do I get my money back or is it lost forever? As it took much more than 6-8 months to be approved, my circumstances have changed. What can I do to get my money back?
It will depend on the exit procedures of your project. Some allow for full refunds. Others do not.
Once the provisional green card is approved, chances are the regional center handling the investment might have already invested the funds on the project. While this scenario is unusual, the chance for withdrawing at this point is rather slim. To better address this circumstance, consult the exit strategy or clause in your agreement with the regional center. Advisably, also consult an EB-5 attorney for further examination of possible options, if any exist.
Since you have already invested your funds and obtained your Conditional Green Card, even though you wish to recoup your funds, you may have to wait like all other investors to receive a return of your funds after the stipulated owning period set forth in the documents provided to you. There is no reason why you would lose the opportunity to have your funds refunded along with any other EB-5 investor just because you may relinquish your Conditional Permanent Residency.
You have to study the subscription agreement to see under what circumstances you can cancel the contract. However, generally, even if your circumstances have changed, that is not a valid reason to cancel your contract because the investment is committed. On the other hand, if you can get a replacement investor, maybe by offering a discount, you might be able to substitute that investor if the regional center and project allow it.
If you made an equity investment, the only way to get your money back is to ask the company/sponsor to redeem your shares/units. If there are provisions for this, it will be contained in the offering documents of the investment that hopefully were provided to you. If your money is in the form of a loan, this gets more complicated. However, be aware that there is generally no guarantee that you will get your money back after an EB-5 investment. Your investment was, is, and still may be at-risk, as required by EB-5 criteria. Whatever the case, you are going to need legal counsel to look over your offering documents if you want to back out. At this late stage, it may actually make more sense to stay in.
When, and whether or not, you get your money back depends on the subscription agreement, loan agreement, and partnership agreements you have signed. As most EB-5 cases are set up on loan-based models, once the investment is made and the partnership has made the loan, the investment is locked in until the loan term matures and can be paid back. Please review your offering documents, and consult with your lawyer and regional center.
You need to look to your agreement with the developer/regional center/project to see what your options are at this stage for recovering your funds.
An EB-5 application has two parts: immigration and investment. You have made an investment, and how and when your investment capital will be returned will be contingent on the terms of the agreement you signed.
You can sell whatever saving or assets you have in the business. If you decide not to live in the United States after EB-5 approval and lost money on your investment, then this is a risk you decided to take and those are the consequences.
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