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How can I make my development plan EB-5 eligible?

I am a U.S. citizen. I plan to develop a mixed-use real estate property in the Las Vegas area. The project is estimated to cost about $100 million and create jobs. I have foreign investors who are interested in investing into this project. I learned that this can be made into an EB-5 investment. How should I proceed with this? Where should I start?

Answers

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You should decide whether to qualify as a regional center. If so, you will need to file for a regional center designation with the USCIS. This is a time-consuming/labor-intensive process, so for the first project, if time is critical, you have the option to either stay as a direct investment or rent a regional center. You will also need to determine whether the project would qualify as being located in a targeted employment area and also determine if the requisite minimum job creation can be accomplished for each of the EB-5 investors, etc.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The easiest place to start is with an EB-5 immigration attorney who can guide you through the process.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you are interested in getting a regional center designation from USCIS, this will take a long time. It requires hiring a team of professionals and filing I-924 with USCIS to get designated to start recruiting potential EB-5 investors. Another option is to do a direct EB-5 scenario in a targeted employment area (if eligible) to attract investors with a lower investment amount of $500,000, rather than the regular amount of $1 million. Direct EB-5 cases for each individual investor appear to get processed quicker than regional center-based petitions. This is what we have seen recently. You should hire an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who will discuss this with you in detail and help you assemble a team of professionals to get you going.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is possible that your mixed-use real estate project could be the basis of one or more EB-5 investor petitions. In order to proceed, you need to retain an experienced counsel, and hopefully one who is board-certified, with not only significant immigration experience but specific experience in representing EB-5 investors, regional centers and EB-5 projects. They can assist you in determining whether or not your project can be EB-5-compliant, as well as talk to you about the feasibility of attracting EB-5 investors.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You will need to file for TEA designation, get a business plan, file an I-924 to get it recognized as a regional center (if that is of interest), or just do as a director project.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    Sounds quite interesting. You definitely need to speak with an EB-5 immigration professional. How much of the project financing do you already have in place? Are you planning to develop the entire project with EB-5 funds? That could be challenging from a job creation standpoint. Savvy EB-5 investors nowadays would also like to see the senior debt from a reputable lender in place; significant capital from the developer committed (they want the developer to have skin in the game); and last, but not least, most prefer that the EB-5 funds will refinance a mezzanine debt already secured. Since this is your first project it would be most efficient and least risky for you to work with an experienced and seasoned regional center rather than start your own.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You start with an EB-5 attorney who will turn this into an EB-5-compliant project and assemble a team of professionals for all of the required project documents. I mean, yeah, I'm an EB-5 attorney so I may be biased, but everything gets filed with the immigration service, so you gotta have someone like me onboard early.

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