EB-5 News Archive for February, 2011
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently approved the Washington state EB-5 Regional Center, which will give foreign nationals an opportunity to invest in local projects in exchange for U.S. green card eligibility, the South Sound Business Examiner reports.
Through the federal EB-5 visa program, which was established during the 1990s, foreign nationals can obtain a U.S. green card by making an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in some areas) in an American company or project that either creates or maintains at least 10 full-time jobs.
An EB-5 regional center, such as the one recently approved in Washington, strives to promote such investment and assist the entire process. According to the USCIS, a regional center is defined as "any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment."
The recently approved Washington Regional Center is reportedly the largest in the state and will cover seven different counties, including King, Pierce, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Mason, Lewis and Pacific, the news provider said.
There are a number of other EB-5 regional centers in Washington, according to the USCIS, including those in the cities of Seattle, Renton, Bellevue and Bellingham. These regional centers cover a wide geographic scope across the state and specialize in a variety of industries including air cargo, healthcare, transportation and hospitality.
Michael Cade, the executive director of the Thurston Economic Development Council, told the Business Examiner that the regional center approval is crucial for the state of Washington because the EB-5 visa program is extremely beneficial for the local economy.
"The EB-5 Visa program is one of the best tools we have in our economic development toolbox," Cade told the news provider. "Everyone wins – cities and regions benefit from economic growth through creation of new jobs and businesses obtain a source of inexpensive and available capital."
A number of potential projects across the state have counted on EB-5 funding, including the construction of a high-rise facility in Federal Way. While the contract between the developer and the city ultimately fell apart in this instance, the mayor and city council are both still examining potential options to utilize the building as a means of promoting the local economy, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Some EB-5 investors do not take the EB-5 job creation requirement into consideration when choosing an approved EB-5 Project to invest in. This question is not asked as frequently as it should be by potential EB-5 Investors.
EB-5 Visa stands for “Employment Based Visa”; it is required by the USCIS that the approved EB-5 project create 10 new jobs per investor. At the time of your EB-5 Visa application, the EB-5 project will need to provide the USCIS with proof of job creation, these projects have different methods of calculating the 10 jobs per investor, and this method needs to be approved by USCIS.
So let’s say you have applied through an EB-5 Regional Center whose program strategy requires 200 investors to succeed, this will require 2,000 new jobs to be created. Let’s say this project is based on developing residential property. In this case the investment was fully subscribed and the building completed however, since the original planning stage the economic climate has changed and fewer tenants have moved in consequently creating fewer jobs. What does this mean for you?
If the above scenario applies to you, your EB-5 visa application will be denied, you will be put in removal proceedings and the full investment of $500,000 or $1,000,000 will not be refunded. This is why it is crucial you take precautionary steps and conduct thorough research prior to making your EB-5 Investment.
The Exclusive Visas team can provide you with due diligence and research analysis reports on approved EB-5 projects that will include most areas of concern. To request these reports please contact Fred Burgess or Joe Sloboda via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the “online request form”.
The two major EB-5 visa requirements are investing USD 1,000,000 (or USD 500,000 in Targeted Employment Area) in an approved EB-5 investment project and creating or sustaining 10 full-time jobs using that investment.
In this article let us concentrate on EB-5 job creation guidelines, paying specific attention to indirect EB-5 job creation.
The EB-5 investor visa program requires EB-5 investment funds to create or sustain 10 full-time jobs for US citizens, lawful permanent residents or other immigrants legally authorized to be employed in the United States.
An important advantage of investing in a project with EB-5 Regional Center designation is the “indirect” nature of the EB-5 job creation, which is less difficult to achieve than the “direct” creation of 10 new jobs. In this case, the EB-5 requirement to create at least 10 new full-time jobs can be satisfied by showing that as a result of the EB-5 investment and the activities of the new enterprise at least 10 jobs will be created directly or indirectly in the region through an employment creation multiplier effect. To make it clear, these Jobs do not have to be directly related to the EB-5 project and can, for example, include certain construction jobs during the construction phases of the project, or jobs created at other businesses as a result of the EB-5 project being developed.
The jobs must be proven to exist at time of EB-5 visa application or there must be proof that the required jobs will be created before the end of the two-year period of Conditional Permanent Residence.
Both EB-5 Regional Centers and EB-5 investors can take advantage of “indirect” EB-5 job creation to make it easier to meet the EB-5 visa requirements. However, it is not always safe to rely strictly on indirect job creation. Therefore, we recommend EB-5 investors to look for EB-5 Regional Center projects that provide a combination of direct and indirect EB-5 job creation.
For information about which of the currently active Regional Center projects utilize both direct and indirect job creation to satisfy the investor’s EB-5 requirements, please contact Fred Burgess or Joe Sloboda via email at email@example.com or by submitting our “online request form.”
EB-5 Jobs for Massachusetts, Inc., an EB-5 regional center that covers the entire state, works to benefit foreign nationals and the local economy by creating low-risk investment opportunities for foreigners seeking U.S. green card eligibility.
Through the EB-5 visa program, foreigners can obtain such eligibility by making an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in some areas) in an American project or company that either creates or maintains at least 10 full-time jobs.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an EB-5 regional center is designed to assist this process, as it is defined as "any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment."
The EB-5 regional center in Massachusetts specializes in a variety of industries, including mixed-use real estate, health services, technological development, manufacturing and hospitality, according to its website.
The EB-5 regional center in Massachusetts is one of more than 135 such centers across the U.S., according to the USCIS.
Legislation proposed by Representative Debbie Riddle, a Republican from Houston, would make knowingly hiring an undocumented immigrant a felony in the state of Texas, unless the person is a domestic worker, The Associated Press reports.
According to the news provider, the bill has been criticized by some who claim it would affect businesses but would not crack down on households employing illegal immigrants in positions such as maids and landscapers.
"That's not sensible immigration policy," said Back to Basics, a political group that strives to hold politicians accountable, in a news release. "It's indentured servitude."
Jon English, Riddle's chief of staff, said that the Representative did not want the legislation to scare residents from hiring a company to do work at their house. He added that homeowners should not be responsible if the company they hire employs undocumented immigrants.
Even with such strict immigration enforcement legislation arising across the country, foreign nationals can still obtain U.S. green card eligibility by utilizing the federal EB-5 visa program. Through this program, foreigners must invest $1 million (or $500,000 in some areas in an American company or project that either creates or maintains at least 10 full-time jobs.