EB-5 News Archive for February, 2012
The road to obtaining an EB-5 Visa can be at times perplexing. This process can, at first, be tedious but all the detailed work will pay off in the future in the form of a permanent green card or even U.S. citizenship later on. In order to make sense of all the prerequisites, a good option is to retain an EB-5 consultant to help you make sense of all the prerequisites, forms, and expectations of the EB-5 Visa Program. Once you hire an EB-5 consultant, they will listen attentively to your goals and take into consideration the needs which you have expressed to them. Your EB-5 consultant will then be able to aid and advise you in devising a plan of investment that is tailored to your case. In this way you can be assured about the EB-5 investment choices you make.
When trying to find the right EB-5 consulting firm, be sure that the consultants are independent to avoid biased opinions. It is possible to request to view their Investor Consulting Agreement and see if the consultants will share with you information on the EB-5 projects that are available. While you are conversing with the consultants, you can gauge whether they have formed relationships with various regional centers; as a result of consultants and regional centers working closely over an extended amount of time, it would only be natural that the two would cultivate some sort of relationship with each other.
The EB-5 Investment Program is meant to be primarily an immigration program and an investment program second, however one must still be astute. The USCIS requires that the EB-5 investors’ funds must be labeled “at risk”. There can be no guarantee that the investor will receive the money that they invested back. This is why it is important to make sure you are making sound decisions or have a reliable EB-5 consultant on your side.
To find out more about the EB-5 consulting services that Exclusive Visas offers be sure to contact Fred Burgess or Joe Sloboda today and find out how we assist our clients with gathering information on a EB-5 Regional Center and the EB-5 Projects that are offered by that regional center.
Based on the statistics published by the Office of Public Engagement – USCIS, during their Stakeholders Engagement conference held on January 23rd, 2012, we bring data that shows the most recent trends in the EB-5 industry. The information provided is related to the approvals of the I-829 petitions which are filed with USCIS for the removal on conditions of the conditional green card.
In addition to receiving conditional permanent residency status, EB-5 Investors must also go through another process in order to lift their conditional status. The EB-5 investors will need to file their I-829 petition to remove the conditions on their conditional green card; this petition should be submitted to the USCIS between 2 to 4 months prior to the second anniversary of the I-526 approval. During this process the EB-5 investor will need to prove that the minimum investment required was effectively placed at risk and that the required jobs were created and maintained for at least 2 years.
Below are the numbers provided by USCIS during their January 23, 2012 stakeholders meeting, showing an increase in I-829 approvals:
USCIS received their highest level of I-829 petitions to date in 2011, with a total of 2,345 received as compared to only 768 in 2011 and 1,067 approvals granted by the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2011. It is very important to understand that in order for USCIS to approve these petitions; the investor must have held their conditional green card for two years. With that being said, these I-829 approvals are based on the I-526 petitions approved during Federal Fiscal Year 08 and 09 which were related to the investments made into the earlier projects in the EB-5 Program.
In the past year we have seen an astonishing increase in Regional Center approvals. We have been asked to consult a few of these new EB-5 projects and have encountered projects that do not meet our standards therefore; we have not recommended some of these projects to our clients. We have also seen false advertising of some projects; they paint a pretty picture to the immigration brokers abroad and offer them an abundant finder fee per investor they refer to their project. In most cases these immigration brokers do not have the knowledge to analyze the offerings they are presenting to their clients and they just see their compensation. Yes, more and more EB-5 projects are coming to the market but this does not mean that they are a safe investment for you. You as an investor will need to perform a lot of due diligence on the projects competing for your EB-5 funds before you make a sound investment. The data mentioned above does not guarantee your permanent green card.
The team at Exclusive Visas, LLC has extensive knowledge in the EB-5 industry and has consulted more than 165 investors worldwide. Our team of experts not only provides due diligence services but also guides EB-5 Investors in the completion and submission of their I-526 petition and also provides support to facilitate the approval of their I-829 petition.
This year will definitely be a good year for approvals of EB-5 petitions and the creation of new Regional Centers. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently reported that 2,364 EB-5 visas have been issued in the first three months of the current federal fiscal year. Since the creation of the EB-5 Investor Visas program, the designated annual quotas for this kind of visas had never been reached and from the 10,000 EB-5 visas available to be issued, much less than half have been actually distributed. At this pace, the 2012 Program will come close to using its 10,000 annual visa allocation for the first time since the Program started in 1994.
I-526 petitions are filed to request the conditional permanent residency and are considered to be the first step for an Alien Entrepreneur to receive the immigrant status. According to the USCIS – Office of Public Engagement statistics from 2005 to January 12, 2012, there was an increment in the filing and approvals of the I-526 petition. As a result, the Program is able to account for more foreign direct investment available for American job creating enterprises than ever before.The tendency for the last 6 years on the approvals and denials of the I-526 Petition: *YTD: year to date / **FY12 Q1: Fiscal Year 2012 from Oct 11, 2011 to Jan 12, 2012.
The increment in the approval of I-526 petitions might be justified by different reasons, one of them being the increment in Regional Centers approved by the USCIS and another being how globally integrated marketplaces now facilitate the exchange and migration of capital, resources and people across international borders.
Despite the programs recent success, the EB-5 Program is still due to expire September 2012 if Congress does not take action. With estimates of over 100,000 U.S. jobs to be created and at least $10 Billion in direct foreign investment over the next 5 years, the U.S. Congress would be making a huge mistake by not voting to extend this beneficial program.
To qualify as an immigrant investor under the EB-5 Investment Program, a foreign citizen must invest between USD $500,000 and $1,000,000, depending on the unemployment rate in the geographical area. The investment must be made into a new commercial enterprise (business) in the United States which creates at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other lawful immigrants, not including the investor and his or her family.
If you are interested in learning more about the EB-5 Visa program or any other information about this kind of immigration investment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-954-727-9800