EB-5 News Archive for March, 2012
A Chinese businessman was referred to us by one of his trusted business associates in China. His goal was to establish his business venture in the U.S. and felt that the EB-5 Investor Visa matched what he was looking for since it offers a permanent solution compared to other visas that are available. He contacted several so called EB-5 consulting firms in search of one that would help him understand the application process and the method of forming his business in the U.S. The entrepreneur contacted Exclusive Visas through email and requested an initial consultation. Subsequent to the free, initial consultation, the entrepreneur retained Exclusive Visas based on the information we provided him with and the assurance from his business associates in China. Our team was able to provide the solutions to his business and financial concerns and also introduce to him one of our trusted immigration attorneys. Recently, the applicant received the approval of his I-526 petition in less than four months.
By Renata Castro
An abundance of inventory at low prices, paired with a demand for rental residential units, has left real estate speculators salivating at the opportunity to profit from the demise of the industry.
But the hurdle is no longer to find the right property, but to find the necessary funding.
As traditional lenders tighten their already restrictive lending guidelines, Real Estate developers have been actively seeking relief in the form of EB-5 funded projects. Word on the street is that EB-5 funds are the next best thing to subprime. Not quite.
EB-5 is a pilot program implemented by US government to increase job creation through the injection of foreign funds. In exchange, investors are put on a pathway to US citizenship through US residency anchored by the investment.
A minimum of 10 jobs has to be created by the investment during the investment period, and both the funds and the investor’s residency are at risk for a period of time.
Investors, coming from markets such as China, Russia, Brazil, India and Mexico, to cite a few, tend to favor projects with a real estate element as a way to mitigate the risk.
Here’s the caveat – the purchase of residential real estate in itself does not qualify as an investment that’s EB-5 worthy. Moreover, even if the funds are used to develop large scale residential real estate projects, it becomes evident to the project owner that the number of full-time jobs that must be created in order to satisfy USCIS’ requirements so that all investors can successfully submit and receive approval on their I-526 petitions becomes cost-prohibitive to very livelihood of the project.
Not all is lost. Working with professionals from the beginning stages of a project increases the chances of success when it comes to maximizing the potential of this powerful funding alternative.
Exclusive Visas provides turnkey services to projects looking to capture funds in the EB-5 marketplace. From the Econometrics studies to the development of the business plan, Joe Sloboda and Fred Burgess, alongside a team of experienced professionals, leverage from their experience and successful track record of funded projects across the country to structure offerings seeking EB-5 funds to expand or to start operations.
It used to be that only poor immigrants looking for some backdoor way to enter the US were the ones taken advantage of by ruthless crossers. In exchange for a hefty sum of money, these individuals were sold the “American Dream”.
Another day, another dollar. The coyotes have become more sophisticated. They now wear expensive suits and Rolexes, and, instead of visiting poor villages in Mexico and Brazil, they now hold seminars in China, where “everyone” is an EB-5 specialist.
Immigrants, once again, are exposed to the greed of people who lack understanding of what is at stake.
The growing popularity of EB-5, paired with the explosive growth of the number of millionaires in emerging economies, has given rise to stories such as the one published on Bloomberg on March 23, 2012. Unfortunately, the media only focuses on the negatives of the EB-5 program and the handful of investors who were adversely affected. However, the vast majority of EB-5 investors has successfully obtained their green card and created jobs that they promised.
EB-5 is a pilot program implemented by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), as a way to capture foreign funds. In exchange for investing money in the US economy, wealthy foreigners are awarded temporary residency, which puts them on a pathway to US citizenship.
The investment funds, which can vary from $500,000 to $1 million depending on the region, must be applied towards the generation of at least 10 jobs for at least three years.
It is key for EB-5 applicants to understand that the many moving pieces of an EB-5 investment are not necessary “well-oiled” ones. The investor’s immigrations attorney may not be fully versed in business matters and the consultants acting on the investors’ behalf are not regulated. Projects will put their best foot forward, as EB-5 came as a response to their prayers for funding alternatives now that the Subprime well has dried.
Who should the EB-5 investor trust?
“It is important to have a partner that not only understands the entire EB-5 process, but one that can also scrutinize that project from every angle” says Joe Sloboda,MBA. Sloboda is one of the managing partners of Exclusive Visas, an attorney owned and operated due diligence consulting firm specializing in EB-5 based out of Weston, Florida. “Investors must understand that the immigration attorney represents only their immigration interest, and does not usually have the background to evaluate a suitable EB-5 investment. In this case, the transaction is the submission of their green card petition to USCIS, not the monitoring of the financial investment, or verification of the econometric study and business plan.”
In response to an unfulfilled need, Exclusive Visas works with investors from the day they decide to explore the EB-5 program until the day they receive the return of the initial investment amount. From performing due diligence on projects presented to them on a daily basis, Exclusive Visas knows how extract the information that matters from a mountain of paperwork presented by projects such as business plans and executive summaries.
Exclusive Visas works with investors from the prescreening of projects to the day their exit strategy matures.
“Investors shall bear in mind that this is a long-term commitment, almost a marriage to the project”, says Fred Burgess, President of Exclusive Visas, who has practiced business/real estate law for the past 23 years. With an impressive track record of successful projects and a 100% I-526 approval rate for the EB-5 investors that Exclusive Visas has consulted, Burgess is emphatic to say that EB-5 investors have grown incredibly susceptible to unscrupulous “specialists” throughout the world.
Job data is only one of the key elements USCIS looks at when reviewing business plans. The investor must be aware of the feasibility of that project. The million dollar question is – will that business survive long enough for the investor to renew their residency and to get their money back?
Although there is no sure fire way to answer that, partnering with true EB-5 experts may just be the closest to zero risk as an investor can get.
When choosing a consultant, investigate their credentials. How long have they been in business? What is their track record? Inquiring about key points provides the investor with crucial information when making a final decision.
Exclusive Visas thoroughly researches all Regional Center projects in the United States, and endorses only those projects that meet our rigorous standards. When you hire Exclusive Visas, we hold your hand from the moment you begin considering which Regional Center program to invest in, until the day you receive your permanent green card. You will be assigned a personal concierge to liaise between your Immigration Attorney, and the Regional Center throughout the entire process.
A Chinese entrepreneur was thinking of migrating to the United States in hopes of finding better opportunities for himself and his children. He contacted Exclusive Visas seeking to determine which immigrant visa would be best for his family. His children would soon be eligible to attend university and he wanted to give them the chance of attending a university in the U.S. After consulting with our team, this investor and his family felt that the EB-5 Investment Visa Program, designed to increase the flow of assets into the U.S., was the best option as the EB-5 Visa allows the whole family to immigrate into the United States and obtain green cards. We were able to introduce to him to several EB-5 projects that were available. This particular investor expressed his interest in an EB-5 regional center in Florida in which he was very excited about the projects’ plans and the fact that construction had already begun. The family, with our help and the help of our preferred immigration attorneys, submitted their I-526 petition in November. The family’s petition was approved in less than four months. The waiting period of four months, this particular family experienced, goes against the recent trend of between 7 to 9 months for the USCIS to approve the I-526 applications. Furthermore, the recent tenant occupancy issue did not affect their application in any way.
If you are interested in learning more about the EB-5 Visa program, please contact Fred Burgess or Joe Sloboda of Exclusive Visas at +1-954-727-9800 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +1-954-727-9800 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or via email at email@example.com