Introduction

First created in 1990, the EB-5 Investment Visa is an immigrant visa classification that grants permanent residence status to qualified foreign investors, their spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The visa requires that foreign investors make a minimum investment of at least $1.05 million for direct investments or $800,000 for a regional center investment. In addition to the minimum investment amount, however, there are other EB-5 costs that you must take into account.
The EB-5 process comprises four key steps: investing the required capital in a business; filing form I-526 or I-526E; maintaining the investment capital at risk for two years and establishing conditional permanent residency (green card status) and obtaining the permanent green card by filing Form I-829.

EB 5 Visa Investment Amount

To become eligible for the visa, you are required to make a minimum investment depending on your chosen investment option.

Two investment options are available:

Direct Investment. A minimum direct investment of $1.05 million in a U.S. commercial enterprise outside of the TEA.

TEA Investment. A minimum investment of at least $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is a rural or high-unemployment area.

Your investment can be in the form of cash, tangible property, equipment, inventory or cash equivalents. Further, you can also invest in an existing business orbuy one or even establish a new business.

Form I-526/I-526E Filing Fee

The first step after transferring the investment amount into the project is filing an I-526 petition (single investor), or an I-526E petition (regional center investment) with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). These petitions will include evidence on the investment, lawful sources and path of funds, job-creation projections and nature of the business.

The filing fee for the I-526 and I-526E each is $3,675.

As per the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, regional center investors must also send an additional $1, 000as part of filing their I-526E for the Integrity Fund. This additional EB5 visa cost doesn't apply to an amended request.

Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status

The step after the I-526 or I-526E approval is applying for an immigrant visa - conditional green card - through consular processing or adjustment of status (if in the US on a non-immigrant visa or other valid status).

For consular processing, which is done through the National Visa Center, the immigrant visa processing fees payable per person is $345.

If the investor is in the US in a lawful status, such as an H-1B or F-1, he or she can file the I-485 form with the USCIS- for adjusting status from a non-immigrant to that of permanent resident. Each person of the investor’s family has to file their own I-485 individually and the filing fee for the form is $1,140 and $85 for collection of biometrics.

Form I-829 Filing Fee

Upon approval of your EB5 Visa, you acquire a conditional permanent residency for 2 years. You would need to file a Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status) within the last 3 months of the 2-year validity to remove the conditions to become a permanent resident. The filing fee for this form is $3,750 along with $85 fee for biometrics.

Legal Fees of an Immigration Lawyer

If you decide to hire an immigration lawyer, legal fee can be included as part of your EB5 visa cost. While hiring an immigration lawyer is not mandatory, we strongly recommend hiring one as they will help you navigate the often very complex EB-5 process, make it easier and smoother for you and help increase your chances of approval.

Regional Center Administration Fees

Regional centers are designated service agents by the USCIS, qualified to receive EB-5 investments from investors. In an EB-5 regional center investment, the investor will invest in a pre-prepared investment structure where the regional center has established a new commercial enterprise.

Since it's already pre-prepared, the regional center investments require administrative fees which would cost $50,000 USD to $70,000 USD. If you're planning to hire a lawyer, there might be lower legal fees as compared to a direct investment as there is typically ess work.

The filing of an I-526 or I-526E petition is the first step to obtaining an EB-5 Visa. However, as per the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, regional center investors must also send an additional $1, 000 USD as part of filing their petition. This additional cost doesn't apply to an amended request.

Business Plan Costs

If you chose the option to make a direct investment, then you'd need to attach a business plan along with your I-526. Generally, this would cost you $3,500..

Business Entity Formation

If you choose to make a direct investment, you also have the option to establish a new business. Working with an experienced professional or a lawyer is essential in the formation of a business entity, fees for which can vary based on your service provider.

Document Translations

The application process involves a lot of documents ranging from personal, source of funds to project documents. Documents written in a foreign language must be translated into English, and the translation fees may again vary depending on your service provider.

Direct Investment Costs

In a direct investment, the investors structure the investment themselves so there's no additional administrative fee to be paid. However, there can be professional fees borne by the investor to ensure compliance with the EB-5 program, such as legal fees, business plan writing fees, economist fees, and third-party reporting fees among others.

The investor is responsible for obtaining their own TEA report, which can cost from $500 to $1,000 USD. Moreover, the investor is also responsible for obtaining a business plan that complies with the EB-5 Visa requirements. This additional cost could range from $2,500 to $10,000 USD, depending on the nature and structure of the business. There can be more costs, if it would be supported, for example, by market research.

While not mandatory, seeking a legal consultation or advice from an immigration attorney can help ensure that all aspects of your direct investment are compliant with the EB-5 program. You might also need advice from other types of lawyers in some aspects. For example, you might need the help of a corporate attorney if you're planning to establish a new business.

Travel and Relocation Costs

Since you'll be granted a conditional permanent residence, you should also factor in applicable travel and relocation costs including the multiple trips in and out of the U.S. or where you'll stay.

Tax Considerations

An EB5 investor should also take into account tax considerations for the duration of the EB-5 program:

Income Tax

Since you'll become a permanent resident, you will be subject to income taxes on your worldwide income. Moreover, you must report and pay taxes on any income received from your investment.

Capital Gains Tax

If you sell your investment, you may be subject to a capital gains tax. The tax will depend on the period that the investment was held and the amount of the gain.

Estate Tax

Once you've become a U.S. citizen and you've acquired properties along the way, your estate may be subject to an estate tax once you've passed away.

Local and State Taxes

You may be also subject to local and state taxes, aside from federal taxes, depending on where you live.

Pointers to Minimize EB5 Visa Expenses

An application for an EB5 Visa can get costly as you'll have to think about the minimum investment amount and the rising application fees. However, there are several points you can follow to minimize your expenses:

Plan ahead

The EB5 process can be extensive, so planning and budgeting for your application process ahead is crucial if you want to minimize your expenses. This can help you avoid last-minute expenses or unexpected fees.

Research investment opportunities

Before investing, you should conduct a thorough research on every investment opportunity to ensure its legitimacy and its success rate. This minimizes the risk you would take when investing, which can get costly.

Consider investing in a targeted employment area

Investing in a TEA reduces the minimum investment significantly. From $1.05 million USD, you're just required to make a minimum investment of $800, 000 USD.

Look for cost-friendly regional centers

If you're planning to invest in a regional center, you can look for ones that have low fees but still a high success rate. This ensures that you shell out less money while still having a high chance of success.

Hire an immigration lawyer

While hiring a lawyer can add to the costs, they can help reduce the overall costs you have to pay in the long run as lawyers can ensure that your application is complete and accurate, which lessens the chances ofcostly mistakes or delays. Moreover, they also increase the chance of your application getting approved.

Here at Davies & Associates, our pool of experienced immigration lawyers can help you not only minimize the costs associated with your EB5 visa process but also increase the chances of an approval

FAQs

You can expect to get or receive your money back once the developer successfully develops and executes the development project if you've invested through regional centers.

Take note that you made an equity investment in the NCE that's making the loan. Thus, the repayment of your investment depends on the repayment of the loan by the JCE and the liquidation of the NCE by the manager.

Generally, more secured investments give 1% to 3% of the rate of return.

Yes, you can take a loan to fund your minimum investment. There are different funds which you can source your investment from such as salaries and wages, gifts, and inheritance among others. What's required is that you prove that the funds were from a legal source.

You can also check out more about the EB5 visa program here.

Aside from loans, there are other eligible sources of funds including gifts, inheritance, and even divorce settlements among others. All of these require supporting documents to prove that they are legal.

For example, you can provide proof of inheritance, probate court proceedings or property settlements of the deceased to prove inheritance.

The rule of thumb is simply that the documents must prove that the source of funds is legal. You should submit as many supporting documents as possible relating to your source of funds.

It is preferred that you open a U.S. bank account where you can transfer funds. After that, the funds are transferred into an EB-5 Escrow Account which an Escrow agent receives, holds, and then disburses as mutually agreed upon release conditions between you and the EB-5 issuer.

Yes, as long as you meet the requirements such as that the investment must be "at risk" and that you create at least 10 new full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers, the EB-5 program can work for you either in attaining your immigration plans or investment goals.

The costs for an EB-5 Visa depend on various circumstances. You have two investment options: 1) a direct investment which costs at least $1.05 million or 2) an investment to a TEA which costs at least $800,000..

Moreover, additional fees and costs depend on where you file your petition, whether you're investing in a regional center, administration fees, petition filing fees, legal fees, taxes, relocation expenses, and document translation among others.

Generally, you will be subject to federal, state and local taxes on your worldwide income depending on where you live. We suggest consulting with a tax professional to understand your other tax obligations which may arise from your various transactions during your stay in the U.S.

The EB5 visa allows an investor to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.,

You are initially granted a conditional permanent residency status, before the expiry of which you can apply to remove conditions by filing the I-829 after whichTthe permanent green card is issued From then, you and your dependent family members can permanently live and work in the U.S. You have the option to apply to become U.S. citizens 5 years from the date you received your initial conditional residency status.

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Eranjan Venura Parua
Eranjan Venura Parua
2 months ago

"After finding D&A through an internet search in 2020, my wife and I had several free consultations with David Cantor. Despite our initial attempt at filing for our E2 visa independently ending in failure, we decided to hire D&A for their expertise and support. Over the course of four long years, Verdie and Cristina were incredibly patient as we took our time to prepare for the E2 submission. Verdie became our E2 Attorney in 2021, and from the start, Verdie and Cristina's patience was evident. Despite our intermittent engagement over the years, they always treated us with the utmost attention. Working with Verdie and the D&A team was a pleasure; their professionalism and support were unwavering. Verdie's calm demeanor and succinct communication style made navigating the process much smoother, even during complex discussions. I wholeheartedly recommend Verdie and D&A - Davies & Associates, to anyone seeking an immigration law firm who can efficiently handle their case with precision and without unnecessary fanfare. Their ability to get things done speaks volumes about their dedication to their clients' success."

Jeremy Abernathy
Jeremy Abernathy
5 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad
Saeed Muhammad
6 months ago

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

Satyabrat Chowdhury
Satyabrat Chowdhury
8 months ago

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

Christine Envall
Christine Envall
a year ago

Getting my E2 Visa was a very in-depth process that took just over a year from when I committed to it, but 8 months from when I found a business I wanted to purchase. The only reason I'm giving 4 and not 5 stars is because the timeframe was a lot longer than expected from the initial information. Aside from the timing, Verdie and his team led me through the Visa process, providing all the guidance I needed to be successful, including advising me on the RIGHT type of Visa to suit my goals. Within the process I purchased a business and the greater Davies team included lawyer Rinat who helped me put the deal together. One of the biggest parts was my Business Plan which created from my info by Ana Ortiz, who did an incredible job. The process is certainly tedious and Verdie & Christina were always there to answer my questions, provide suggestions and advice and ensure I had all the documents I needed to support my application. I appreciated their patience with my questions and their advice and in the end, the application was so thorough the interview process was quick and easy. I highly recommend Davies & Associates and look forward to working with them again when it's time to renew my Visa.

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