What is EB5 Visa?

“EB5” refers to an Employment-based visa in the 5th category. The EB5 Visa is an immigrant visa which allows foreign investors to reside permanently in the U.S.. Eb5 investors are required to invest at least $800,000 in a New Commercial Enterprise (“NCE”).

If the NCE is located either in: (a) a Targeted Employment Area (TEA); or (b) an area of high unemployment the required investment is USD 800,000. If the NCE is located outside of these area then the required investment is USD1,050,000. The investment must employ at least 10 full-time U.S. workers or remain in a pool investment project which will directly result in job creation for U.S. workers.

What are the Two Types of EB-5?

There are two types of EB5: (a) EB5 through a Regional Center; and (b) Direct EB5 where the investment is not made through a Regional Center.

Regional Centers are private companies licensed by the US government to operate a Regional Center. Regional Centers find projects suitable for EB5 investment purposes and then Despite positive changes in 2023 Regional Centers remain largely unregulated and are not subject to frequent government oversight and review.

Who are the Professionals can Assist You?

Various professionals are available to assist you with your EB5 journey:

EB5 Lawyer

For most clients the EB5 lawyer is the single most important advisor. An Eb5 lawyer will guide you through the entire process and help make sure you have the right team of advisors on-board.

Lending/Finance Lawyer

A lending/finance lawyer will be able to review and EB5 project to ensure that the project is properly structured to protect your legal rights as an investor. Where losses in EB5 have occurred, it is usually because the project was not properly structures to protect your rights as an investor.

Independent Investment Advisor

A properly licensed and experienced independent financial advisor will be able to help you review your project from a financial perspective.


Be aware that make brokers in the EB5 industry have little training in the financial analysis needed to properly review a project. Most Eb5 brokers have the minimal licensure required to sell securities but no training in financial analysis. Ask for:

  • A CFA or RFA
  • Two or more years of training in a major bank or financial institution
  • ASK WETHER THE FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARY WILL BE PAID ANYTHING BY YOUR PROJECT. Truly independent advisors will not accept payments form a Regional Center or project.

How can and EB5 Visa Lawyer Help?

An EB5 Visa lawyer is an immigration lawyer who specializes in EB5 law and has a thorough knowledge of the EB5 program. A number of EB5 lawyers have extensive experience with the entire EB5 process and will be able to guide you through each step.

EB5 immigration attorneys assist you with the entire EB5 process including:

  1. advising you as to the entire EB5 process and identifying other professionals.
  2. documenting your source of funds;
  3. devising a plan for the lawful transfer of your funds;
  4. assisting you with immigration due diligence on a related immigration project;
  5. filing your application using for I526
  6. obtaining your Immigrant Visa and Conditional Permanent Residency in the United States (a “Green Card”)
  7. assisting you with a consular interview when needed
  8. filing form I829 to convert your Conditional Green Card into a full/permanent “Green Card”
  9. for those who wish to obtain US Citizenship.

Some EB5 law firm may also be able to assist you with the following steps:

  1. preforming due diligence on your EB5 investment as to issues of law which impact the safety of your money
  2. providing you advice from a tax lawyer
  3. assisting you with the return of your capital

Once you have chosen a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE) as the subject of your investment, the immigration attorney will help you, the foreign investor, to gain permanent residence along with your dependent family members.

Why do you need a competent EB-5 Visa Lawyer?

Foreign nationals who decide to relocate their family to the United States have made a significant decision involving the investment of a significant amount of money. EB5 continues to see frequent rule changes and as a common law country EB5 is subject to the interpretations of the courts. Meeting all the requirements of an EB5 Visa as laid by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services increases your chance of getting the visa and achieving a permanent residency status.

Moreover, obtaining an EB5 Visa can be rigorous, long and complex and any mistake during your application can cost you not only money and time but also the risk of rejection. With the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, they can guide you throughout the visa application process and increase your chances of getting approved. Further, these lawyers are familiar with NCE developers and can help you locate a reliable regional center sponsor.

Choosing an EB5 Lawyer (“CORER”) and Questions to Ask

There are a lot of immigration lawyers who provide their services to foreign nationals who want to move to the U.S. However, with the complexity of the EB-5 Visa process, you must engage the services of a lawyer who has the experience and a success record.

Since you'll be trusting your immigration lawyer concerning your visa application, you should be careful in screening the lawyer you are going to work with.

Here are some questions you can ask the immigration lawyer so you can assess their services:

Competency

  • What Awards do you Have? Leading Eb5 lawyers are recognized by industry vote in the annual “top 25” EB5 lawyer survey.
  • Have you ever been subject to any professional disciplinary proceeding or charge of any kind? In the United States the record of every lawyer is available from the applicable State Bar. While the Avvo grading system may leave some room for improvement Avvo do check that lawyers are properly licensed, and their on-line record is clear.
  • Where did you go to law school?
  • How many years have you been practicing EB5?
  • Describe your experience with complex structured real estate investments. EB5 is a complex structured real estate investment. Your lawyer should not only be familiar with EB5 but also with how real estate deal are structured and how to make sure your legal rights are properly protected.
  • Will you personally be handling all aspects of my case? Make sure that the lawyer you are speaking Who Cato will be handling or case and if nt that you are comfortable with the person who will be handling your case.

Operations

  • How quickly will you respond to my questions
  • Can I speak to you by phone as frequently as I wish to with no extra charges?
  • Will you monitor my project and take action as needed to preserve my capital?
  • Will you monitor my project and take actions necessary to preserve my immigration benefits?
  • What do you charge for responding to a substantive RFE caused by USCIS error?

Results

At the time of writing our firm has no denied EB5 cases. We receive an RFE rate of about 3% all of which have been “cleared” by USCIS.

Experience

Ask the lawyer to complete this form:

  • Number of I526 Petitions
  • Number of I829 Petitions
  • Number of RFEs
  • Number of NOIDs
  • Number of Denials
  • Number of cases form my country

References

Do you have any references from previous clients? A competent immigration lawyer will have a list of previous clients who have worked with them and has provided testimonials on their capabilities.

Ask the lawyer to refer you to a couple of clients who are willing to talk to you about their experience. Ask for clients who have completed the entire EB5 process and have had their I829 applications approved.

Benefits of an EB-5 Visa

Foreign nationals under the EB5 Visa don’t need to complete a labor certification process that employment-based immigrant visas require. Unlike an L-1 visa EB5 has no requirement Moreover, it doesn’t require you to maintain a business in your home country nor does it depend on verifying extraordinary ability in the business.

The EB Visa also allows you to bring your dependent family members such as your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the U.S.
Compared to other visas, the EB5 Visa has no visa limits based on your home country. This makes it appealing over diversity visas. It also doesn’t require you to have family members who are already present in the U.S.
The most beneficial aspect of an EB5 Visa, however, is that it offers a direct pathway to U.S. citizenship for you and your dependents. Other visas will force you to apply for other visas to gain citizenship, but an EB5 Visa, already includes the intent of permanently living in the U.S.

How to qualify for an EB-5 Visa?

Requirements

To obtain an EB5 Visa, there are certain EB5 Visa requirements that you must satisfy. First, you must show that you have invested or are actively in the process of investing in a New Commercial Enterprise.
Second, you must make a minimum investment of USD 800,000 in a TEA or USD 1,050,000 in non-TEA. This is included in some of the EB-5 Visa cost that you'd need to pay throughout your application. You may also invest in regional centers, which have less strict job creation requirements.
Third, the capital invested must create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

EB5 Visa Application

The first step in an EB5 Foreign Investor Visa process is to file an Immigrant Petition as an Alien Entrepreneur. This must include supporting documents about the specifics of the investment, the management of the business, and proof that the money has been invested and that the invested business created jobs. These are not exclusive, and your immigration lawyer can help you determine which documents to include in your petition based on your circumstances.

Upon the approval of your petition, you may apply to obtain status as a conditional resident together with your dependents for 2 years. After that, you can apply to have the conditions removed.

EB-5 Visa Processing Times

According to the USCIS, the processing time for Form I-526 petitions ranges between 55-85 months, depending on your home country. Please take note that the USCIS processes first petitions from investors for whom a visa is available or soon to be available.

Meanwhile, in the new visa bulletin from the USCIS, all countries except China and India are tagged as "Current", which means no backlog or retrogression.

What is an EB5 Regional Center?

An EB5 Regional Center is a public or private economic entity that’s involved in the promotion of economic growth, increased domestic capital investment, improved regional productivity and job creation. It must be first approved by the USCIS.

Please take note that investing in a regional center doesn’t guarantee that the conditions on your green card will be removed after 2 years. You must still prove that your investment funds were at risk, and the minimum number of jobs for qualified U.S. workers were created.

Why are EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Rules changing?

In March 2022, the Congress has passed the new EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (2022 Act). The law reauthorized the Regional Center Program and implemented changes and requirements for foreign investors and regional centers.

Minimum Investment Requirements

Before the new law, the 2019 law increased the minimum investment amount from 1990. The 2022 Act changed the minimum investments to USD 800,000 in a TEA and USD 1,050,000 in non-TEA.

Targeted Employment Area

The new law provides that only the USCIS may designate high-unemployment TEAs, which include the census tract or contiguous census tracts in which the NCE is primarily doing business. The weighted average of the unemployment rate for the census tracts must be at least 150% of the national average.

Moreover, the 2022 Act has specified that the USCIS shall prioritise the process and adjudication of EB5 petitions for regional center investments in rural areas.

Regional Center Program

The new law also authorizes the Regional Center Program until September 30, 2027. Because of this, the USCIS has resumed processing applications based on regional centres. However, the applications are subject to the law which is in place at the time of its filing (e.g. minimum investment requirements).

Oversight Measures

The 2022 Act has included oversight measures, particularly for regional centers, which address concerns of fraud and abuse in the program. It established the EB-5 Integrity Fund which is funded by regional centers through annual fees. The USCIS will use this fund for investigations related to the program such as determining compliance and conducting regional center audits.

EB5 Visa Solutions by Country of Nationality or Residency

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Why make Davies & Associates Your EB5 Lawyers

Davies & Associatesis one of the longstanding EB5 law firms in the industry. We have helped numerous business owners, entrepreneurs and families move to the U.S.

Our team of experienced EB5 immigration lawyers have never had a case rejected on the source of funds, which is one of the most challenging aspects of an EB5 visa application. With each case, our team understands the culture, law, business practices, and banking regulations in each country where we operate.

We ensure that your needs are met by assigning a team of lawyers with different specializations for your case.

Awards

Top 25 Immigration Attorneys

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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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Looking to acquire an EB5 Visa?

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Looking to relocate or having trouble with a visa applicaton?

We are known for our creative solutions that obtain "impossible" visas, we solve the most complex immigration problems for business, investors, individuals and families.

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