Girish Mohile is an Associate with D&A based in Mumbai, India. Girish works as local Business Development representative for the firm and acts as liaison between Indian clients and US attorneys on their source of funds. Girish is not licensed to practice law in the United States and nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice.
EB 5 Visa or also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, enables foreign investors to get a US Green Card through investment. An individual needs to fulfil the following requirements to be eligible to apply for this visa.
- The investor has to invest a minimum amount of $500,000 via an EB 5 regional center
- The investor also needs to demonstrate that the investment capital has come from legitimate sources.
- The investor should have a clean criminal record.
If you too want to invest in the US economy, you have two options: make and manage the investment yourself (Direct EB5) or invest with a Regional Center.
Over 90% of investors choose the Regional Center route, and here’s why.
What are these regional centers?
These are public or private organizations designated to sponsor capital investment projects by the US Immigration Department. Their work is limited to a specific geographical area they are assigned to monitor.
Here are some key benefits of taking EB 5 visa through the regional center program.
1. EB 5 visa conditions require an investor to create 10 full-time jobs in the country. Regional Centers are allowed to make advanced calculations which includes indirect jobs created by the project. This increases the chances of compliance with the job-creation requirement and mitigates the risk of losing the Green Card. When making an investment yourself, it can be harder to prove that jobs have been created.
2. Investments made through Regional Centers are usually made in targeted employment areas. These areas are targeted because either they are rural areas or they have a very high unemployment rate. The benefit that you get in this case is that the minimum investment requirement reduced by half. For investments in targeted employment areas, the minimum capital requirement is just $500,000 as opposed to $1 million in all other cases. When making the investment yourself through the Direct Route, it can be harder to prove that you have made the investment in a targeted employment area.
3. The Regional Center program offers the investor freedom to pursue other interests in the United States without the burden of complying with the Program’s rules. For example, when you invest through the Direct EB 5 route, you are expected to take up managerial jobs in the business. This is not the case with the Regional Center program. You can take up the role of a policy adviser and fulfil your responsibilities even when you are not in the country. This gives you the freedom to do away with the requirement of living near the business where you invested.
For more information about US business immigration rules and requirements, you should consult the experts.