U.S. residence permit by investment: United States’ EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Created by Congress in 1990, EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of the oldest US immigration programmes, which has allowed thousands of families to move to the US. At the moment, the minimum investment amount is $900,000.
Sergey Filatov, the founder of World Property Invest, has provided more information about the programme.
What does an American permanent residence card give?
The U.S. permanent residence card (or Green Card) gives the following rights:
- the legal right to live and work in the US,
- the right to free school education and higher education at public universities at a reduced cost.
After five years of residence in the United States, the holder of a permanent residence card can apply for American citizenship.
Those studying in the United States can be legally employed according to the rights provided by a Green Card. Thus, with a wide choice of employers, a Green Card holder can expect to have a higher wage.
It is important to remember that a Green Card entails living in the United States for more than 6 months during one year and paying income taxes (even on income that was received from abroad). Therefore, the investment programme is suitable for those who are planning to move to the United States for permanent residence or for the purpose of obtaining a Green Card only for children.
Where to invest?
There are two options:
- your own business (if you provide 10 new workplaces)
- the project of a regional centre.
More than 90% of applicants prefer the second option. Currently, there are more than 800 regional centres in the US. An EB-5 regional centre is a licensed commercial organization, that helps investors to participate in the EB-5 program offering projects and preparing all the necessary documents.
Amidst such projects, there is investment in the construction of residential and commercial real estate: apartments, houses, housing for rent, warehouses, offices, as well as industrial infrastructure. Yet the capital of EB-5 accounts for only 20-30% of the object’s financing. The main share is a bank loan (50-60%) and personal funds of the company-developer (20-30%).
As examples, there are 3 interesting investment opportunities that can be fully implemented in a month:
- Expansion of capacity of the terminal for the transportation and storage of petroleum products in Texas. A large regional centre with impressive statistics on the return of funds under the EB-5 program. A borrower whose shares are listed on the stock exchange. A small share of the EB-5 capital.
- Construction of a warehouse in the state of Michigan. This regional centre has established itself as a reliable developer specializing in the construction and operation of warehouses.
- Construction of a residential building for rent in Washington. A regional centre with the successful implementation of projects under the EB-5 program. A reliable developer. It provides investors with higher profitability compared to standard program projects.
How long does the process of obtaining a residence permit and citizenship take?
Currently, you can get a Green Card within 2-3 years once you’ve submitted the documents and started to invest. To obtain U.S. citizenship and passport you will have to wait for 5-7 years. However, it is expected that this long time frame will be significantly reduced in the near future.
Requirements for investors
The candidates must provide a certificate of no criminal conviction and prove the legality of the funds’ origin. There are no requirements for nationality, work experience, language skills, or education.
What are the risks?
The U.S. government does not provide any guarantees for the programme and does not exclude financial risks. Taking into account the requirements of the programme and the previous experience of other investors, it is crucial you choose the right regional centre, developer and project itself. Incidentally, our company conducts professional research to help you choose the right option.
If the immigration service refuses to issue a visa, the funds are returned to the investor in full (this point is written in the contract). However, the refund process can take from 6 to 12 months.
If an investor has decided to leave the programme, they will need to find another candidate to replace them and their capital. Their funds might be frozen for 5-7 years, until the investment period ends.