Following the US State Department’s announcement that the issuance of EB-5 visas are steadily increasing, the EB-5 program has been getting quite a bit of press.
EB-5, or Immigrant Investor Program, was created by Congress in 1990 “to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.” The program allows foreign investors to obtain a green card and take a step closer towards citizenship when they invest in a US project or business that creates at least 10 jobs, excluding their relatives.
Finding the right business partner, however, is often the challenge for foreign entrepreneurs and local businesses. To help you out, here are some questions you should ask yourself before going into foreign investment.
Are You Patient and Thorough?
Applying for an EB-5 visa takes a lot of patience. It’s not something that happens after a few meetings with immigration officials. Because it involves business and immigration—two things the US government are very strict about—you’ll need extensive due diligence and a lot of research.
When working with USCIS-approved EB-5 Regional Centers, be careful with every transaction you make. Read and double check everything before signing.
Is Your Business in the Right Area?
EB-5 has two different qualification requirements: If foreign investors invest $1 million or more, they can invest anywhere within the U.S. If they invest less than $1 million, they will be restricted to particular areas as defined by the EB-5 guidelines.
The program will require you to invest in one of two areas: as areas “outside a metropolitan statistical area or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more” or targeted economic areas (TEA). Your goal in the investment is to improve the local economy of a particular location, so you need to research which place will be better for your money.
Is Your Business Plan Viable?
One way for the government to ensure that you’ll be able to help the local community is by checking the viability of your business plan. You should be able to prove the investment has resulted in the creation of 10 jobs. You need to make sure you’re helping economically through your investment.
The EB-5 visa is a great way for foreign investors to do business in the US. Just make sure you’re ready to move, do business, and live there before applying.