The EB-5 visa is one of the fastest routes to get a USA green card for investors and their families.
Applying for a green card through the EB-5 visa can take years. Each step in the investment program, from gathering the required documentation to making an investment decision, takes investors weeks or months.
The good news is EB-5 visa provides you with several benefits and makes the initial time invested in the process worth it.
It is recommended to take each step in the EB-5 visa process with great precision to avoid delays or issues in the process.
The EB-5 visa program requires an investment of at least USD 800,000 into targeted employment area projects and an investment of at least USD 1,050,000 into a non-targeted employment area project.
The visa requires a considerable investment; therefore, making an informed decision before investing is extremely crucial. Here is a detailed guideline about investment options for EB- 5 visas.
Direct investment for EB – 5 Visa?
In the direct investment process, foreigners directly invest in an enterprise and do not use an intermediatory.
Starting from March 2022, the required investment amount in direct investment is USD 1.05 million unless the enterprise is in targeted employment areas.
In simple words, direct investment is not made through a regional center.
The following can qualify as direct investment
1. Investing in an existing business
2. Purchasing an existing business
3. Starting your own business
- The investment should be made to a new enterprise; formed or expanded after November 29, 1990.
- If an enterprise is located in targeted employment areas, the investment required is USD 800,000.
- A targeted employment area can either be a rural area at the time of investment or an area that has experienced high unemployment (at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate).
- One of the main things that distinguish direct investment is that the investor must provide proof that their investment will directly create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified individuals.
Benefits of Direct Investment
An investment of USD 800,000 or above is not a light decision, and the investor must analyze all the costs and benefits in detail.
Direct investment for EB-5 visa gives more control to the investor. Whether you start a new business or invest in an existing one, you can run the business as you want or have a say in the decision-making process.
Direct investment means having the potential for unlimited earnings. If you start a business or invest in a new enterprise, there is no limit on how much profit you can get from the business.
If you have a good business plan and run the operation successfully, you can get a good return on investment.
Direct investment for an EB-5 visa usually will not charge you an administrative fee, while investing in a regional center requires you to pay an administrative fee of $50,000 to $70,000 to manage the project.
Investment through Regional Center
Investors of EB-5 visas have the option to invest in an enterprise through a government-approved regional center.
The minimum investment requirement through a regional center is $1.05 million, or $800,000 if the investment project is in a targeted employment area.
A regional center is a designated organization by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that sponsor capital investment projects for EB-5 visa investors.
A regional center can be a private or public entity that promotes regional productivity, economic growth, domestic capital, and job creation. If you chose the investment through a regional center, it would take care of the responsibility of job creation for at least 10 qualified individuals.
Since the regional centers are pre-approved by the US government, the investor is not required to prove that the investment has successfully employed qualified individuals, that the enterprise is new, or that the investors are capable of operation and maintenance.
Benefits of investment through Regional center
The regional center takes care of most of the investment requirements and criteria.
For investors looking for less burden in the EB-5 visa investment process, investing through regional centers provides them with an ideal situation.
Investors not interested in investing time in research about investment options can take advantage of already existing government-approved business units.
In addition, investors who choose the path of regional center investment will have more geographic mobility both within and outside the States.
However, investment through regional centers only reduces some responsibilities in the EB-5 visa process, your involvement in the process is mandatory.
Which investment method is best for you?
The EB-5 visa is the safest and fastest way to get a USA green card. As the investment amount is considerable, the investors must consult professionals and attorneys to guide them through the process.
Depending on your current situation, you can choose either path. If your schedule allows you to operate and manage a business in states, and if you meet all the requirements, direct investment can provide more control and financial benefits.
But if the purpose is to opt for a green card through an EB-5 visa, investment in a regional center provides a less burdened and convenient path.