For Foreign National Investors, Deciding to Invest in a Regional Center may be Wiser
The re-election of Vladimir Putin and a quickly growing upper class have resulted to many wealthy Russians looking to leave the uncertain future of Russia, take advantage of the EB-5 investment immigration visa and make homes in the United States.
The EB-5 green card is an Immigrant Investor Program that was created by U.S. Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through the creation of jobs and capital investment by immigrant investors. It requires investors to place a substantial amount into a U.S. business either though:
- Direct Investment, which requires investors to invest a minimum $1,000,000. This amount is for the creation of a new enterprise, purchase an existing business, or reorganization of a former business into a new entity.
- Regional Center Investment, which requires investors to invest a minimum $$500,000. This amount is to be used to finance a business in an area designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as having an especially high need for economic stimulus.
Many of those who have already obtained permanent residency through making an investment advise on making the investment in a Regional Center for the following reasons:
- Investing in an EB-5 Regional Center costs lower;
- Ensuring that the “create 10 jobs” requirement is met becomes the responsibility of the EB-5 Regional Center;
- By choosing a more stable and well run Regional Center, meeting the “create 10 jobs” requirement becomes more certain and faster; and,
- Allows the investor to do something else, such as practice his or her real profession.
Regardless of the form of investment chosen, an investor’s prime responsibility or visa commitment is to create at least 10 full-time U.S. At the end of the two-year conditional residency, USCIS will evaluate the business and determine if the investor has invested the full amount of capital and created the required number of jobs. Fulfillment of the terms of the visa will allow the investor to apply for the removal of the conditions on his/her visa and enjoy unrestricted access to the U.S. with his/her permanent green card.
Many applications, however, are denied because of a lack of sufficient evidence (documents, records, and other important paperwork) to support application.