The U.S. government introduced the U.S. Immigrant Investor Pilot Program or Regional Center Program in 1993 as a way for foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States. By investing a minimum of $500,000 (in targeted high unemployment areas) or $1,000,000 in businesses in approved geographic regions that create at least 10 full-time permanent jobs for U.S. workers, qualifying foreign investors and their families can obtain a conditional or temporary (2-year) green card. As long as the investment is maintained and achieves the job requirements for the EB5 Visa Program, unconditional or permanent green card status is then issued. EB5 visa holders enjoy all the benefits and advantages of U.S. residency during the two-year conditional period, including employment authorization, and can eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. Applying for and obtaining an EB5 visa can be challenging to prospective foreign investors. So that both investors and U.S. businesses can benefit from the EB5 Program, Golden Pacific oversees the administration and operation of the regional centers and is committed to providing comprehensive services to the investors.
Advantages of the U.S. Immigrant Investor Program
The U.S. immigrant investor program is the most flexible in the world. There are no requirements as to age, business training and experience, or language skills. Permanent residents do not need to be continuously and physically present in the United States, and can maintain business and professional relations in their origin country. The U.S. immigrant investment program allows investors a lot of freedom because it does not require the immigrant investor to manage their investment on a daily basis. Rather, they only need to ‘actively engage’ in a business enterprise, and can be limited partners and/or pursue other professional or personal ventures. In addition, the time spent as conditional permanent residents is credited towards the five year lawful permanent residency requirement for becoming U.S. citizen. Permanent Residents, including their family, are free to return to their homeland for visits or business purposes, as long as a residence is maintained in the United States.
Upon receipt of conditional permanent resident status, the investor and their family (spouse and children under the age of 21 at time of application) are entitled to the same benefits as other lawful permanent residents, including:
1) Living and working anywhere in the U.S.
2) Employment authorization
3) Can start and run your own business
4) Sponsor green cards (residency) for your relatives
5) Travel outside and return to the U.S. without a visa
6) Education benefits – admission to state universities at resident costs
7) Can become a U.S. Citizen after being a Permanent Resident for five years
8) Many other benefits
The U.S. immigrant investor program (EB5 investor visa) was introduced in 1990 and attracted a relatively small number of immigrants. In 1993, the U.S. government modified its 1990 immigrant investor program. The 1990 regulations were retained, but it established a Pilot Program under which “regional centers” designated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), now the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), could be established. In a regional center, the job creation requirements are more flexible and investment opportunities can be made through limited partnerships and allowed a group of immigrant investors in each of these partnerships.
Potential EB5 immigrant investors have certain advantages by applying through a regional center. For instance, if an immigrant investor were to apply for an EB5 investor visa independently, he or she would likely have to invest a minimum of US$1,000,000, however, through the Regional Center, the minimum investment is only US$500,000 because the investment would be located in an approved Targeted Employment Area (TEA). In addition, multiple investors can be pooled together into one project so that the project itself will be larger and financially more stable than one individual investing in a project alone. The limited partnerships will vary in size, from a few to over 100 investors. During the lifetime of the investment, the Regional Center remains in communication with each immigrant investor. All investors in the Regional Center project receive periodic reports regarding the status of the investment, job creation data, and other relevant project information.
One of the most important advantages for immigrant investors applying for an EB-5 investor visa through a regional center is that they may satisfy the program’s job creation requirements by counting not only direct jobs created as a result of their investments, but also indirect jobs created in related industries as a result of the investment. Regional centers are able to calculate indirect job creation through the use of approved input-output employment modeling systems. This job creation methodology has been approved by USCIS and is beneficial because it does not require additional W-2 employment verification, minimizing the possibility of mistakes and errors in the payroll process.
Disclaimer: NOTHING CONTAINED HEREIN SHOULD BE TAKEN AS AN OFFER TO SELL SECURITIES OR THE SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO PURCHASE SECURITIES. ANY OFFER OF SECURITIES IN ANY PROJECT MAY ONLY BE MADE PURSUANT TO A WRITTEN OFFERING MEMORANDUM AND ANY SALE OF SECURITIES IN SUCH PROJECT SHALL BE EVIDENCED BY A SUBSCRIPTION AGREEMENT EXECUTED BY THE POTENTIAL INVESTOR. IF THE INVESTOR IS A U.S. PERSON RESIDING IN THE U.S. AT THE TIME OF THE OFFERING, THE OFFERING WILL BE MADE ONLY TO "ACCREDITED INVESTORS," AS DEFINED UNDER RULE 501(A) OF REGULATION D OF THE SECURITIES ACT OF THE U.S. IF THE INVESTOR IS NON-U.S. PERSON AT THE TIME OF OFFERING AND NOT LOCATED IN THE U.S. UNDER REGULATION S AT THE TIME OF SALE, THEN REGULATION S OF THE 1933 SECURITIES ACT SHALL APPLY. NO OFFER TO SELL OR SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY UNITS MAY BE MADE IN ANY JURISDICTION IN WHICH, OR TO ANY PERSON TO WHOM, IT IS UNLAWFUL TO MAKE SUCH AN OFFER OR SALE. ALL CONTENT SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. All content Copyright 2015 Golden Pacific Regional Centers / All rights reserved.