The EB-5 Program: A Triple Win
Job Creation • Capital Infusion • Immigration through Investment
In 1990, Congress mandated the EB-5 visa program to create jobs for Americans while stimulating foreign capital investment. Subsequently, a pilot program creating the regional center concept was passed into law. There are significant benefits of the EB-5 regional center pilot program which include:
• Creation of U.S. jobs
• A significant source investment capital for developers
• A path to permanent residency for foreign investor
• A unique investment opportunity for foreign investors
The future of the EB-5 program is very promising. An increasing number of people are aware of its existence, its utility and benefits.
The number of investors engaged in the program with responsible and viable regional centers is continuing to grow as they view the program as a fast track to U.S. residency wrapped in a valuable investment.
More politicians and economic development officers understand the nuances of the program that has now created thousands of jobs and generated billions of dollars into the U.S. economy. The EB-5 program is a win/win platform for the U.S. economy, U.S. sponsors and foreign investors alike.
EB-5 Immigration Attorneys
Florida immigration lawyer Larry J. Behar has created an EB-5 Dream Team that helps developers create and administer EB-5 regional centers throughout the U.S. The team also provides comprehensive immigration services on behalf of foreign investors. To learn more, contact the Behar Law Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
EB-5 Legislative Genesis
The EB-5 program is the result of a legislative effort to promote job creation and the infusion of foreign capital into the U.S. economy. This structure was developed during a time when the U.S. economy was thriving and represented an underlying promise of continued strength. However, at the time of this writing, in light of the restricted credit market and elevated unemployment rate, it is evident that the U.S. is in the midst of tumultuous economic times. Unlike the financial strength that the U.S. exuded at the time that the EB-5 program was enacted, a new source of capital investment received through foreign investors, which will result in the development of numerous new employment opportunities for Americans, provides a promising opportunity for growth and redevelopment across the nation. The EB-5 program provides a glimpse of hope to political leaders, developers, U.S. workers, and foreign investors alike.
It has taken many years to improve and enhance the benefits of the EB-5 program in order to ensure that it meets its goals and the expectations of its beneficiaries. The USCIS is actively engaged in the process and works diligently to continuously modify its regulations. Together, with the various regional centers across the U.S., the USCIS is expanding its knowledge through the daily successes and challenges of the program. Although Congress has extended the program numerous times, at present the EB-5 program is scheduled to sunset on September 30, 2012, Congress now understands that to ensure its continued success the program must receive a permanent extension to guarantee the security of duration and consistency. This permanent extension is contemplated in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill of 2010.
EB-5 Visa Requirements
EB-5 Investor Visa
The EB-5 visa category was created as a means of stimulating job creation through foreign capital investment. EB-5 visa requirements include, but are not limited to:
• Investment of one million dollars, or investment of $500,000 in an area designated as a targeted employment area (TEA)
• Creation of full-time employment for at least 10 individuals (see below)
• Investment in a new business or an existing troubled business
• Investment in an approved regional center (see below)
Creation of 10 U.S. Jobs Through Investment in a Regional Center
A foreign investor seeking to obtain an EB-5 investor visa must demonstrate that their investment will create at least 10 U.S. jobs.The jobs that are created must employ U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents or other individuals who may legally work in the U.S.
The benefit of creating a regional center is that the sponsor is able to fulfill the job creation requirement by creating ten jobs both directly and indirectly for investors in the project. Direct jobs are those U.S. employees who are employed by the sponsor at the subject project and collect a salary which is reported as income on a W2 form to the Internal Revenue Service. Indirect jobs are those which are deemed to have been created in the community as a positive result of the original investment.
It is clear from a development perspective, that having the ability to fulfill the job creation component with fewer direct jobs in relation to indirect jobs will minimize the financial burden on the sponsor and make it more feasible to satisfy the requirement. Evidence of the direct jobs having been created are submitted at the time the investor files the I-829 Petition for the removal of conditions. Such evidence of direct employment is also used as part of the annual reports submitted by the regional center sponsor to the USCIS EB-5 unit for compliance purposes.
The Behar Law Group
The Behar Law Group assists developers in the creation and administration of EB-5 regional centers throughout the United States. A full range of immigration services are provided on behalf of EB-5 immigrant investors as well.
The team is headed by veteran immigration lawyer Larry J. Behar and consists of top legal and business professionals that includes economists, business plan writers, marketing and IT experts, web designers, SEC attorneys and EB-5 immigration lawyers.
To learn more, contact Behar Law Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
EB-5 Visa Quota
The United States admits approximately one million new immigrants annually. Of that total, only one percent — or 10,000 — enter as EB-5 investors. Of the 10,000 visas available, a minimum of 3,000 visa numbers are set aside and designated for investors in a regional center.
Encouragingly, while it would appear that the availability of visas is in fact limited, the EB-5 program has never suffered an oversubscription, which would create a needless backlog. To date this quota has never been reached and is available to virtually every country applicant. As such, the fact that there is no immediate concern about oversubscription still remains true.
Florida immigration attorney Larry J. Behar and his team have had tremendous success obtaining permanent residency on behalf of foreign investors through the EB-5 visa program. The firm continues to provide comprehensive immigration services to foreign investors beyond the visa application process.
When considering a regional center as a vehicle to residency through the EB-5 program, it is essential to monitor the monthly quota and status reports as issued by the State Department at www.state.gov. It is through this website that you will be able to determine the advantages and speed associated with the EB-5 program when compared to any other Employment Based (EB) category.