EB-5 Program FAQ’s
1. What is an EB-5 Green Card?
The Immigration Act of 1990 established the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program to create U.S. jobs by attracting foreign capital to the United States. Every year 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are available. There is no quota waiting list for EB-5, unlike H-1B and H-2B nonimmigrant visa classifications, and most EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant classifications where the demand far exceeds the supply.
Almost a third of these 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards (3,000) are set aside for qualifying immigrants who participate in an EB-5 Regional Center program that targets high unemployment areas across the United States.
The EB-5 Green Card program has three basic requirements:
- The alien must establish a U.S. business or invest in an existing business that was created or restructured after November 19, 1990.
- The alien must have invested $1 million (or only $500,000 when investing in a Targeted Employment Area) in the business.
- The business must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.
This is your opportunity for Permanent Residency and your path to U.S. business investment in a diversified economic growing market.
2. Who qualifies for an EB-5 Green Card?
Qualified EB-5 candidates must be able to invest either $1 million or $500,000 in a U.S. business, depending on the program selected. Ideal EB-5 prospects include but are not limited to:
- Parents who seek a U.S. education for their children, but do not want to be actively involved in business management
- F-1 student who wants to start a business
- CEO/Managers of a U.S. company who are not an L-1 transferee
- Doctors who have not passed USMLE 1, 2 and 3
- Foreign national investors in a U.S. business who do not want to be active in the business
- Individual owners of a non-U.S. business who want to set up a U.S. business, but who cannot use an L-1 because owner intends to close the foreign business
- How many EB-5 Green Cards are Available?
Almost a third of the 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards (3,000) are set aside for qualifying immigrants who participate in an EB-5 Regional Center program that primarily targets designated high unemployment areas across the United States
- What is the “Regular” EB-5 Program?
In order for an applicant to qualify under the EB-5 Regular program, the following three basic requirements must be met:
- Investment in a new commercial enterprise.
- Investment of at least $1 million (or $500,000 in certain cases) into the business, and creation of employment for at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.
The investment may consist of various forms of capital, such as cash (including a gift or loan), equipment, inventory, property, and other tangible equivalents. An investment amount of $1 million is generally the minimum. However, $500,000 is acceptable if the business is situated in a “targeted” employment area, i.e., one that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a rural area.
- How Long Does it Take to Get an EB-5 Green Card?
The entire process generally takes about 12-18+ months, depending on where the Green Card processing occurs. Prior to filing the I-526 petition, time is required for the client to conduct a due diligence, obtain source of funds documentation, and make the investment. I-526 adjudication currently takes about 6 months.
Generally, after the I-526 is approved, if an individual is in lawful status in the U.S., he/she can apply for Adjustment of Status to Conditional Residence which currently takes about 12+ months. If not in the United States, he/she will apply for an Immigrant Visa at a home country Embassy or Consulate, which typically takes about 6 months or longer depending on the country. Times may vary depending on the facts of each case.
Green Card FAQ’s
- Should I hire an Immigration Attorney to represent me?
It is important for you to have independent legal counsel to represent your interests. While the NREDC recommends attorneys who can competently handle EB-5 applications, you should do your own due diligence for legal counsel.
- What is the I-526 Petition?
The first step of the EB-5 Regional Center Program is to file an I-526 petition together with required documents. Your immigration attorney will assist you to prepare the application.
- What documents and information are required for my I-526 Petition?
Your immigration attorney will discuss the required documents and information with you. You must provide sufficient documentation to satisfy USCIS requirements for proof of lawful source of funds. Independent evidentiary proof must support all declarations. Evidence may include birth certificates and a marriage certificate, earnings and account statements, stock certificates, individual and/or business income tax returns and any loan or mortgage documents, promissory notes, security agreements or other evidence of borrowing which is secured by assets of the applicant.
- How long is the processing time for the I-526 Petition and the conditional Green Card?
The approximate length of time is 8-12 months from the date that he or she submits the I-526 petition to pass the U.S. Consular interview and receive his or her conditional Green Card.
- After I receive my conditional Green Card, when do I apply for my permanent (“unconditional”) Green Card?
The conditional Green Card has an expiration date of two years from the date issued. Foreign investors can submit their I-829 Petition as early as three months prior to the expiration date. The NREDC will supply all supporting evidence regarding the limited liability company, capital investment, and newly created jobs. Once the I-829 petition is filed with the USCIS, your conditional Permanent Residency is extended for one year.
- What are the job creation requirements to obtain a Green Card?
By investing US $500,000 into a Regional Center Investment Project located in a Targeted Employment Area (or US $1,000,000 outside a Targeted Employment Area) must create 10 direct or indirect permanent jobs for U.S. workers.
- What type of investment is currently available with NREDC?
This year we have a renovation project for the BINIONS Hotel. The 25-storey 291-room hotel is the oldest and most famous hotel in DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS.
- How is the investment structured?
There will be a separate Limited Partnership for each project in which the NREDC invests. Each investment will focus on the project anticipated to result in direct and indirect job creation. The foreign investor will become a member of the Limited Partnership. The NREDC will be the General Partner of each company. The NREDC will manage the everyday affairs of the Limited Partnership. As individual members of the Limited Partnership, foreign investors will participate in certain decisions and will receive a financial statement report.
- Must I invest the full US $500,000 before applying for my Green Card?
Yes. The investment must be completed in full prior to filing your I-526 Petition to USCIS.
- How can I submit my investment funds to the NREDC?
In our offering materials, we provide a copy of our escrow agreement and the wire transfer instructions to the escrow bank account. Within 48 hours of your wire transfer, our office will receive a remittance confirmation for your records. A copy of the remittance confirmation is provided to you and is included as part of your I-526 Petition.
- What is an escrow account and how does it protect me against the risk of losing my money?
An escrow bank account is a legal, interest-bearing account established in a banking corporation, meeting all the legal requirements to operate in the State of Nevada. This type of account is commonly used in the sales of real estate, business, and personal property. After the funds are wired into the escrow bank account, the funds continue to belong to the investor. No money will be released from the escrow bank account to the project until the investor’s I-526 Petition is approved by the USCIS.
- How is my interest protected?
The USCIS requires that some financial risk be involved so we cannot guarantee the return of your investment, but the NREDC does make all best efforts to minimize the amount of risk by seeking to invest in the projects that have strong financial standing. All foreign investors will receive regular reports with financial information. A foreign investor can contact the NREDC at any time to request any information.
- If my I-526 Petition is denied, will I receive my funds back?
Yes. If the petition was submitted in good faith, the full US $500,000 investment will be returned to the account from which the funds originated.
- What is meant by the requirement that the foreign investor’s investment be “lawfully gained”?
Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that their assets were gained in a lawful manner. Whether the funds come from salary, gift, investment, property sale, inheritance, or business ownership, the investor must prove to USCIS that the funds were obtained through lawful activities. The NREDC will require each investor to reveal where and how they received the assets that are used for qualifying for the program. This may be accomplished through certificates by the investor’s licensed accountants, lawyers, court records, salary statements, tax statements, real estate documents, etc.
1.What are the benefits of investing in the NREDC?
- NREDC will provide foreign investors with the opportunities to invest in U.S. business development while opening the gateway to U.S. residency and eventually citizenship
- NREDC’s investments will be focused on approved Targeted Employment Areas with a minimum investment of $500,000
- NREDC will promote increased economic growth in Nevada by forming a new Private Capital Equity Investment Fund that will pool qualified immigrant investors and leverage existing financial resources to launch profitable commercial enterprises
- NREDC will focus on viable projects and through the infusion of new capital, bring new industries generating business
- NREDC takes advantage of the tax benefits of Nevada as a positive towards new business. No corporate income and state tax. Along with Nevada’s lenient tax structure, the state offers several programs to diversify the state’s economy and a greater demand for projects in Targeted Employment Areas (TEA’s)
- NREDC will check the lawfulness of all investment funds and will be scrupulously verified. All Capital Contributions will be placed in an escrow account pending formation, funding, and operation of the pertinent Limited Partnership
2. What types of projects will the NREDC invest in?
- Office Buildings – these are buildings developed for general office use. Las Vegas is one of the largest office building markets in the world, and the opportunities for office development, rehabilitation, and upgrading are unsurpassed anywhere else in the world
- Retail Stores – these buildings can be free standing or within a larger development project
- Hotels – these buildings can be free standing or within a larger development project. Often a hotel development project will include restaurant, retail as well
- Restaurants – these buildings can be free standing or within a larger development project which often include a hotel.
- Mixed-Use – these buildings often include some combination of those listed above. For example, a hotel, restaurant and residential apartments may all be included in one mixed-use development project
- Waste Energy – the project of process to create an energy in the form of electricity or heat from the incineration of waste sources.
- Service Industry – these projects include software businesses, senior apartments, and healthcare
3. Is the NREDC an approved Regional Center?
Yes. The NREDC received full approval and designation from the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) on December 16, 2008.
4.What areas make up the NREDC?
The entire state of Nevada
5.Who runs the NREDC?
The NREDC is overseen by professionals with backgrounds in banking, real estate, land development, law, and economics.