Faqs

EB-5 POLICIES AND REQUIREMENTS

What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program?

The United States government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in 1990 in an effort to attract foreign investment and boost economic growth. Eligible foreign nationals can invest either $500,000 (in a targeted employment area) or $1 million in a new or existing U.S. business. When investors demonstrate that their investment has created at least ten jobs for U.S. workers, they may receive green cards for themselves and their families. Through its Regional Center program, LCR Capital Partners offers investment opportunities to meet these criteria.

What is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office (USCIS) is a U.S. government agency that processes all immigration and visa documents. A great amount of immigration information can be found on their website at www.uscis.gov including additional information on the EB-5 program, forms including the I-526 and I-829, and much more.

EB-5 PROGRAM BENEFITS

Who receives the permanent residency ("green card")?

Husband, wife and any unmarried children under the age of 21. It is possible for adopted children to be included in the family. Upon approval you will receive a form evidencing approval and a travel document. You should also receive a temporary green card in the mail.

What are some of the benefits of the EB-5 program?

The EB-5 Program offers a host of benefits to the investor, including but not limited to:

  • Low Cost: One-time cost of $500,000 provides green cards for investor, spouse and dependents. The minimum investment amount will likely increase to $800,000 in the near future.
  • Personal and Professional Freedom and Security: Investors can live, work, and retire anywhere in the U.S. and travel easily to other countries. EB-5 participants can pursue a full range of professional and business opportunities in the world’s largest economy.
  • Healthcare: Investors can gain access to the same high-quality healthcare available to U.S. citizens.
  • Children’s Education: Investors’ children may qualify for state and federal financial aid and pay reduced “in-state” tuition at public universities.
  • Passive Investing: Through the Regional Center option, third parties manage the investments and all aspects of the project.
  • Direct Path to U.S. Citizenship: Investors can apply for U.S. citizenship five years after receiving a Green Card.
  • Removes Uncertainty: The EB-5 program does not have any excessive backlogs (outside of Mainland China) or lotteries unlike other visa options (including H1-B, F1, and L1).

HOW TO INVEST

What if I want to manage my own business?

If you want to manage your own business, consider a “direct investment” approach to EB-5 by investing $500,000 – $1 million into your own business which you control, and creating the necessary 10 new jobs within that new enterprise. If your goal is to have a Green Card and not to actively manage a business, it is often cheaper, more convenient and potentially must less risky to utilize a structured investment program in the Regional Center EB-5 category rather than to start and maintain your own business.

Is the EB-5 Visa Program truly passive?

The EB-5 regulations require involvement in management or policy making. The regulations deem a limited partner in a limited partnership, which is properly structured and conforms to the Uniform Limited Partnership Act, as sufficiently engaged in the EB-5 enterprise.

How is LCR’s product structured?

LCR’s EB-5 products are structured as mutual fund-like vehicles where LCR acts as the General Partner of the fund and the EB-5 investors are the Limited Partners.

How do I apply for EB-5 with LCR?

A prospective applicant can first register by filling out the contact form to receive offering materials (investment prospectus) from our registered broker-dealer.

Once you sign the official English version of the subscription agreement (in the prospectus) and we counter-sign the same document, you are admitted as a limited partner. The next step for the applicant is to follow our wiring instructions and send the investment funds. Typically within 1 to 2 days of your wire transfer, our office will send you a confirmation of receipt of the funds. If you are an EB-5 applicant, a copy of the remittance confirmation will also be provided to your immigration attorney, so he or she can submit your I-526 petition.

At any stage of your decision-making process, please feel free to contact us via phone, send us an email or set an appointment online to speak to one of our managers.

Can several investors combine or “pool” their investment capital through one Limited Partnership?

The regulations specifically allow for the pooling of funds by several investors to establish a Limited Partnership sufficient to qualify all participating investors. The only requirement is that each investor must individually meet the minimum at risk capital and new job creation requirements.

What is the difference between a Regional Center and a Direct EB-5 project?
  • Time: Due to the nature of the direct program, where the investor is responsible for the entire business plan and investment documentation process, the timeline before making the investment is typically longer with the direct EB-5 program.
  • Jobs: The direct program only takes Direct W-2 jobs towards the 10 job requirement, whereas the Regional Center program allows for indirect and induced jobs (i.e. at least 2+ more jobs per dollar than direct program).
  • Flexibility: Direct requires the investor to actively operate and live near the project, where under the Regional Center program, the investor can live and work wherever they would like.
  • Adoption: Due to the above, the direct program only attracts 5% of all EB-5 applicants (versus 95% in the RC program).
Do I need to be an “accredited investor”?

If you are currently residing in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, in order to invest in one of our projects you must be an accredited investor. The $500,000 used for the investment can be counted towards the requirement of $1 million in total assets.

An accredited investor is a term defined by U.S. securities law that describes the characteristics of the investors who are legally permitted to invest in certain types of unregistered or higher risk investments, limited partnerships and hedge funds. In the U.S. an individual is considered to be an accredited investor if they have a net worth of at least $1 million or if they have made at least $200,000 each year for the past two years (or $300,000 with their spouse, if married) and have the expectation to make the same amount in the current year.

What information and documentation is needed?

An investor must apply to the USCIS for EB-5 Visa qualification through the submission of a number of required elements including: USCIS forms, business plans and/or geographical statistics, financial information and other supporting evidence.

TIMING

How long does the green card last for?

By receiving your Green Card through investment (EB-5), you should have a conditional Green Card for two years. You must apply for removal of the condition within 90 days before the two years are up. Once that is approved, you have a regular unconditional Green Card. If you do not have the condition removed, the Green Card will become invalid at the end of two years, and your permanent resident status will be terminated.

How long must the green card recipients remain in the country each year?

The first requirement of any investor after they receive the visa is to enter into the United States within 180 days of issuance from the consulate. The investor must then establish residency in the United States. Evidence of intent to reside includes opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver’s license or social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, and renting or buying a home. The United States resident may work overseas if required based upon the nature of the business or profession. However, all permanent residents must remain in the U.S. for more than 6 months each year, or they may be deemed to have abandoned their permanent residence status.

How long is the average processing time for the I-526 petition and conditional green card?

Once the I-526 petition is filed, the length of time for an investor to pass the U.S. Consulate interview and receive a conditional green card is approximately 8-14 months. It is important to note that each investor’s particular situation is different; adjudication processing times are often unpredictable, subject to USCIS adjudication delays, and may take a longer period of time.

When is it possible to apply for U.S. citizenship?

One of the most important rights legal permanent residents possess is the right to obtain U.S. citizenship after five years. There are two ways to become a U.S. citizen. One is by being born in the U.S. or being born to a U.S. citizen. The other way is by naturalization. The first step in becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). Being an LPR for five years is one of the basic requirements for qualifying the naturalization. A second requirement is being physically present in the U.S. for 30 months during the 5 years prior to the naturalization application. Once becoming a U.S. citizen, an individual is entitled to benefits including the right to vote and hold public office.

Potential Issues

Is Dual Citizenship allowed under this program?

Sometimes. The U.S. allows dual citizenship, but your country of origin may not allow it.

Can I apply if I am currently out-of-status (i.e., I live in the United States, but do not have a current visa)?

Out-of-status nationals are no longer permitted to apply for permanent residency from within the United States. They must first return to their country of origin and apply through the United States Embassy there. Examples of “out-of-status” individuals are students, tourists, and E-2 treaty investors who no longer have valid visas because they remained in the United States after their visas expired or were revoked.

What if I want to travel outside of the U.S. for a long time? More than 1 year?

You can apply for a reentry permit (on form I-131) before you leave the U.S. You can depart before the reentry permit is approved. With such a reentry permit, you can return to the U.S. even after one year until the reentry permit’s expiration date. Reentry permits are issued for two years. You cannot renew a reentry permit, but you can return to the U.S. for a short time and apply for a new one. The second such reentry permit will be granted for two years, but subsequent ones may only be approved for one year at a time.

Can I get my green card taken away from me?

Once you receive a green card, there are only two conditions required to keep it for life. First, you must not become removable or inadmissible. The most common way of doing this is to be convicted of a serious crime. The second requirement is that you do not abandon the United States as your permanent residence. As long as you are not planning to make your home somewhere else, then legally you are still a resident of the United States. Problems may arise, however, because the INS will try to judge your intention by the way you act.

Must an investor have previous business experience or a minimum level of education to participate in the EB-5 program?

There are no requirements with respect to prior business experience or education. The only requirement is that the investor is accredited and meets certain suitability standards, with respect to income, net worth, etc. The investor also must prove unconditionally that the source of funds is legal, through the submission of proper documentation.

Can I apply if I have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for an L-1, E-2,H1-B, or other visa?

Rejection in the past does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reasons are related to immigration fraud or other major problems. It is most important that all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration history problems be disclosed to LCR Capital Partners and legal counsel in advance of application.

What issues have been most problematic in EB-5 cases?

The most common problem area has been insufficient documentation of the source of funds. Many people try to disclose the least possible information only to have the file returned with a request for further information. It is better to provide too much information rather than too little information. In this era of terror alerts and suspicions about money laundering, USCIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds.

Contact us to learn more the most popular Investment Visa Program for living and working in the United States.

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Office Locations
United States

315 Post Road West
Suite 200
Westport, CT 06880
+1 (203) 883-1940
info@lcrcapital.com

Brazil

Rua Afonso Braz, 473 – 9° Andar Vila Nova Conceição
São Paulo
+55 11 2500-5984
+55 11 95031-0022
contato@lcrcapital.com

India

9th floor, Platina G Block, Plot C, 59
Bandra Kurla Complex
Mumbai 400 051, India
+91-22-454-01-000
india@lcrcapital.com

South Africa

Unit B7, N1 City Mews
Cape Town
South Africa
082 878 7479
info@lcrcapital.co.za
dvandermerwe@lcrcapital.co.za

United Arab Emirates

C/O Alpha Management
Office 2408, South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers
Dubai International Financial Centre
United Arab Emirates
dubai@lcrcapital.com