The EB-5 visa program was established by the US government in 1990 to attract foreign direct investment into the United States. The program with its minimum investment amount of $900,000 is aimed at high net worth individuals around the world who intend to settle in the United States. The EB-5 Visa program was very successful with Chinese investors. However, in the recent past the program has gained popularity in South Asia and the Middle East. The program has attracted billions of dollars in investment to the United States.
In these turbulent times, making an investment decision can feel daunting. Making an investment in another country for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence can seem even more complex. Apart from significant financial considerations, prospective investors also need to assess the likelihood of their investments to comply with myriad immigration laws, regulations, and policies, which are by no means straightforward, so that they can be assured that permanent immigration to the United States will be waiting for them.
Therefore, while it is necessary to know the fundamentals of the EB-5 visa to adequately assess whether an investment opportunity will satisfy USCIS-program requirements, it is as important to understand the role of a regional center, the fees paid out to each party, how the EB-5 funds will be released to the project and the investment’s exit strategy.
Work with a reputable regional center
Prospective EB-5 investors trying to find a suitable regional center through which to make an investment must, of course, confirm that it has high-quality projects open, its offering and subscription documents are readily available, and that the regional center is authorized by USCIS as well as active at the time of making the investment. In addition, the years of experience and number of successful projects sponsored are good measures to analyze the performance of the regional center. Investors should compare the track records of multiple regional centers and ask for their audit reports. A successful project should achieve full immigration status and repayment to its investors.
Role of a broker-dealer in EB-5 transactions
Since EB-5 is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, all US-based investment transactions must be conducted by a registered broker-dealer. A broker-dealer provides an additional level of review to EB-5 investors through investment project screening and ensures that all offerings comply with applicable US securities laws. Moreover, additional due diligence is performed on each EB-5 investment project. CanAm Investor Services, a FINRA-registered broker-dealer specializing in immigration-linked investments, for example, requires that all of its sales force holds securities licenses and are responsible for ensuring that both foreign and US sales activities comply with SEC/FINRA requirements under appropriate regulations.
“Our investors are sophisticated and experienced in making investments so it’s completely understandable that they will apply the same scrutiny to making an EB-5 investment,” said Ahmed Khan, Vice-President of CanAm Investor Services, who is overseeing CanAm’s EB-5 transactions in the Middle East. “Based on our years of experience in EB-5 and given the strength of our EB-5 investments, we are more than happy to answer their questions so that they can feel comfortable moving forward. Client trust and care are at the core of all our operations.”
Carefully review the project offering
After evaluating the legitimacy and track record of a regional center, a prospective investor should perform extensive due diligence on the EB-5 project itself. Investors should always carefully review the full offering package provided by the regional center – following up with any questions – as well as consult with experienced financial/tax professionals and immigration counsel, in order to understand the nature of the investment, the extent to which it complies with EB-5 Program requirements, and the potential consequences/risks in the event the investment is compromised for any reason.
Retain an immigration attorney
After finding a suitable regional center, EB-5 investors are highly recommended to retain an experienced immigration attorney who specializes in the EB-5 program in order to properly file the I-526 petition and provide evidence outlining their source of funds, which will be scrutinized by USCIS. Once the source and path of funds have been determined, the investor can then confidently remit the full investment amount of $900,000 into the regional center’s designated escrow account.
Consult with a tax expert
Prospective investors may also want to consult with a tax attorney or a CPA if they have concerns about US and global taxation requirements.
Pursue an EB-5 Visa through CanAm Enterprises
CanAm Enterprises has financed over 60 project loans and raised more than $3 billion in EB-five investments across the United States, leading to over 14,000 green card approvals. Having already repaid over $1.4 billion to more than 2,800 investors, CanAm is truly an experienced leader in the EB-5 industry. CanAm invites everyone pursuing permanent residency in the United States to read CanAm’s EB-5 Program Overview and inquire about the EB-5 Visa options through one of the various contact options.
CanAm Enterprises, with over three decades of experience promoting immigration-linked investments in the US and Canada, has a demonstrated track record of success. With over 60 financed projects and $3 billion in raised EB-5 investments, CanAm has earned a reputation for credibility and trust. To date, CanAm has repaid more than $2.26 billion in EB-5 capital from over 4,530 families. CanAm manages several USCIS-designated regional centers that stretch across multiple states. For more information, please visit www.canamenterprises.com.