What is EB-5?

What is EB-5?

Many countries around the world have immigrant investor programs. The most successful today of these programs are located in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The United States immigrant investor program is called the EB5 program which is short for: Employment Based 5th Preference. Success for immigrant investors in this program results in a permanent United States visa (Permanent or green card for themselves and qualified family members under the age of 21 at the time of filing the initial petition). Success for the United States is the program requires immigrant investors to make an investment that creates no fewer than 10 new American jobs, thus the name Employment Based 5th Preference Visa.

For an Individual to go to the United States and make this investment is not feasible since it involves legal formalities and intensive paper work, also for an Individual it will involve an Investment of $1,000,000 and creation of 10 new American jobs.

SFM Global LLC Regional Center investments are claimed to be located in TEA’s and qualifies for the lower threshold investment of $500,000. SFM Global EB-5 capital allows the investors and their family with the medical and educational benefits. Investment with SFM Global assists the investors with all the legal paper work and formalities. 

What is the history of the EB5 visa category?

The EB5 visa category started in 1991. Regional Centers started in 1993. During the mid-1990’s several companies competed for investment capital from foreign investors within the EB5 program. Most of the companies did not offer sound investments, and investment opportunities, did not place the full $500,000 investment capital in the new commercial enterprise or create the required number of new American jobs. The legacy INS wanted to stop these abuses and other abuses of the program, this involved law suits and the EB5 program was effectively placed on hold between 1999 and 2002/2003. In 2002, Congress passed new changes to the existing EB5 law more particularly to the “Pilot Program” which contained the creation of regional centers to protect the integrity of the program. Also, in 2002, in a case commonly known as “Chang” in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that USCIS or INS may not apply their new rules retroactively or re-adjudicate the I-526 at the I-829 phase. In August of 2003, USCIS began approving Regional Center petitions for the first time since 1998.

In January 2005, to improve and expedite EB5 Regional Center related applications USCIS established an Investor and Regional Center Unit, IRCU, the unit being the sole adjudicative jurisdiction for Regional Center applications pursuant to the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program for purposes of approval, denial and Requests for Evidence (RFE’s). In light of the “Chang” case and the new Congressional enactments in this area. It is now common knowledge that EB5 immigration petitions based on sound investments in designated Regional Centers with a proven TEA designation backed by accurate statistical data including reasonable proof ten new jobs will be created for each foreign national investor and the full $500,000 has been placed in a new commercial enterprise in an at-risk investment as prescribed by the rules, with proper supporting documentation, should be approved.

What is an EB5 Designated Regional Center?

A “Regional Center:”

  • Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the USCIS; The Pilot Program with the coinciding Regional Centers was approved by Congress under Section 610© of the Appropriations Act of 1993.
  • Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States;
  • Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.
  • Facilitates the pooling of capital of multiple EB5 investors
  • Investors can take credit for jobs created directly as well as indirectly from their investment in the Regional Center. Indirect job creation may be demonstrated using any reasonable approved methodology. Indirect jobs are considered to be full time jobs under the statue.
  • Congress gave the USCIS discretion to give priority to EB5 applications filed in conjunction with a Regional Center. SFM GLOBAL offers many types of investments that meet the requirements for the Regional Center Program. Business enterprises must be located in the geographic areas of the Regional Centers. EB5 applicants’ Investment have limited management requirements and may meet the job creation requirements of the law using “indirect employment” based upon approved methodologies.

Types of EB5 Investments

EB5 Investments are broken into two categories: a direct investment by a foreign national into a particular business or an investment into a Regional Center. The direct investment is just that – an investment into a specific company. In the direct EB5 investment, the investor is only allowed to utilize direct jobs to qualify for residency (A permanent green card for themselves and all qualified family members under 21 years old). The direct jobs are those new American jobs created within that particular company (the new commercial enterprise) the investor placed their investment.

A Regional Center is a designation granted by the USCIS to an entity that has satisfied requirements under the regional center regulations of the USCIS. This application process is rigorous and complex and the application among many other things outlines the Regional Center’s entire business plan and the job creation methodology that will be utilized to show ten new jobs will be created for each of the foreign national investors in the new commercial enterprise. Once approved, by the USCIS, the Regional Center has much greater power in that the Regional Center can demonstrate creating jobs through pooling investor funds as well as utilizing indirect as well as direct jobs. This is a very powerful tool that allows for greater leeway in demonstrating job creation proof. Regional Centers are allowed to utilize both direct and indirect job creation to support the investor’s requirement for a minimum of ten new American jobs created. Simply stated, a Regional Center has greater flexibility in demonstrating job creation within the new commercial enterprise than a direct investment for an EB5 applicant to prove their requisite job creation. We believe investing through the SFM GLOBAL Regional Center offers the immigrant investor the most expeditious means for obtaining a permanent visa.