NYCRERC - New York City Real Estate Regional Center

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Qualifying investors and their spouse and unmarried minor children under 21 will be granted U.S. lawful permanent residency; No minimum requirements as to age, to speak English, employment experience, or education; Investor and family may live/work anywhere in the United States; After five years, the investor and their family may obtain US citizenship, subject to meeting all immigration requirements, as required under law.

What is a Regional Center?

A “Regional Center” is an entity, organization, or agency that has been approved as such by the USCIS. Regional Centers may collect foreign investment capital and redirect it into investment projects to promote economic growth in the U.S. and create new jobs.

Are there different types of EB-5 investments?

Yes, there is Regional Center-based and standalone EB-5. Differences are illustrated below:

Type of EB-5 Investment amount in USD Type of Business Type of area Create jobs Control/Management
Standalone EB-5 800,000 or 1,050,000 Any business that investor wants Targeted Employment Area or High Unemployment Area Create 10 direct jobs (family members excluded) Investor must be actively managing the business
Regional Center EB-5 800,000 or 1,050,000 "Business that the Regional Center chooses Targeted Employment Area or High Unemployment Area Directly, indirectly, or derivatively create 10 jobs Regional Center

Pros of standalone EB-5: Investor is actively involved in the business and keeps control of the project/investment.
Cons of standalone EB-5: Investor needs to create and keep 10 direct jobs until he/she becomes a permanent resident which can become burdensome and costly; success of the business and immigration procedure depends on investor’s business skills and ability to create and keep the jobs.
Pros of Regional Center EB-5: Depending on the industry, only 3-4 direct jobs may be needed to satisfy the job creation requirement, remaining jobs will be created indirectly and derivatively. A professional management company will be managing the project which increases chances of success.
Cons of the Regional Center EB-5: Investors has minimal control over the business.

Where can I find EB-5 law and regulations to review?

Please go to the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services website: USCIS

Must the investor have previous business experience or education?

The investor is not required to have any prior business experience. Likewise, the investor is not required to demonstrate any minimum level of education. The only requirement for the investor is that he/she has the required net worth and capital.

Must the investor be in good health?

Yes. The investor must have no communicable diseases and proper vaccinations.

What is meant by the requirement that the investor’s assets be “lawfully gained”?

Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that his assets were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the investor to prove his investment funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means which could be proved by:

• Foreign business registration records;

• Corporate, partnership, and personal tax returns including income, franchise, property (whether real, personal, or intangible), or any other tax returns of any kind filed within five years, with any taxing jurisdiction in or outside the United States by or on behalf of the petitioner;

• Evidence identifying any other source(s) of capital; or

• Copies of any judgments or evidence of all pending governmental civil or criminal actions, governmental administrative proceedings, and any private civil actions (pending or otherwise) involving monetary judgments against the petitioner from any court in or outside the United States within the past fifteen years.

What is the difference between “conditional” and “unconditional” green cards?

Under the regulations, an investor who is approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card, which must be reissued after two years, subject to removal of conditions. Otherwise, the two cards offer the same rights and privileges.

Can the investor apply for an EB-5 if they have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for an L-1, E-2, B, or other visas?

Rejection in the past does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reasons 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 the limited partnership and legal counsel in advance of application.

What is the guarantee of the investment capital return?

As any other investment, EB-5 investment implies a certain degree of risk associated with investing in new or growing business. Depending on the Project, it may take up to 5 years to investment capital to be returned to investor.

Are there any other fees payable by the investor besides $800,000 investment capital?

Yes. The Regional Center charges $80,000 administrative fee in addition to the investment capital. In case of denial of initial I-526E application (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) by the USCIS, the entire amount of administrative fee will be returned to investor. It is also responsibility of the investor to pay the government application fees for I-526E and I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions ) which are $3,675 and $3,750 respectively. Investor may also pay the local immigration attorney to help him file I-526E and I-829.

How long does it take to process the I-526E and issue the visa?

Depending on the country of origin, it may take six months or longer for the USCIS to adjudicate the petition, assuming that all documents have been filled out in a proper manner and there is no need for additional evidence or documentation.

What are qualification points for investor?

To qualify as EB-5 Investor potential investors should:

• Be not a “U.S. Person” as defined in Rule 902 of regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933;

• Be an “accredited investor” as defined in Rule 501 of Regulation D under the Act and have a net worth (or joint net worth with the spouse) in excess of USD $1,000.000 or $500,000;

• Have had individual income in excess of USD $200,000 (excluding the spouse) in each of the two most recent years (or joint income in excess of USD $300,000 in each of those years), and have a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year;

• Have the capacity to evaluate the merits and risks of the prospective investment and to protect his interests in connection with the prospective investment by reason of his own and/or financial experience;

• Purchase securities for his own investment purposes only and not with a view towards resale or distribution.

What information should the investor provide?

To qualify as EB-5 Investor potential investors should provide:

Personal Information – Exact and full legal name, current residence address, home telephone, emails address, date of birth, and places of residence, where the investor lived before;

Business Information – Occupation, Number of years being employed by or owning the business, position or title, business address, business telephone, address, fax;

Eligibility – Provide eligibility information described above and fill out eligibility questionnaire:

• Provide a valid I.D.