The following is a general overview of the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Program and SkyView EB-5 Regional Center’s procedures for review of a potential investor’s eligibility for the Program:
Complete Preliminary Forms
A potential EB-5 investor must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and complete a Questionnaire in order for SkyView EB-5 Regional Center to make a preliminary determination if they qualify for the Program. These forms are designed to protect both SkyView EB-5 Regional Center’s and the potential investor’s interests and to maximize everyone’s time and effort in connection with this process.
Identify a Qualified Investment Opportunity
If the preliminary determination is that you are a good candidate for the Program, the next step is to identify a potential project in which you may wish to invest. Qualified Investments are summarized in the Private Placement Memorandum or Offering that is drafted on behalf of the company that is seeking to raise investment capital – known as the New Commercial Enterprise There are a wide range of potential investment opportunities (such as commercial real estate development and loans for new businesses or franchise opportunities) and having at least a general idea of the type of investment that you wish to consider will help in the review process. The information provided in the Offering is typically extensive and if the opportunity is one that you wish to pursue it is advisable to seek assistance from subject area experts such as attorneys, accountants and investment advisors.
Arrange for the Necessary Capital Investment
The EB-5 investor must meet the definition of an accredited investor under Rule 501 of Regulation D, and be capable of depositing the necessary funds (either $500,000 if the investment is in a project that is being developed in a Targeted Employment Area or $1,000,000 if the project is not in a designated TEA) as required under the Offering. Typically funds are deposited into an escrow account and may be held by the escrow agent pending the review of the potential investor’s I-526 Petition by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”).
Filing of I-526 Petition
In addition to returning a signed subscription agreement and the capital contribution required under the Offering, the EB-5 Investor must file a I-526 Petition with the USCIS. This Petition contains detailed information about the investor, the source of funds and the qualifying investment. It is strongly recommended that an experienced immigration attorney assist with the filing. Due to the delay in processing times for I-526 Petitions (it may take well over a year for the USCIS to complete its review), many Offerings are including provisions that allow them to have access to the potential investor’s funds prior to receiving the USCIS ruling on the petition.
Receive USCIS Ruling on EB-5 Investors I-526 Petition
Ideally, the I-526 Petition will contain all of the required information at the time it is initially filed. If additional information or clarification is required, the USCIS will issue a Request for Evidence and this will cause further delay in the processing time. If the petition is ultimately approved then the EB-5 Investors capital contribution is officially available for investment in the project. If the petition is denied then the capital contribution is subject to return as provided for in the Offering..
Issuance of Visa – Conditional Permanent Residence
Upon approval of the I-526 Petition, the EB-5 Investor must file, along with any supporting documentation, one of the following:
- If already lawfully residing in the United States, Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (filed with the USCIS); or
- If not currently residing in the United States, Form DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (filed with the Department of State).
Removal of Conditions to Permanent Residence
In order to become a lawful permanent resident, the immigrant investor must file a Form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, along with any necessary supporting documents. This petition must be filed within the ninety (90) day period immediately prior to the second year anniversary of the investor’s admission to the United States as a conditional permanent resident. The investor must be able to prove that the necessary jobs were created as a result of the qualifying investment in order to receive permanent residence status for the investor, as well as the investor’s spouse and any children under the age of twenty-one (21).