Have you ever considered starting your own business in the United States with the EB-5 Investment?
Many people looking to immigrate to the US have considered utilizing the EB-5 investment in order to start their own business while getting their green card at the same time.
Now as far as EB-5 investments are concerned, using an EB-5 your investment to fund a new business goes against what I, and over 99% of investors and experts in the EB-5 industry would suggest. Please read on, for further details.
Disclaimer: First off, I wanted to state that we think it is wonderful that you are thinking of starting a business in the United States. That is truly the American Dream, and we have great admiration for your desire on being an entrepreneur.
Before providing advice, our job is to make sure that your EB-5 investment will get you through the EB-5 program successfully and that you will receive your permanent residency. That is the primary goal of the EB-5 program and should always be the first thing to consider when evaluating your own situation.
The argument for direct business investment vs the regional center program simply comes down to job creation.
How big of an effect could this possibly have on an EB-5 investment?
Well, in this case, this will have a huge impact with multiple factors that need to be considered.
When it comes to EB-5, there are some very basic requirements set by USCIS in order to qualify for your permanent residency card.
They are listed below:
• Satisfy the minimum investment amount
• Their investment must be confirmed as coming from a legal source of funds
• Their investment must create 10 permanent US jobs
Remembering that the primary goal of an EB-5 investment is immigration status, an investor should try and make that investment as secure as possible in order to assure their permanent residency in the United States. This is because if the investment does not last throughout the entire investment or at-risk period, then the investor will forfeit their immigration application and have their permanent residency rejected.
Let’s look at the risk of investments in a new business versus an investment with an example through one of our partners Access the USA. Access the USA specializes in EB-5 investment and created the municipal bond model in 2009.
According to the United States Department of Labor and Statistics, a new business has a survival rate of 56% at the five year mark, which is the estimated investment period, but this time period can change.
Looking at one of the previous projects offered by Access the USA, EB-5 investments were used to purchase AAA municipal bonds through the state of Washington to fund the SR 520 bridge near Seattle, Washington.
According to Moody’s, a highly trusted rating agency in the world of investments, states that at the 5 year mark of a AAA bond, the default or failure rate is .029% or 29/1,000,000.
With such a low rate of risk with a bond, this can provide a much safer piece of mind to an investor than the 56% survival rate, close to a coin flip, of a startup business lasting throughout their investment period.
Let’s look at the 10 jobs that must be created.
If you were to invest directly without the use of the Regional Center Program, all 10 of those jobs would have to be created and maintained by your business. So not only are you responsible for making your initial investment, but you must prove that you have created and sustained the 10 jobs to the government in a satisfactory manner.
This alone has a large financial impact on the EB-5 investment. Let’s break it down.
USCIS has a minimum investment amount of $500,000 USD at the time of writing this article. This amount is required if you want to participate in the EB-5 program.
Where the difference lies, is the job creation, and that can add a lot of expenses to the investor. Through the regional center program, investors are allowed to calculate direct, as well as, indirect jobs.
What this means is that they do not have to hire individual employees or be responsible for their salaries. This is not the case with direct investment. Because the investor is responsible for the creation of the jobs, they are also responsible for paying the new employees.
If we assume that the average employee hired will have a salary of $40,000 USD, an investor is not only responsible for the $500,000 investment, but they are responsible for $400,000 in salaries every single year.
Over the investment period, this can equate to over $2.5 million USD in expenses, not taking into account yearly business expenses.
With the Regional Center Program, the investor is required to invest the minimum amount of $500,000 USD, but they are allowed to calculate jobs through an economic spending model that allows them to avoid directly hiring the employees themselves.
This avoids that additional salary expense that was previously mentioned, making the Regional Center Program cost 5X less than using EB-5 funds for direct business investment. Another benefit of utilizing the regional center is that investors can pool their money together to fund larger projects, which will provide more jobs and could be more financially secure.
This all depends on the project itself, and we advise that all investors perform their due diligence and consult an immigration attorney.
MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING
The typical EB-5 investment through a regional center provides a few more benefits to an investor.
Regional Center, for the most part, take care of the management side of the investment and remove the burden or responsibility of the day-to-day operations of a business from the investor. This is done through the partnership that is formed between the investor and the Regional Center.
While some investors do like to stay informed, they are not required to be handling all the day-to-day necessities that are required with a personal business.
Always make sure that you receive regular reports regarding your investment as well as the progress of the project in which you are invested.
Not only does the regional center take care of the management side, they are in charge of reporting all project details to USCIS, taking care of the requirements that are necessary for immigration.
This is done throughout the entire investment process, which can take anywhere from an estimated time frame of 5-7 years.
Entrepreneurs are the foundation of what makes the United States the most attractive country and number one economy in the world. The nation was built on dreams and supports the aspirations of immigrants looking to better their lives through their own ideas and innovations. We feel the same way at WTC-SF and wish to bring success to our partners.
However, when it comes to EB-5 investment, we believe that the most secure route is the best route.
Our mission is to have our investors receive their permanent residency. If they would like to start a business, we highly encourage that, but we advise not linking the immigration status of the investor to the business itself.
This brings in unnecessary expense, management, and risk to the investor and their immigration status. The investor is still able to have the same business as a separate investment without having to compromise the security of their permanent residence.
World Trade Center San Francisco has worked to create an established network of regional centers that provide some of the safest and most exclusive EB-5 investments offered on the market.
If you are interested in the EB-5 Investment, we would love to get the chance to schedule a free consultation with one our experts.
Our experts will guide you through the education process from learning about the EB-5 program, provide information about the different types of investments, upcoming projects, and provide you with the resources to you help start your journey with the EB-5 process.
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The information in this article is meant for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Please consult an immigration attorney for your specific immigration needs.