If you’re a retired American, there are plenty of ways you can spend (or not spend) your money. For example, you can use your investment money to move to a place with a better cost of living or use some of your pension to take a trip overseas. But what if you’re a non-American citizen?
If you’re a retired non-citizen living in America or you’re a foreign investor, the EB-5 Investors Visa allows you to build or support a business while paying towards a permanent Green Card.
To do this, the investor has to put $1.8 million into a business or $900,000 into a targeted employment area. They must also create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for US workers.
All that’s left is deciding which profitable US Citizenship and Immigration Services-backed investment you want to pool your capital into. Fortunately, you have plenty of great options.
How to Pick an EB-5 Project That Attracts Investors and Profits
Don’t just invest capital in the first option you can find, as you’ll want to focus on EB-5 projects that attract investors. But first, you need to choose between a direct and indirect investment.
Direct Investments vs. Indirect Investments
There are major differences between direct and indirect investments. Each option comes with advantages and disadvantages, but if you want to attract more investors to your project, you should choose an indirect investment. Most direct investments don’t pull in many investors.
That’s because a direct investment is solely funded and operated by an unknown entity. To an investor, there’s a high risk a direct investor could be untrustworthy or bad with money. There’s also a chance you won’t fulfill your job creation requirements, even if you’re close to the goal.
Regional Center’s and Flexible Job Requirements
An indirect investment into a regional center is less risky for investors so long as it’s backed by a legitimate program. The EB-5 Affiliate Network is an example of these institutions. It also helps if a known real estate developer plays an active part in building or operating the regional center.
While you won’t have as much control over your investment, both direct and indirect jobs will fulfill your visa requirements. That means contractors and suppliers count. If the regional center is close to completion, you’re practically guaranteed to create enough jobs before the deadline.
Targeted Employment Area Qualification
A targeted employment area (TEA) includes rural towns or sections with a high-unemployment rate. Investors tend to prefer TEA investments because they’re cheaper and come with reduced Green Card wait times after I-526 approval. Plus, they’re doing a lot to fuel the US economy.
EB-5 Visa applicants can invest in a targeted employment area (TEA) to slash their investment amount by $900,000. Some regional centers are available at $800,000, but you’ll need to go through an affiliate network to get that price. Use this mapping tool to see what areas qualify.
Exemplar and Form I-526 Petition Approvals
It’s believed that an exemplar approval is a special type of approval issued by the government, but it’s really an approval of project documents before they’re filed with an I-526 petition. A regional center will file for an exemplar to assure investors their I-526 won’t be rejected.
This can inspire a degree of comfort, as investors are guaranteed I-526 approval as long as no material changes are made to the regional center. However, always trust independent due diligence, as a regional center may say they’re approved when they’re waiting for approval.
High-Traffic Vacation Spots or Condominiums
No investment is a “sure thing,” but there are regional center investments that have a higher likelihood of succeeding. Since you’re investing in a TEA, you must consider what types of residential and commercial projects will attract other investors and high-quality job candidates.
Typically, high-traffic vacation spots and condominiums in pre-development areas are good bets. Look for travel and entertainment districts with seasonal traffic or areas that recently experienced an influx of remote workers. Golf and ski lodges are also quality investments.
EB-5 investors pool $900,000 to $1,800,000 on average to earn a visa, so it’s essential to take your time researching what’s available. Based on research, a regional center in a TEA area has high-profit potential, so long as it’s I-526 approved and located in a developing or tourist town.
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