Green Cards Through Investment
For direct investors placing at least $1 million into a new commercial enterprise and creating or saving ten direct jobs, the EB-5 category presents a viable alternative for an investor, their spouse and minor children to secure permanent residence in the United States.
The investment amount is reduced to $500,000 if the enterprise is located in a “Targeted Employment Area” or a “Rural Area” – determined by census data. An initial conditional green card is issued for two years and must be made permanent by an additional petition in which the investor must prove that the investment has been sustained and the job creation requirement has been met.
Investments in Regional Centers have historically been attractive because these USCIS-approved centers are permitted to pool and manage investor funds and to fulfill the job creation requirement by counting indirectly created jobs. Hundreds of those centers exist in various industries and provide funding for large infrastructure projects or development of smaller facilities. It is important here to choose a center with a good track record that uses immigrant investment only as part of its financing to make sure that risk is shared with U.S. persons, institutions or lenders. The Regional Center program must be reauthorized periodically and it is expected that it will be reauthorized in the fall of 2021 after having lapsed over the summer.
Qualified investors should engage in thorough pre-immigration tax planning before obtaining permanent residence, as permanent residence in the US comes with taxation of worldwide income and extensive disclosure requirements.
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