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As an EB-5 investor, you’ve already made an important choice: opting for a Regional Centre investment over a direct EB5 investment.
While this is undoubtedly an impactful decision, it’s not the only one you’ll have to make when investing in the US and self-petitioning for a green card. After all, the Regional Centre project you choose will determine your chances of success.
Here are the essential tips to keep in mind to choose the right regional investment centre, minimize investor’s risk, and secure a green card for yourself and your family.
Learn About The Regional Centre’s Reputation and History
In the best-case scenario, EB5 Visa Investments involve a minimum capital of $1,050,000 – or $800,000 for investments in Targeted Employment Areas. With so much money at stake, you should not rush through your due diligence. But, when you are conducting research from abroad, how can you be sure what Regional Centre to trust?
While USCIS publishes a list of approved Regional Centres, choosing one of these projects does not guarantee that a regional centre is safe, compliant with security laws, or risk-free. That is why you should start your search by reviewing the centre’s reputation and history.
Some of the aspects worth assessing include:
- Entity designation
- The centre’s finances
- The staff’s and management’s qualifications
- Fees and additional costs
- Communication style
Pro tip: beware of red flags! If a regional centre seems disorganized or withholds documentation of information from you, you might not be dealing with the most transparent or honest partner. Even more importantly, stay clear of centres and projects that make “no risk” claims!
Assess Regional Centre’s Track Record
Of course, a record of successful past projects does not guarantee the success of the one you are about to invest in. However, checking a Regional Centre’s track record can tell you a lot about the business models they use, investor relations standards, and rates of success.
Some of the metrics you might use to compare the viability of different Centres include:
- Number of completed projects
- Number of approved and denied I-526 (“Immigration Petitions by Alien Entrepreneur”) applications
- Number of investors who successfully received temporary and permanent green cards
- Average investor returns and ability to return the capital invested
When making an EB-5 investment, your capital must be “at-risk” to qualify, meaning that there is no guarantee that you’ll see returns from your project.
However, looking at the regional centre’s track record, you can minimize your risk and increase your chances of making a successful investment!
Review The Investment Project and Expected Returns
Investing in a Regional Centre’s project is an excellent option for investors who are looking to take a hands-off approach, invest in real estate properties abroad, and minimize their immigration risk. Indeed, compared to direct investments, regional centre projects make it easier for investors to create 10 full-time jobs, thus fulfilling the job creation requirement and securing a permanent residence permit.
However, returns can vary from project to project, and you should choose your investment wisely. Aside from reviewing the Regional Centre’s track record and business model, you should check that:
The developer does not rely on foreign investors’ money
The contractors and professionals involved are qualified, reputable, and experienced
The project can support the creation and maintenance of 10 full-time jobs for each investor involved and can count on indirect job creation
The Centre operates in a thriving sector or industry that you know well or are familiar with
There are other EB-5 investors involved
You should also assess the investor relations standards and make sure that you’ll be kept up to date about progress, milestones, and expected returns.
Work With a Specialized EB-5 Visa Attorney
If you don’t know how to start searching for the right Regional Centre, or you wish to find guidance, consider working with a specialized EB-5 visa attorney, financial advisor, or investment broker.
Don’t forget that both your likelihood of scouring a green card and the capital investment are at stake. So, make sure to find the professional support you need to carry out due diligence and choose the right regional centre for your needs.