EB-5 is a United States immigrant investor program that offers citizens of other countries the opportunity to seek permanent U.S. residency through an investment that creates jobs in the U.S.   

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*This information is not an offer of securities, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase securities. Offers of securities for this investment will be made solely by Confidential Private Offering Memorandum for this Offering (the “Offering Memorandum”) to qualified individuals.
*Offerings of the securities for this investment are made solely pursuant to the terms of the Offering Memorandum, which includes a detailed description of the terms of the offering, the Project and the risks of investment in the Offering. Investors must review the entire Offering Memorandum before making any investment decision to invest in this Project, and must rely solely upon the terms set forth in the Offering Memorandum with regard to their decision to invest in this Project. Any information provided outside of the Offering Memorandum should not be relied upon in making any investment decision, including the summary information provided for convenience on this website.
*Prior to the sale of any security to any investor currently living in the U.S. or visiting the U.S., the issuer will require such investors in the offering to provide information necessary to verify that such investors qualify as an accredited investor, as required under SEC Rule 506(c).
*Past I-526 petition processing times for this Project do not guarantee that USCIS will adjudicate any specific I-526 petitions for this Project within any specific period of time. Prospective investors must consult with their personal immigration attorney to understand fully the requirements, risks and processing requirements for any investment in an EB-5 project.
*An investment in this Project involves a high degree of risk of loss of the investment, as described in further detail in the Offering Memorandum. Investors should not invest in this Project unless they can bear the potential for the loss of some or all of their investment. There can be no assurance that any investor in this Project will receive approval of their I-526 petition or the return of their investment in this Project. Investors must review the Offering Memorandum to obtain further information regarding the risks of investment.
*A small number of applicants had a rejected I-526 due to administrative error unrelated to the project
*EB5Fast.com is the property of Odlum Equestrian Manager, LLC

A Step-by-Step Guide to the EB-5 Process

The experts at EB5 Fast offer a step-by-step guide to the EB-5 process for obtaining a U.S. green card through the immigrant investor program.

A green card holder is a non-U.S. citizen who is authorized to live and work in the country permanently. Green card authorization is provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are several ways to obtain a green card:

  • Immigrants can become citizens if employers or family members sponsor them. 
  • Immigrants can gain permanent residency through humanitarian programs.
  • The EB-5 program allows foreign nationals to get green cards by investing in New Commercial Enterprises (NCEs) in the U.S.

The U.S. Congress created the EB-5 program in 1990 to stimulate the economy via capital investment and the creation of jobs. The plan attracts high-net-worth individuals who must make minimum investments in enterprises that create at least 10 jobs.

How the EB-5 Program Benefits Foreign Nationals

According to Small Business publication Inc., "Since 1990, foreigners have invested more than $6.8 billion, and the U.S. has given out 29,000 visas through the EB-5 program."
The EB-5 program is popular because it allows foreign nationals to get their visas faster than other methods. Several other benefits also make it an attractive option:

  • You can file one petition to get a visa for yourself as well as your spouse and unmarried children under 21.

  • EB-5 cardholders can work in any field (and for any employer) and are not limited to the state where they invested when obtaining their green cards.

  • Investors who go through Regional Center Programs do not need to deal with the day-to-day management of their investments.

  • When you are issued an EB-5 visa, you may qualify for in-state college tuition.

  • EB-5 green cards often qualify foreign nationals for Social Security and Medicare.

What Are the EB-5 Visa Program Requirements?

Using the EB 5 process, foreign nationals, their spouses and unmarried children younger than 21 can obtain U.S. visas by making a minimum investment in for-profit enterprises that create or retain a specified number of jobs. The primary goal of the program is to promote economic growth and foreign investment.

To qualify, you must prove that your investment capital is from lawful sources.

Eligible individuals are required to invest at least $900,000 in targeted employment (TEA) or rural areas with high unemployment rates. On behalf of each investor, the new enterprises need to create or preserve at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers, excluding investors and their family members.

If you choose to invest in areas other than rural or targeted areas, the minimum investment rises to $1.8 million.

You can directly invest in an enterprise or work with federally approved EB-5 regional centers. The regional centers connect foreign investors with developers who need funding. By 2014, the vast majority of EB-5 visas were granted through regional centers, according to Wikipedia. (1)

When investors work with a regional center, jobs can be created through economic activity, in contrast to direct investments that require the creation of at least ten jobs directly.

Are There Risks Involved in Getting an EB5 Visa?

There are risks associated with an EB5 investment. It is essential to understand the process since the EB-5 regulations require that the investment be “at-risk”.

Each investor is required to make the investment before s/he files the Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

Although Regional Centers are USCIS-designated, they do not guarantee that projects comply with local laws, and all investments have risks.

There are also risks from fraudsters who target immigrants trying to get U.S. visas. They are individuals or companies claiming they are immigration consultants. These criminals charge high fees to "invest" clients' money in fraudulent EB-5 Regional Centers. 

One way to defray risk is to request USCIS approval of project documents before filing them with a petition. An EB-5 project that has already had USCIS approve I-526s for many of its investors is likely much lower risk than an EB-5 project that has not, since USCIS adjudicators have already signed off on the project documents for the purposes of investor approvals.

The best way to reduce risk is to review the EB-5 projects documents, talk to the Regional Centers principals, and ensure you have an experienced EB-5 attorney.

Be aware that investing through Regional Center projects is a good choice if your primary goal is an EB 5 Visa, but it does not necessarily offer the highest returns.

Can I Invest Without Going Through a Regional Center?

Yes. You can qualify for the EB-5 Direct Investment Program by establishing and operating a business instead of working with a Regional Center, but the initial investment increases to $1.8 million.

All jobs created by your business must be full-time positions. Workers must be direct employees of your company.   

Direct Investment is the best option for you if you want to create and run your own U.S. business. To qualify, you must be competent or fluid in English, understand U.S. business practices, and make at least a five-year commitment.

One benefit of Direct Investment is that you can start any type of enterprise you want. That gives you the chance to work in an area that interests you. It is also likely that you will see higher returns on your investment than if you went through a Regional Center.

Still, you also take on more significant risks, and you have the responsibility of managing your investment.

How Long Does it Take to get an EB-5 Visa?

On average, the total time it takes for an eligible and well-prepared foreign national to obtain an EB 5 Visa is 31 to 37 months. The timing can vary widely, depending on petitioners' home countries; however, some petitioners are able to speed things up using expedited I-526 processing. 

There is a different timeframe for each of the first three steps involved in getting an EB-5 Visa. Several factors may affect the time it takes for the application process, I-526 processing and becoming a conditional resident

You determine the timing of the first application step, which is choosing an investment project. The third step, becoming a conditional resident, usually takes 3 to 6 months if all paperwork is in order.

Outside factors often determine the time it takes to process an I-526 form with standard processing. Recently, standard i-526 processing has been mostly ranging from 24 to 50.

Choosing a project with expedited I-526 processing can shorten processing time to as little as 2 to 3  months.

Foreign nationals from certain countries are especially vulnerable to backlog delays.  Immigration experts believe that South Korea, Brazil, Taiwan and several other countries are susceptible to retrogression.

A 2017 report in The New York Times on the EB-5 Visa program stated, "The program has been so popular (in China) that there is a backlog of more than 20,000 applications, resulting in delays of up to five years for green cards." (2) This massive influx of investors means that Chinese investors now face long waits for approval if they didn’t get an approval before the backlog hit for China-born investors.

If you believe your petition might soon be affected by a visa backlog in your home country, consult an immigration attorney to determine if expedited processing could help you get approved before retrogression occurs.

Do I Get My Investment Back If My Petition Is Denied?

Many, but not all, New Commercial Enterprises refund investors' funds if petitions for green cards are denied.

It is critical to read the original offering document as well as the NCE's escrow agreement, and limited partnership or operating agreement. These papers spell out refund obligations in the event USCIS denies your I-526 petition.

It is possible to mitigate the risk of denial by ensuring your project has an exemplar approval. Note that “Exemplar Approval” is very different from “Expedited Approval”.  “Exemplar Approval” means that USCIS reviewed project documents and verified that papers met EB-5 investment program requirements, and you can only be denied if you fail to meet the source of funds conditions.

(The Appalachian EB-5 Regional Center’s Tryon Project has obtained from USCIS both (a) Exemplar Approval and (b) Expedited Processing Approval for the i-526 applications of its investors.)

Obtaining exemplar approval provides peace of mind that your project is USCIS-approvable from an immigration perspective (but it does not guarantee that the project will create the needed number of jobs and or change  the fact that all investments have risks).

Getting an EB-5 Visa:  A Step-by-Step Breakdown

While there are dozens of details involved in getting an EB5 Visa, the necessary process can be broken down into four steps:

1)  After you have determined that you are eligible for an EB-5 green card and have chosen a Regional Center or decided on direct investment, you need to select a project.

2)  The second step in obtaining a visa is making a capital investment and filing an I-526 petition.

If you decided to invest in a rural area or a project located within a TEA, you would need to produce the required minimum $900,000 capital investment. If your investment is in other areas, you must invest the $1.8 million minimum investment. 

To make an investment, you will need to sign a subscription agreement that gives you an interest in a New Commercial Enterprise. Investment funds are typically wired to an escrow account. 

An immigration attorney typically files an I-526 petition with the USCIS, along with project, personal, and financial documentation proving the lawful source of funds for the ivnestment. Documents typically include the following:

      Project Documents

  • Evidence that you have invested via a designated Regional Center or required evidential documents specific to direct investment.

  • If applicable, evidence that your business is located in a TEA.

  • Evidence that the business will create the required number of jobs.

If you invest with a major EB-5 project, they will typically have a lawyer’s filing template that they provide to your immigration lawyer, that includes all the required project-related documentation that your lawyer needs to submit your file to USCIS.

      Personal Documents 

  • Copy of personal and (if applicable) family passports.

  • Evidence that you have invested the minimum required amount.

  • Household registration.

  • Copies of previous immigration applications, if any.

  • Copies of any criminal or civil actions against you in the last 15 years.

      Financial Documentation 

  • Proof of business ownership and copies of any business licenses.

  • Last five years of bank statements and tax returns, both personal and business.

  • Evidence showing other income sources.

  • Financial statements for all of your businesses.

  • Evidence that investment funds were obtained lawfully.

Once received, USCIS will approve or deny the I-526 petition and inform you of their decision. The timing for this tends to be much faster if you invested in a project with Expedited Processing approval from USCIS.

3) Your next step in the application process is to become a two-year conditional U.S. resident. As soon as your I-526 petition is approved, you are eligible to apply for residency. There are two ways to accomplish this:

  • If you already hold an immigrant visa that was issued by the U.S. Department of State, you can file Form I-485, in order to change your status to conditional permanent resident.

  • If you do not have lawful U.S. residency status, you must apply for immigrant status by submitting a Form DS-230 (or electronic Form DS-230). The process may be done through a U.S. Consulate or your country's embassy.

4)  The last step is becoming an unconditional U.S. resident (aka – Green Card Holder) by filing a Form I-829.  The Unconditional Green Card can be obtained by the primary investor-applicant, his/her spouse, and unmarried children under 21.

Once a Form I-829 is filed, adjudicated, and approved, the 2-year conditional residency status on your visa is removed.

The EB-5 Visa program allows citizens of other countries to gain permanent resident status by making investments in U.S. businesses. The program stimulates economic growth and can speed up the residency approval process. Investors can invest directly or work with U.S. government approved Regional Centers that manage the investments. Immigration attorneys can walk applicants through the process, explain the risks, and ensure the required documentation is submitted.

"Since 1990, foreigners have invested more than $6.8 billion, and the U.S. has given out 29,000 visas through the EB-5 program."