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EB-5 Immigrant Investors: More Advantages for Using a Regional Center

There are generally two kinds of regional centers: loan based and equity based. The loan based kind directly develops or purchases investment projects, and the equity based kind takes capital investments from investors which it then loans to the EB-5 investment projects. Each regional center has a geographic area for its investment projects. This area may be a single location, made up of several counties, or include an entire state. If you have questions about the EB-5 immigrant visa and would like to consult with an attorney, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.

Investment funds may become “at risk” sooner

Your investment may become at risk sooner with the loan based model. A limited partnership may be created between you and the regional center in which you give the funds to the regional center as your EB-5 investment, and the regional center then loans the funds to the company or project. In this situation, your investment is still considered to be an “at risk” investment for you even though the funds are given to the company or project in the form of a loan. One advantage to this is that you may be able to file your EB-5 petition sooner than if you were to invest directly in the project because your funds are considered to be at risk when the regional center loans them to the company or project. If you were to invest directly in the project yourself, your investment would not be considered to be at risk until the company or project has spent a substantial part of the funds.

Minimum investment amount is normally $500,000, not $1 million

Normally, to qualify for the EB-5, your capital investment must be at least $1 million. But the minimum investment amount is lowered to $500,000 if your investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA). The majority of regional centers are located in areas designated as TEAs, so using a regional center means you will not likely have to invest more than $500,000.

Visa numbers available

10,000 visas numbers are reserved each year for the EB-5 category, and 3,000 of these visa numbers are reserved especially for investors who use a regional center. These visa numbers are not capped at 3,000, and regional center investors can use up all 10,000 visas. Since the beginning of the EB-5 program, all 10,000 visas have never been used up in a single year. However, the number of EB-5 visa is issued each year has been increasing, and if the 10,000 visa limit is reached in the near future it may be advantageous to be a regional center investor. If you would like further information about the EB-5 immigrant visa or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.

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