Many companies face difficulty in obtaining financing today. When traditional sources of financing are unavailable, Companies can turn to an unexpected resource to acquire capital — immigration law. Specifically, the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program can provide U.S. companies with an innovative source of financing. The EB-5 program enables foreigners to receive a visa for “permanent resident” status by making certain qualified investments. To be a qualified investment, two basic requirements need to be met.
First, the investment must be for a certain amount. If the investment is made in a “targeted employment area,” the investment can be for $500,000; otherwise, the investment must be for $1 million. A targeted employment area is an area that either has experienced unemployment at a rate that is at least 150% of the U.S. national average rate or is a rural area as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. Second, the investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs. In determining if those jobs have been created from the investment, if the investment is made in a “regional center,” it is possible to count both direct jobs (when employees are directly employed by the investment entity) and indirect jobs (when employees are employed by other companies that do business with the investment entity). A “regional center” is a geographic area specifically designated by Immigration as an area that should be encouraged to receive investments under the EB-5 program.
There are currently 125 “regional centers” that have been designated by the USCIS. Investments under the EB-5 program are typically made in escrow while the foreign investor’s green card application is pending before the USCIS. (Deal Mag)