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Investment vs. Worth: with the U.S. EB-5 do you get what you paid for?

usa program | regional centers | USA EB-5 Program | TEA | EB-5 Program |
March 7, 2017

Investing in an EB-5

The only path to U.S. permanent residency, or from alien status to U.S. citizenship, is through the Green Card. While there are several ways to apply for a Green Card, the application and processing usually takes applicants at least 6 years to receive their permanent residence status. With the EB-5, an employment-based residency program, eligible investors have the option of investing in new businesses or high unemployment areas and approved projects with the intention of creating jobs and stimulating U.S. economy in exchange for permanent residency.

The cap on EB-5’s, 10,000 visas per year, wasn’t reached until 2014, after the program’s creation more than two decades previously, despite a drastic increase in interest in the last ten years. Consequently, EB-5 applicants have a much shorter waiting period for their Green Cards. After waiting an average of 15 months for their U.S. visa, EB-5 applicants (along with a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21), can immigrate to the U.S., and upon arrival are issued conditional permanent residency cards.

But what is the cost of an EB-5? Potential EB-5 investors have two options: a US$1M investment into a new enterprise or US$500K into a U.S. government-approved high unemployment area or Regional Center. 98% of EB-5 investors choose the US$500K option. This investment option is so popular for a number of reasons: firstly, it allows investors to engage with parts of their new communities in a way that fuels economic growth where needed, secondly, it is a drastically less expensive option. But US$500K still isn’t pocket change, and some may wonder if the investment has all the returns potential EB-5 immigrants and investors are hoping for.

Other forms of U.S. employment-based immigration are a bad deal

Other EB, or employment-based, programs can take 6 to 10 years to process, and cost the applicant upwards of US$20,000 in legal and processing fees alone. Temporary visa holders also on average pay higher mortgages and rent, make thousands of dollars less a month than permanent residents, and only 56% make it all the way through the application process to get a Green Card.

While none of the money spent by other EB immigrants can be reimbursed or supplemented, EB-5 investors are able to make returns on their investments, and in many U.S. states, like Connecticut and Florida, enjoy tax breaks and incentives present only for permanent U.S. residents or EB-5 investors. EB-5 investors meanwhile make equitable salaries to their U.S. citizen counterparts, enjoy lower mortgages and rent than temporary visa holders, all while benefitting from the U.S. government social systems.
 
The value of U.S. citizenship by investment

The value of many of the benefits of U.S. citizenship, like resident rates for some of the top universities in the world, healthcare, lower mortgage rates, social security, and higher salaries can be quantified (resident tuition alone can save you upwards of US$400,000 for a four-year degree), some of the greatest benefits of a U.S. permanent residency, or eventual citizenship, cannot be calculated. Visa-free travel to most countries, the security of having a safe place to send your loved ones in the unfortunate event of a crisis in your home country, guaranteeing permanent U.S. residence or citizenship for your children and generations to come, none of these things have a price tag. Online forums discussing the cost of a Green Card draw the same conclusion from potential and current applicants and Green Card holders alike: permanent U.S. residency, the American dream, is priceless.

Final thoughts

Why waste years of your life toiling over applications, paperwork, lawyer fees, and waiting through endless bureaucracy for a Green Card that would essentially pay for itself after you put your first child through college? While the EB-5 might have a larger price tag, the in-depth calculations and accounting for the unquantifiable aspects of receiving your permanent residency in an average of 15-18 months make it the wisest of investments. Even from our Invest Visa offices here in Jordan, we know that profit can be made in the U.S. from wise investments in EB-5 approved Regional Centers, and we are happy to help you in your endeavor to achieve your EB-5 permanent resident status with good investments, and priceless returns.
 
Interested in moving to the U.S.? Our firm will help you find a legitimate Regional Center to maximize your probability of success through the EB-5 program. We will guide you every step of the application process, straight through to obtaining your unconditional permanent residence. Contact us today.
 
For more information on the U.S. EB-5 program, please click here.
 
Please fill out our Free Assessment, and find out if you qualify under any of the business immigration programs offered.
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