A SECURE FUTURE FOR YOU
AND YOUR FAMILY
The United States federal government created the EB-5 Program (also known as the Employment Creation Immigrant Visa or Immigrant Investor Program) in 1990 as a tool to promote foreign funding and economic growth in the U.S.
The program helps create jobs for American workers while affording eligible foreigners the opportunity to become permanent U.S. residents. The program is one of the most flexible immigration programs in the world. In October 2012, the EB-5 pilot program was extended for three years, until September 30, 2016. At that time, it may be further extended or potentially expire.
The EB-5 program is a sterling example of America’s progressive approach for inviting foreign citizens to live and work in the United States. It gives smart, driven individuals such as you an opportunity to focus efforts on projects that enhance U.S. communities while also enriching your own life. By investing in an approved EB-5 project through a designated regional center such as Gold Coast Florida Regional Center, you and your immediate family receive U.S. resident status automatically.
For more information visit www.uscis.gov.
A REGIONAL CENTER?
As defined by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a regional center is any public or private economic unit involved in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. A regional center is an entity approved by the USCIS to seek and accept foreign funding for a specific geographical area under the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
The program allows a foreign person and his or her immediate family members to obtain permanent residency by sponsoring a project in which 10 U.S. jobs are either created or saved. A benefit for applying through a regional center, as opposed to an individual Employment Creation Immigrant Visa, is that the program does not require the entity funded by the individual to itself employ 10 U.S. workers. Instead, it is adequate if 10 or more jobs are created directly or indirectly as a result of the funding.
The EB-5 program allots 10,000 Visas per year for foreign nationals and family members whose qualifying funding result in the creation or preservation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 3,000 immigrant Visas are set aside for aliens who fund in designated regional centers. An additional 3,000 are available for those funding regional centers located within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
Finally, by pursuing permanent residency status through a regional center, individuals are not required to manage a business on a daily basis and are permitted to pursue other professional and personal ventures.
BENEFITS OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP
There are many benefits to becoming a U.S. citizen, including:
- A U.S. passport enables citizens to receive assistance from the U.S. government when traveling overseas.
- U.S. citizens generally receive priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.
- In most cases, children born abroad to U.S. citizens are automatically U.S. citizens.
- State universities offer significantly lower college tuition and fees to residents than to foreign students. For example, University of Florida’s 2014-2015 yearly tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state students is $6,310. For foreign students, it’s $28,588.
- Many states have laws in place that benefit resident homeowners and protect them from rising taxes. For example, the Florida Homestead Exemption allows an exemption on the first $50,000 of a resident’s primary home’s assessed value. Furthermore, increases in assessment shall not exceed the lower of: a) 3% of assessed value from prior year; or b) percentage change in Consumer Price Index.
- Certain jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
- Only U.S. citizens are permitted to run for federal office (U.S. Senate or House of Representatives) and for most State and local offices.
- A U.S. citizen’s right to remain in the United States can generally not be taken away.
- Many financial aid grants, including college scholarships and funds provided by the government, are available only to U.S. citizens.
- Some government benefits are available only to U.S. citizens.
THE EASE IN EB-5
The EB-5 Regional Center Program sets aside 10,000 Green cards each year for foreigners who fund designated regional centers. In addition, the Regional Center Program is one of the most flexible immigrant initiatives in the world. Its attributes include:
- No English exam.
- No minimum education requirement.
- No specific employment or management experience requirement.
- No quota backlogs (there are multi-year backlogs for many employment and family-based green card categories, but there is no quota backlog for the EB-5 category).
- No sponsor needed (foreign individuals use their own personal funds and do not require sponsorship from either an employer or a family member).
- Funding can come from a gift, inheritance, business ownership or any other lawful activity.
- Individuals are not required to manage a business on a daily basis, enabling them to pursue other professional and personal ventures.
According to the USCIS, the requirements for applying for an EB-5 visa directly by investing in a New Business Enterprise are:
- Invest or be in the process of investing at least $1,000,000. Or $500,000 if your investment is in a designated Targeted Employment Area (see FAQS for definition).
- Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets;
- Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This includes U.S. citizens, Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. (however it does not include you, the immigrant, or your spouse, sons or daughters); and
- Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy – for example as a corporate officer or board member.
However, if the application is made through a Regional Center, the requirements are:
- Invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 if the regional center is in a designated Targeted Employment Area) in a regional center that is affiliated with a new commercial enterprise or a troubled business;
- Create at least 10 new full-time jobs either directly or indirectly through the capital investment.
For more information about USCIS requirements, please complete the questionnaire below.
VERIFY YOUR ELIGIBILITY
Please fill out and submit the Registration Form below to be considered for participation in Gold Coast Florida Regional Center’s EB-5 Visa Program. This information will be used to verify your eligibility for the program. Please remember to click ‘submit’ after each step.
STEP BY STEP EB-5 US IMMIGRATION PROCESS
Registration & Reservation
Register on the GCFRC web site by completing the Verify Your Eligibility Form. All potential investors are also encouraged to visit the development site and inspect the project first hand.
Upon approval of the Registration Form, a confidential private placement memorandum will be sent to accredited investors who are non-U.S. persons. It provides important information about the potential investment. For a place on the prospective investors list, the investor will be required to review, sign and deliver specified subscription documents described in the applicable confidential private placement memorandum and make an initial refundable deposit of US$40,000, as well as meet other criteria we may establish from time to time.
If the subscription is accepted, the remaining $500,000 is due within 15 days.
Subscription & Petition Preparation
Once the remaining $500,000 is received, we will proceed with the investor’s I-526 petition. We will send the Investor Questionnaire and Investor Document Binder, allowing him/her to begin collecting the necessary paperwork. The investor will provide legal counsel with all requested documents, including completed Investor Questionnaire, Source of Funds, Tax Returns, and Certificates. The investor may retain independent legal counsel to act on his/her behalf, but documents filed with the USCIS, other relevant documentation and the application process will be filed by a designated legal counsel unless otherwise requested by the investor.
Once all documentation is received, counsel will file I-526 Petition for Alien Entrepreneur with the USCIS. The petition will request the USCIS certify the applicant as eligible for EB-5 status. The application process detailed above is for general information and guidance only. Actual procedures will vary according to individual circumstances.
Upon approval of the I-526 Petition, the applicant must await notification from the U.S. Consulate in his/her home country and prepare documents for the visa interview. The purpose of the consulate application interview is to verify the applicant’s identity and confirm he/she has not committed any criminal acts or misconduct that makes the applicant ineligible to come to the U.S. The application process detailed above is for general information and guidance only. Actual procedures will vary according to individual circumstances.
Removal of Conditional Resident Status
Once the two-year conditional permanent resident status is issued, the investor generally will file an application to remove the conditional resident status (I-829). This must be done between 21 and 24 months after Conditional Resident status is granted.
Once conditional resident status is removed, a full green card is generally granted for indefinite permanent resident status and work permission in the United States. U.S. citizenship is possible five years after conditional residency is approved, upon satisfaction of residence and other criteria. The application process detailed above is for general information and guidance only. Actual procedures will vary according to individual circumstances.