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Sharad Reddy, EB-5 investor

Sharad Reddy, EB-5 investor

Unpaid testimonial. The testimonial may not be representative of the experience of other customers. There is no guarantee of future performance or success.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the process to getting permanent U.S. residence?

The EB-5 process has four main steps. 1) Select an appropriate EB-5 project. 2) File your investor petition (Form I-526). 3) Once your petition is approved you’ll receive conditional permanent residency (a Green Card), that lasts two years. To enter the U.S., you’ll file form DS-260 in your home country, or form I-485 if you are already living int the U.S. 4) File for removal of conditions (Form I-829) two years after attaining your conditional permanent residency.

How much does it cost?

A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) investment is $500,000. Add an administration fee that is typically $50,000, and lawyer fees of $15,000 to $25,000, and a USCIS ling fee of $3,675.

How long will it take to get my Green Card?

Speak with your immigration lawyer about your specific case, but USCIS recently posted average I-526 processing time of 14.2 months.

A consular interview can usually be scheduled within 1-6 months from your EB-5 approval. Adjustment of status (I-485) processing can be very quick, as you are already in the U.S.

What are my chances of success?

The EB-5 petition (I-526) approval rates for the fiscal years 2017–2020 are 92%, 90%, 78%, and 75%, respectively. The application to remove conditions on permanent residency (I-829) have had approval rates of 98%, 96%, 94%, and 95% for those years. These numbers are averages and include investors who have been defrauded and who haven’t done their due diligence. If you conduct proper due diligence, it stands to reason that you should have better than average chances for success.

Due diligence should confirm three general elements: 1) A smart plan with reasonable projections and logical market feasibility. 2) The investment is run by professionals with experience, 3.) The project is fully capitalized to execute on the plan. Without those elements you’re exposing yourself to more risk and lowering your chances of success.

What is an expedited project?

An expedited EB-5 project is one that is considered by the U.S. government to serve a compelling government or public interest. These determinations can result in shorter processing times for both the project (exemplar expedite) and the investor (investor expedite).

How long will my application process take with an approved ‘investor expedite’?

There are a few expedited projects currently in the market, and we’ve seen investors tending to receive approval within six months, and sometimes in just weeks. Remember that an expedited project does not mean that the investment has less immigration or financial risk.

What sort of return can I expect from my investment?

Investments on the eb5Marketplace investment platform have varying levels of potential return. Some investments will cap the investor’s return, sometimes offering a potential maximum return of 1% per year or less. Other investments aim at providing opportunities with a potential for higher returns Examine your investment options carefully and reach out to our registered broker representatives to identify the right investment for your risk tolerance and investment goals. (Remember that past performance cannot be a guarantee of future results.)

Why don’t regional center EB-5 investments offers the same ROI as typical investments?

There are two reasons why EB-5 capital is less attractive to strong projects: the cost to properly structure an EB-5 investment, and the uncertainty of when EB-5 funds will become available to the project. Thus, to offset these factors and make EB-5 capital attractive, a strong project will require a significant saving on the cost of EB-5 capital. This saving is reflected in the return offered to investors.

How are EB-5 investments structured?

Regulations require that EB-5 investments must be equity investments. But, as is often the case with regional center investments, the EB-5 fund that collects investor capital then makes a loan to a job-creating entity (JCE). Investors are typically repaid upon the redemption of the loan by the EB-5 fund, but this is not always the case. Review our investment terms and the offering documents carefully to understand how EB-5 investors are treated. With a direct investment, the structure is far simpler: the investor makes an equity investment directly into the business that creates the jobs. The investor can therefore have the exibility of when to sell their equity and exit on market terms and rates.

Are most investments $500,000?

Yes. To qualify for the $500,000 investment amount (instead of the $1,000,000 standard investment) the project must be located in a qualifying rural area or a high-unemployment area (50% above national average). The investments currently on eb5Marketplace are $500,000 investments.

Can an EB-5 investment be a loan?

Yes. The proceeds of a loan can be used to make an EB-5 investment, but the loan can not be secured by the project being invested in.

Historically, investors were prohibited from using unsecured loans for their investment, but in 2020 the D.C. Circuit court ruled that EB-5 investors can use the proceeds of unsecured loans for their investment capital. Consult with your lawyer.

Would a gift from a relative, or a gift to a child, colleague or friend, qualify for some or all of the $500,000 capital investment?

Yes, you may use a gift to finance your EB-5 investment. However, the details of the gift (person, timing, source of their funds, etc.) need to be evidenced in your I-526 petition, as part or all of your Source of Funds review.

Can I include my parents on my petition?

No. Only spouses and unmarried children under 21 may be included (as derivatives) on a petition.

Can I apply for EB-5 while on H-1B?

Yes. Many investors have chosen this path.

How is an EB-5 visa better than other visas?

It is permanent. You can live and work anywhere in the U.S. and its territories; children can attend university at in-state tuition rates; no language requirements; and it’s relatively simple. Further, an EB-5 visa allows you to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years.

Can I invest funds that originated in cryptocurrency?

Yes, you can, if you can provide clear evidence that the digital assets are of legal origin and that you were the owner.

Proving that this investment capital was obtained legally and was owned by an investor is challenging due to the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrency. Thus, it is critical to develop a source of funds strategy with an attorney who understands cryptocurrency and how USCIS perceives it.

Typically, the investor converts his digital currency into conventional currency before giving his funds to the investment project. However, when proceeds from the sale of digital currency come from a country with no legal framework for cryptocurrency exchange, USCIS may question the legality of these funds. An experienced attorney will help provide evidence of the transaction in terms applicable to the conventional sale of assets, with as much transparency as possible, and all required taxes paid.

If I make a direct investment, do I have run my own business or actively manage the investment?

While historically most direct investments involved an investor running their own business, like a franchise, EB-5 investors can make a direct investment in an already established business, and we’d recommend identifying one in growth-stage mode. The investor does not have to actively manage such an investment; providing policy input is likely to be suf cient to meet EB-5 program requirements. There is no USCIS requirement to actively manage a direct investment — the requirements are identical to the management requirements for a regional center investment.

Can I create a new business and immigrate on an E-2 visa, then convert to EB-5 later?

Yes. This can be done through a job-creating business with an investment of approximately $200,000, and then increasing the investment to $500,000, so long as 10 jobs are created. We can introduce potential E-2 applicants to business brokers and immigration lawyers.

Will I get my money back?

All EB-5 investments must be “at risk,” as per USCIS program requirements. But the risk of getting your capital returned in a timely manner is manageable. And investment due diligence is vital.

If my EB-5 petition gets denied, do I get my money back or do I have to stay invested?

Some regional center offerings are structured in a way that gives comfort to the investor that they will be repaid if their EB-5 petition is denied; but each investment will have a different treatment of returning investment capital. Differences include under what circumstances an investor is fully refunded; whether the money is set aside for such a purpose; and from whom the repayment will be made, since the EB-5 capital will have already been invested in the project by the time the application is denied. With a direct equity investment, investors may be required to keep their money in the business for one year. After that time, they can sell whenever they like, including if their I-526 petition is denied. In most cases, the issuer is not obligated to refund the investment amount back to the investor — the equity investment may have risen or fallen in value since it was originally made and selling the investor’s interest is determined by market forces (demand).

After moving to the U.S. how much time can I spend outside the U.S.?

There is a reasonable amount of flexibility in terms of traveling outside the U.S. for periods of up to six months, but you will need a Re-entry Permit if you intend to be outside the U.S. for a year or more. Consult with your lawyer.

Is my child eligible for lower tuition rates once they have a Green Card?

Yes, and the savings can be significant. Children with a Green Card can qualify for in-state tuition fees which are often a fraction of what international students pay. Students can also benefit from scholarships and grants — and better acceptance rates than international students.

With the expiry of the Regional Center Program, can I still make an EB-5 investment?

The EB-5 Regional Center Program expired on June 30th, 2021. At the moment, only EB-5 direct investments can be made, at $500,000.