The Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5) is not a new concept. It is designed to promote immigration and help create jobs. Business owners apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) to become EB-5 “regional centers” to attract foreign nationals seeking permanent residency in the United States. Generally speaking, the minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million, and the minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.
Investors should keep in mind that regional center designation does not mean an endorsement from any U.S. government agencies regarding its profitability or business viability. It is known that EB-5 programs are prone to abuse, and USCIS has long been aware of investment fraud targeting foreign investment money. (read more here) USCIS terminates regional centers regularly, and a terminated regional center may not solicit investment. To view the list of the 62 terminated regional centers as of August 31, 2016, click here.