By Tanya Sterling, GlobeSt.com | December 10, 2019
Miami, FL—Recently, the EB-5 Investor Visa Program was updated to reflect new rules that raise the minimum investment from $1 million to $1.8 million, and from $500,000 to $900,000 for a targeted employment area (TEA). The minimum investment amounts automatically adjusts every five years. The program, initially created in 1990, allows international investors to receive US green cards by funding job-creation projects.
The changes should prompt both candidates and investors to look carefully at the program to see if it still meets their needs.
“If someone is going to spend ½ million dollars and get their visa, that’s one thing,” says Isaac Marcushamer, attorney with litigation boutique law firm Mark Migdal & Hayden. “However, to spend $900,000 to almost $2 million is a whole different ball game.”
For example, if an individual’s net worth is $2 million and they spend $500,000 they will still have some funds but, obviously, not as much as they did before. When looking at a person with a net worth of $5 million, however, one is dealing with a more sophisticated consumer who has more resources and could potentially walk away if the deal goes awry.
Marcushamer suggests that EB-5 candidates have both an independent, corporate attorney plus an immigration attorney pore over the documents.
“You have rights from the beginning and it’s important that independent, competent, and knowledgeable attorneys review all of your paperwork and advise you accordingly,” says Marcushamer. “After all, projects may blow up and the applicant lose their money, but even worse, they may also lose a chance at their visa.”
Marcushamer acknowledges that the process is complicated and nuanced.
“There’s a million variables that go into the process,” says Marcushamer. “It’s not a transaction at McDonalds, it’s a longer process. There may be disputes and fights. The project may even implode. Make sure your documents and legal representation are secure.”