Many of those considering the EB-5 visa as the best route for permanent residence in the USA are aware of the basics i.e. the visa requires an investment of $ 500,000 in an approved regional center program, there are well over 100 such programs and the visa enables successful applicants to live, work, retire or study in any location of their choice in the USA.
However, this really is only the starting point and at this stage when seeking as much information as possible on the regional center programs applicants can find themselves inundated with masses of material including glossy sales brochures, DVDs that paint a very positive picture, lengthy and sometimes incomprehensible legal documents etc. The two things all this material share are they rarely point out any negative aspects and can be difficult to understand.
The next step for the potential EB-5 investor is to seek out potential independent resources that can provide reviews of the many competing programs. However, as many have found out, identifying independent, impartial and above all experienced advice, is easier said than done.
The dangers of relying on certain information sources are apparent from a look at some of the sites that can be found on the internet. Quite often these sites are a case of the uniformed leading the uninformed and can lead to a false sense of security. One well known English language forum for example has a thread where a family is seeking helpful advice about the various regional center programs. Quite often advice from such sources is given extra credibility as it is viewed as being impartial and based on experience.
Among the well meaning but dangerously misleading responses are –
A family praising the advantages of the program they invested in a couple of years previously. While it is certainly correct that the program has delivered the visa they required, the downturn in the property market and difficulty in obtaining mortgages for certain types of property mean there are no guarantees that investors will see the return of their $ 500,000 investment. This crucial point does not get a mention!
Another EB-5 review recommends a particular agent who has been the subject of investigations for the past year following the disappearance of his clients’ funds! Not the ideal recommendation to be endorsing when families are seeking the facts prior to investing their hard earned $ 500,000.
A further review simply refers continually to a specific regional center while pouring scorn on other regional center programs. The problem is the center being recommended has had programs where investors have lost all their investment.
One cannot expect immigration attorneys to automatically be in a position to provide reviews or due diligence on the various center programs. All too many have not visited all the proven programs so there is a major gap in their knowledge of the positives and negatives. There is also a view among certain leading EB-5 immigration attorneys that their advice should be based purely and simply on immigration law, not an in-depth analysis of the various regional center programs which they have not visited or researched.
There are however well proven regional center programs that have a lower profile as they attract sufficient numbers of applicants to achieve their quotas.
It is important when searching for as much information as possible to be given all the facts from an impartial and experienced source.
More details on the EB-5 investment visa and green card are available at Which EB5 where, If you are seriously considering the EB5 visa, you can get a free evaluation of your case by a leading immigration attorney.