EB-5 program

By: Carl A. Bosse

Of importance to all members of AREA is the EB-5 program. Here is a cursory overview of what it is, what it does, how it works and how it can benefit your business. Should you get a client interested in this program, I will be very glad to personally assist you.

The EB-5 visa category was created by Congress in the Immigration Act of 1990 to encourage the flow of foreign capital into the U.S. economy and to create jobs for U.S. workers. There are 10,000 available visas in the EB-5 visa category annually, 3,000 of which are reserved for foreign investors who want to participate in an EB-5 pilot program designed for targeted investments in approved regional areas.

The Benefits to the foreign investor are:

  • The EB-5 Visa holder and their qualifying family members (spouse and unmarried, minor children) receive a “conditional” green card.
  • After two years, if the investor has complied with the terms and conditions in the original EB-5 Investment Visa application, he or she can apply for an “unconditional” green card.
  • EB-5 investors and their families can live anywhere in the U.S.
  • The EB5 visa category allows investors to retire to the USA.
  • In a Regional Center program the applicant does not need to manage the day-to-day affairs of a business and does not need to be sole investor.

The requirements are:

  • The applicant must establish a business or invest in an existing business which was created or restructured after November 19, 1990.
  • The foreign investor must have invested $1 million (or $500,000 if investing in a USCIS designated regional center) in the business.
  • The business must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
  • The EB-5 investor must demonstrate that the investment capital was “lawfully gained” and the required capital is at risk for investment purposes.
  • The investor must enter the United States within 180 days of visa issuance.
  • The EB-5 visa holder is not required to be physically in the U.S. for any given amount of time, but must demonstrate the “intent” to be a resident. This includes:
    • Renting or buying a home
    • Opening bank accounts
    • Obtaining a social security number
    • Obtaining a driver’s license
    • Paying applicable taxes

There are Serious Pitfalls: Here is what to do about them.

  • Investors are required to create 10 full time jobs. (This is rigidly enforced and I am personally aware of a German couple who acquired a B&B in the White Mountains of Arizona who had to lay off a large segment of their staff in 2008-09. They lost their business and their Green Card and had to return to Germany.) If you are in a Regional Center, that requirement is fulfilled by the Center. This is the most practical and safe way to go. More about that below.)
  • Charlatans: Many investors have been hoodwinked by very sophisticated “crooks”. You must be careful with whom you work. Only do it with those who have proven track records and come highly recommended.
  • Get the best possible Immigration Attorney involved from the very beginning. This process goes nowhere fast without them.
  • Starting a new business creates risk. Regional Centers tend to mitigate that risk.

Why well managed Regional Centers may offer the safest investment!

While many investors interested in living in the U.S. are eager to start a new business, others are concerned that they may not be able to replicate the success they’ve had back in their home country. In fact, given the current economic climate, even some of those “hands on” entrepreneurs are giving the notion of an upstart business a close re-examination.

Fortunately, the U.S. government offers an investment-based permanent residency opportunity which takes the traditional investment and job creation requirements of the individual EB-5 Investor Visa and consolidates it into structured, federally-approved “Regional Centers” which essentially offer the same immigration benefits while removing the task of new business creation from the investor.

It works like this: by pooling the investment funds of multiple investors, these highly controlled and professionally managed Regional Centers create diversified investment pools which not only stimulate the U.S. economy, but allow for indirect job creation. These investments and indirect jobs are essentially “pro rated” among the investors in order to meet the requirements and they offer the same permanent residency.

While you’ll read about the “Regional Centers” as “passive” investments, they are anything but “passive”. In fact, the job generation activity and regional economic impact tends to be far greater – more “active” – than that possible by any individual investment. The main difference is the existence of a professional team, approved by the federal government, to manage the investor funds and guide the investment to its ultimate purpose: a powerful economic impact on U.S. communities and jobs AND permanent U.S. residency for its investors.

So Why Invest via a Regional Center?

This question will depend upon each unique investor but, basically, the primary reason is to pursue U.S. permanent residency without having to start your own “bricks and mortar” enterprise…by letting pro’s handle that aspect of it. Most Regional Centers are in designated high-unemployment or rural zones. That means one invests $500,000 instead of $1 million…and that is pretty compelling for most.

The Regional Center receives and controls the investment funds and the investor does not have to run the investment enterprise; the Center also takes responsibility for ensuring that the investment there meets the “create 10 jobs” requirement.

For Additional Information contact Carl Bosse at Carl@areamericas.com

Invest in America, Los Cabos, Mexico

Jay West, with Windermere Los Cabos real estate in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, was one of the attendees at the annual convention of AREA – Associated Realty of the Americas – at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in New Orleans.

Jay has lived in Los Cabos, Mexico since 1994, and he and his wife Teena Jones have been Broker/Owners of CaboRealty in Cabo San Lucas and the Los Cabos East Cape since 2001. He has specialized in the sourcing, acquisition and marketing/sales of Beachfront and Golf developments. He brings to his clients a thorough understanding of the markets in Los Cabos.

Contact information for Jay:

Windermere Los Cabos
Plaza Paseo Los Arcos, Suite B-6
Cabo San Lucas, BCS 23455 Mexico
Office: 877-909-2226
Direct: 503-887-8769
Website: http://www.CaboRealty.com
Email: JayWest@Windermere.com

Invest in America, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Joanne Erickson was one of the members of AREA – Associated Realty of the Americas – attending the recent AREA conference at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in New Orleans. 

AREA is an affiliate of INV America.

After coming back to Steamboat Springs year after year, Joanne finally made her move in 2004 and became a Steamboat local.  She grew up in Europe, speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese, and her international background helps her understand the needs of those buying real estate in Steamboat Springs no matter where they are from.  She has an MBA with a focus in Finance and Accounting.  Her passion for Steamboat Springs is infectious, and whether you are interested in a vacation home, an investment property, or your own personal residence, she can help fulfill your real estate needs.

Contact information for Joanne:

Colorado Group Realty
509 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs, CO. 80477
Office: 970-870-8800
Website: http://www.SteamboatExpert.com
Email: Joanne@steamboatexpert.com

Invest in America, Aspen Colorado

Attending the recent national conference of AREA – Associated Realty of the Americas – at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, were Sarah & Rod Woelfle, real estate agents with Mason Morse Real Estate in Aspen, Colorado.

AREA, as an organization, is an affiliate of INV America.

Both Sarah and Rod have been past presidents of the Aspen Board of REALTORS. Sarah is a fifth-generation Coloradan who earned her BA from Dartmouth College and her MBA in International Business from the University of Colorado.  Rod is a fourth-generation Coloradan who received an engineering degree from the University of Arizona.

Both Sarah and Rod are trusted associates of AREA, dedicated to excellent service, who can help you with your real estate needs in the Aspen area.

Contact information for Sarah and Rod:

Mason Morse Real Estate
0290 Highway 133
Carbondale, CO  81623
Office: 970-963-3300
Website: http://www.masonmorse.com

Invest in America, New Orleans

AREA – Associated Realty of the Americas – an affiliate of INV America, recently held their annual convention in New Orleans at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.

Attending the convention was the AREA representative for New Orleans, Peter Patout, with Talbot Historic Properties.

Peter is a native of south Louisiana and grew up among the cane fields of the Bayou Teche country. Peter received a business degree from University of Louisiana at Lafayette and studied Louisiana architecture history at Tulane University in New Orleans. The founder and owner of Peter Patout Antiques & Appraisals in New Orleans since 1984, his areas of expertise are Louisiana furniture, fine art, and decorative arts. He is a historic property specialist, and has been a proud resident and property owner in the French Quarter in New Orleans since 1990. As a real estate agent with Talbot Historic Properties, he provides his clients with his local expertise and enhances their experience in finding the city’s most beautiful and significant historic homes. A consummate ambassador to Louisiana, Peter and his family have accrued over 15 generations worth of insight in the culture of southern Louisiana.

Peter is a trusted associate of AREA, available to help you with all your real estate needs in the New Orleans area.

Contact information for Peter:

Talbot Historic Properties
3938 Bienville Street
New Orleans, LA  70119
Tele: 504-670-9500
Email: PeterPatout@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.TalbotHP.com


INV America is THE one-stop solution and platform of support for foreign companies and investors planning to enter the U.S. market.

With its broad and growing list of affiliates, including Associated Realty of the Americas, INV America is uniquely poised to help foreign investors and companies accomplish their goals.

Foreign companies desiring to invest or relocate their businesses to the United States know the many barriers to entry: Cultural and language differences; banks and credit; government rules, immigration, technical decisions and technology, real estate, widely varying State and local regulations – and the list goes on.

The affiliates of INV America are not merely attorneys or accountants; they are true specialists in wide-ranging fields from robotics to timber investment, from title insurance to Indian gaming. Totally independent of INV America, they are available at a moment’s notice to be used by the investor or company to sort out the most difficult of issues.

For more information on INV America, please contact Carl A. Bosse, President of Associated Realty of the Americas, at carl@areamericas.com, or phone him at 1-520-625-9207, or write him at P.O. Box 2109, Green Valley, Arizona 85622.