Overview

The US Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5), which is overseen by the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), provides foreign nationals the opportunity to become conditional permanent residents for a period of two years upon making an investment of $1 million, or $500,000 on a designated Targeted Employment Area, in a new commercial enterprise. Each unit of investment must create at least ten new, direct or indirect jobs for US workers. Once the job creation requirement is met, the conditions are removed and EB-5 immigrant investors may obtain unconditional permanent residency. For more information, please refer to the following US government website www.uscis.gov/eb-5-investor

The EB-5 Program was introduced in 1990 but it only attracted a relatively small number of immigrant investors at that time. In 1993, the US government modified the program to allow for the formation of "Regional Centers" to enable multiple EB-5 immigrant investors to pool their funds into larger job-creating businesses in certain target regions and industries. There are now over 500 Regional Centers in the United States, with many new applications pending.

The Regional Centre EB-5 program has now become one of the most popular immigrant investment programs in the world. It doesn’t require that the foreign national start or run a business there themselves, nor does it have age, language or education restrictions. The investment amount is fixed at $500,000 (admin, legal and processing fees are charged separately), and the investor and his family are eligible to receive their conditional US permanent residency status in as little as 15 months. They can live anywhere in the US without being restricted to staying in the state where their project investment is located. At the end of the investment period (5 or 6 years, depending on the project), their principal sum of $500,000 is returned to them.

Investment Overview
  • The philosophy is to invest in projects that will generate 10 direct or indirect jobs required by USCIS, and capital preservation so that the investor receives his capital back at the end of the investment term
  • Investments are structured as loans to projects
  • Investment tenure is usually 5 years, although some projects are for 6 years
  • Type of projects varies from manufacturing, infrastructure, commercial real estate, tourism, oil and gas etc
  • No investments are made in start-ups. All project borrowers are companies with strong corporate and financial track record.
  • Returns on investments are low so as to attract strong borrowers. To remain competitive, borrowers are charged with interest rates that are based on US federal loan interest rates. Investors receive a nominal fee from interest income which is paid yearly