4 Reasons Foreign Investors Love the EB-5 Visa

eb5 visa

The EB-5 visa has been popular with foreign investors for more than three decades due to its many advantages. The program, administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), enables a foreign investor that invests at least $900,000 USD into a U.S.-based business to obtain a permanent green card for the applicant, and his or her family, provided the investor meets certain criteria. The program was implemented by Congress in the early 1990s as a means to stimulate the U.S. economy through foreign investment and to create jobs for American workers. And, since the program requires investment in a U.S. business – typically a commercial real estate project – that creates at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers, it has been quite successful.

There are many reasons why foreign investors love the EB-5 visa, and here are just a few to consider.

1. Return on Investment

Most EB-5 projects provide a nominal return on investment, but if you choose to work with a seasoned real estate investment manager, you have the opportunity to potentially earn a higher rate of return.

“It’s important for foreign investors to research a credible and experienced EB-5 Regional Center partner before they commit to a project, as many projects may present a high level of risk without an acceptable return to mitigate the risk,” said Rich Marquard, Executive Vice President of Investment Operations at The LCP Group, L.P., a 45-year old real estate investment management firm in New York that specializes in EB-5 projects. “Investors should look at both the EB-5 firm’s investment track record and the project’s viability. Our investors appreciate a heightened level of transparency and feel confident in their decision to work with us given our extensive track record.”

Earning a reasonable return on your EB-5 investment is a great perk in addition to receiving a permanent green card. Just be sure to conduct your own due diligence on the project and the investment firm you decide to work with before jumping in.

2. Moving to the U.S.

Another advantage of the EB-5 visa is that investors and their immediate family can move to the U.S. as soon as their I-526 application is approved and they receive their two-year conditional green cards. This includes the investor, spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21. And, they can choose to live, work, go to school and even start a business anywhere they like in the United States.

And it’s no wonder many foreigners prefer the advantages of moving to the U.S. via the EB-5 visa since the U.S. boasts one of the best living standards in the world with excellent health care and education systems. With an EB-5 visa, there is no employer sponsorship required like with the H-1B visa. The investor and family members can apply to any job at any company they like. They are free to move around to different jobs without sponsorship, which makes moving up the corporate ladder much more obtainable.

3. Savings on U.S. Education


The same absence of sponsorship applies to students who move to the U.S. via the EB-5 visa program. Students living in the United States via an EB-5 visa may apply to any university they like. They do not require sponsorship to stay in the country like with an F-1 visa. And since they enjoy the same benefits as permanent residents, EB-5 visa holders may pay domestic student tuition rates, rather than international student tuition rates. If a student happens to attend a public university in the state where they live, the tuition can be substantially lower than out-of-state tuition. Plus, as an EB-5 visa holder, there is always the added benefit of being able to apply for financial assistance. Or better yet, many companies in the U.S. offer tuition reimbursement to their employees. So an EB-5 visa holder can get a full-time job and then complete their education part-time with their employer picking up a good part of the tab in many cases.

Quality education is often a top priority for families interested in the EB-5 foreign investor program. And the U.S. leads the world in top universities as reported in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities Rankings. Foreign investors from around the world leverage the EB-5 visa program to bring their children to the U.S. so they can get the best education at a top school without the hassle and temporary consequences of an F-1 visa.

4. Freedom to Travel

The EB-5 investor visa also unlocks doors for international travel. Many countries have travel restrictions that impede their citizens from traveling where they like. Once an investor obtains their permanent U.S. green card, they are free to enjoy the same travel options as other U.S. citizens. Currently, the United States ranks eighth on the Henley & Partners Passport Index with 184 visa-free destinations globally. This is far greater passport access compared to other countries, such as Russia which is 51st on the list with only 118 visa-free destinations, Saudi Arabia is in the 66th spot with only 77 visa-free destinations, India is 84th on the list with 58 visa-free destinations and Egypt is 93rd with only 49 visa-free destinations. A U.S. passport allows for much greater mobility than most other passports. And an EB-5 visa is a fast and easy way to get that access.

Overall, there are many advantages that come with obtaining a U.S. EB-5 visa. If you are interested in moving to the U.S. without sponsorship of any kind, and you want to enjoy the many freedoms inherent with a permanent U.S. green card, then perhaps investing in an EB-5 visa project makes sense for you and your family. “Our EB-5 investors are excited to move to the United States and look forward to the benefits of permanent residence,” said Marquard. “The EB-5 foreign investor program is a great way to begin a new chapter for you and your family while simultaneously boosting the U.S. economy and job market, it’s a win-win for everyone.”


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