EB-5 Remains a Popular and Successful Visa Option
With substantial improvements to the EB-5 category and increased demand; each successive year, the number of EB-5 applicants has grown in popularity. For instance, in 2008, USCIS issued a total of 1,360 EB-5 visas. By 2012, this number jumped to over 4,000 EB-5 visa applications; 80% of these came directly from China. Part of this increase was due to the unprecedented economic growth of China and the creation of many independently wealthy individuals. Additionally, international investors have had their options reduced as Canada recently ended its lenient & inexpensive immigrant investor program. In 2013, more than 8,500 visas were issued through the EB-5 category; however, a retrogression of the EB-5 visas is anticipated for 2014.
Notably, a surge of would-be investors from China has fed the EB-5 boom. Wealthy Chinese have become more interested in planting roots in the U.S., which they view as a desirable place to park assets, educate their children and, in many cases, establish residency. An entire industry has cropped up in China to connect such investors with EB-5 opportunities. Hundreds of immigration-consulting firms, licensed by China’s regional authorities, help U.S. businesses find investors, collecting fees and commissions as high as $175,000 per investor.
Approval for the EB-5 I-526 applications is high. In 2009, USCIS received 1,028 submissions of Form I-526. Of these, 966 were approved and 163 were denied. Likewise, in 2013, USCIS received 6,517 Form I-526. Of these, 82.6% were approved. Most denials occurred because investors failed to demonstrate their investment funds were lawfully acquired.
The EB-5 visa essentially offers a good immigration solution for those who have the financial resources to qualify and a tolerance for high risk investments. It does not require an employment offer from a U.S. employer as other employment-based immigration categories do, nor does it require a labor certificate. With the current economic downturn, USCIS has relaxed its requirements for the EB-5 program as a means to bring in more foreign investment. Most importantly, because the annual quota in the past consistently exceeds the number of applicants, those who qualify for EB-5 status do not typically have to wait long for a visa as there is currently no visa quota backlog for the EB-5 investor category. This is likely to change in 2014, due to increased demand.
At Buda Law Group, we make sure our clients’ investments are not only sufficient for an EB-5 visa, but continue to be profitable for years to come. Our team is experienced in picking only the best and most secure options, making sure to avoid the many scams currently making headlines. If you are interested in the EB-5 program, call us ASAP for a consultation!
John B. Buda, Esq. www.budalawgroup.net office: 310-452-1872 [email protected] 3301 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 205 Santa Monica, CA 90405