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In the wake of the Jay Peak investigation and lawsuits by the State of Vermont, many investors are beginning to ask the question, “Is EB 5 really worth the risk?”  It’s not that EB 5 immigrant investor opportunities should be discarded as an immigration option, but it generally ought to be a last option for many people who are looking for ways to use their capital and professional wherewithal to obtain U.S. residency.  This is not only because it can be difficult to determine whether or not you can actually trust the regional center business you might invest in, but also because you are taking more than half-a-million dollars out of commission for several years that you might otherwise use for a more lucrative investment. Additionally, some investors do not meet the EB 5 requirements.

For these reasons, and although we have indeed seen success for our clients who have taken advantage of EB 5 immigrant investor opportunities, we always look to see whether other options might be preferable before “going there” with immigrant investors’ funds.  In this post, I hope to put a couple of other options on the radar for those that might be considering immigrating through investment, and for those prospective immigrants who don’t have any other options, to consider what sort of things one might do in order to avoid being in the position of Jay Peak investors who saw their funds misappropriated by those in whose trust they depended.


Possible Alternatives to EB 5 Investment Opportunities

Someone who has earned sufficient funds to be at the top of the income scale often will have the credentials to match.  For the person who is in fact at the top of his or her profession, the EB1 visa option is likely to bring all of the benefits of the EB 5, including residency visas for one’s entire family.

For the EB1, the immigration service will want to see things like membership in professional organizations, publications, and other significant accomplishments in one’s field exist in order to establish the threshold of “extraordinary ability.”  The idea is that this professional is someone the U.S. really can’t refuse as a member of its society because she will bring wisdom and broad-spectrum benefit to the U.S. economy and community.

Another option that might work for a multinational investor is the L visa, for intracompany transferees.  If this professional has worked significantly for an international company that has or plans to open offices in the United States, the L visa can be a pathway to becoming a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. if certain conditions are met.

Other non-EB 5 investment opportunities might include an E1 or E2 visa that later shifts to an EB category visa, like an EB1, EB2 or even EB 5.  A thorough discussion and investigation with a competent and experienced immigration attorney where the potential immigrant shares all of the myriad details of his or her situation will be essential to determining the proper route and to understanding all that is involved therein.

How to Know if your EB 5 Regional Center is Deserving of Your Trust

There is no substitute here for a thorough investigation of the individual regional center executives themselves and of their record and reputation in the business world.  As a potential investor dealing with regional center managers who are new to business dealings, one might want to be more reticent to trust these people with one’s money.  Credit checks, background checks, and financial investigations relating to the principal investors and operators of any regional center will likely want to be completed well before determining whether the regional center merits a potential investor’s trust.  Also, it is prudent to determine whether a regional center is capitalized independently of foreign investor funds or whether the monies used for the center are derived exclusively from foreign EB 5 investment opportunities.

To determine which alternative to EB 5 investment opportunities makes the most sense for you and whether or not you meet EB 5 requirements, contact the experts at Katz Law Office, LTD. today for a free consultation.

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None of the advice contained in these materials serves as a substitute for individualized legal representation by a licensed attorney with experience in the practice area.

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