26 Jan Economic Impact – Why it matters most in a regional center EB-5 application?
The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors is a United States visa created by the Immigration Act of 1990. In a nutshell, the EB-5 visa provides foreign nationals who invest money in the United States with a straightforward path toward US citizenship. Intended to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment, the EB-5 visa requires a minimum investment of $500,000 in a Targeted Employment, or $1 Million elsewhere.
Economic impact of regional center eb5
Since the creation of the EB-5 Program in 1990, program utilization and the number of EB-5 applicants has seen exponential growth year after year. The number of conditional visas issued to investors and their families has grown from 1,360 in fiscal year 2008 to more than 10,000 in FY 2014, the first year the program actually reached its numerical cap. In total, over half of the 44,400 EB-5 visas issued since the program’s inception have been granted in the last three years alone. Overall, the program has attracted an estimated minimum total of $4.2 billion in investments and supported the creation of at least 77,150 jobs.
However, despite these numbers, the overall economic impact of the EB-5 program has been difficult to prove. Neither private nor government agencies release sufficient data to the public to be able to accurately gauge the difference the program has made, resulting in myriad reports making projections and conclusions based on limited available information.
Economic impact and Regional center applications
Despite the lack of information made available, economic impact is still a crucial aspect of an EB-5 application, especially in Regional Center applications. While USCIS collects complete information on EB-5 program forms, such as the total number of jobs to be created, the agency expects to understand exactly how you intend to make those figures a reality, calling for a business plan that can support the claims your application is making.
Ultimately, the business plan serves as an overview for your visa application. It is a document in which you can bring your ideas together, establish correlations between the figures you present in your application, and how your venture will actually make those figures. However, simply stating that your business will create jobs is not enough to convince USCIS that a provisional visa is merited in your case. These jobs must be sustained over a period of at least 5 years, so businesses must be able to prove that their plan for forward progress is feasible and attainable.
In fact, even after approval, regional centers run the risk of being terminated if they fail to meet program requirements. A Regional Center’s participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program can be terminated by USCIS for several reasons under the regulations found at 8 CFR §204.6(m)(6), including when it (1) fails to submit Form I-924A to demonstrate its eligibility on an annual basis or on a cumulative basis and/or as otherwise requested by USCIS; (2) fails to promote economic growth as required; or (3) engages in fraudulent activities.
Proving impact in your business plan
In assessing the promotion of economic growth, USCIS may closely examine several factors including how active the Regional Center has been, in both hiring and investor recruitment and whether the Regional Center is actually creating jobs as per its original designation, and not just preserving jobs that had already existed.
Therefore, when setting out to create the Matter of Ho business plan that will accompany your EB5 application, it’s important to set reasonable goals to be met. While USCIS may be initially impressed by your high reach, projecting unrealistically bolstered figures could lead to termination down the road when these figures are met. Feasibility is key, and consulting with professionals to ensure that your Regional Center is creating a feasible set of goals for itself can affect not only your chances of approval, but also ensure that you continue meeting USCIS requirements for the Regional Center designation that you are working so hard to obtain.