Immigration expert Dr. Gregory Finkelson explains the EB-5 investor’s immigration program and dispels some falsehoods.
The United States is a leading destination for migrants around the world. While America’s large immigration lottery is perhaps the most well-known immigration path, there are several more reliable programs that allow migrants to move to the United States. One popular program is the EB-5 investor’s visa. Immigration expert Dr. Gregory Finkelson explains how the program works.
“The EB-5 program is designed to allow people who can invest in the United States and create jobs for the country to receive a green card,” Dr. Gregory Finkelson notes. “The program helps America attract the best talent from the world over.”
While the EB-5 program is a great opportunity for investors and the United States as a whole, there are some myths circulating. Sometimes, the program gets a bad rap for allegedly allowing people to buy a green card, for example.
“Sometimes, people think of the EB-5 program as a way to buy a green card,” Dr. Gregory Finkelson says, “but money isn’t actually the most important factor. Instead, job creation is. An investor must create jobs for the United States.”
In fact, the Government Accountability Office has found that while EB-5 businesses are required to create only ten jobs, 90 percent of businesses ultimately create more jobs. As businesses grow, they’ll hire more people.
The emphasis on jobs also means a rich individual couldn’t simply park a million dollars in a bank account to get a visa. Instead, a person must figure out a way to employ Americans and that typically means building a sustainable business, which in turn benefits the country as a whole.
“The best way to invest through the EB-5 program is probably with a direct investment,” Dr. Gregory Finkelson explains. “With this, an investor can invest in a company, say a start-up, and get equity in exchange. This way, investors are supporting a business that can provide long-term growth opportunities for the investor and the country.”
In the past, investments often went into real estate projects, that created jobs for a short period of time. Now, direct investments in exchange for equity are increasingly favored because they have a longer-lasting impact on the economy.
Sometimes, people think the EB-5 program is used by drug dealers and other criminals to launder money while also gaining easier access to the United States. However, the American government is quite diligent when checking for criminal activity.
“Immigration officials are very thorough when examining a candidate and how they got their money,” Dr. Gregory Finkelson explains. “If you’ve gotten your money illegally, the officials are most likely going to pick up on that and reject your application.”
Gregory Finkelson Offers Tips For EB-5 Applicants
Does the EB-5 program sound right for you and your family? The program offers a great way to receive a green card, however, wait times can be long, especially if you’re coming from certain countries.
“There’s a complex allocation system for the visas,” Dr. Gregory Finkelson notes. “If you come from a country with a lot of EB-5 applicants, say China, India, or Vietnam, the wait time is often longer. For this reason, it’s best to get started with the application quickly.”