Essential information on how to obtain an EB-5 visa to live in Miami, Florida.

It is difficult to attend a social gathering of Hispanics where the topic of "papers" does not occupy a good portion of our conversations because for us the avenues that lead to the encounter of the American Dream are usually multiple, varied and, at times, complex.

From going to the political asylum file, the marriage visa, the investor visa, the transferred executive or the hired professional, to arriving at the elitist EB-5 visa, many Hispanics manage to emigrate and rebuild our lives. In the USA.

Since the EB-5 visa, "the one with $500,000", is the one that lends itself the most to confusion among Hispanics, in this article I will try to clarify the details that surround it and unravel the misunderstandings that are usually discussed in our daily conversations..

The EB-5 visa is so named because it is fifth in order of preference of employment-based visas (EB=Employment Based) that grant the possibility of obtaining residence (Green Card) to “breaks”, bypassing temporary nonimmigrant status. EB-5 was enacted by Congress in 1990 as a formula to increase foreign investment and improve domestic employment levels.

In 1992, a pilot immigration program based on the so-called "Regional Centers" was incorporated into the original concept of EB-5.. Regional Centers are public or private entities authorized by the USCIS to promote economic activities that generate high levels of employment by attracting foreign capital.

With the introduction of the Regional Center the regulatory norm of the EB-5 visa has been divided into two aspects:

  1. The primary version that grants the beneficiary residence (Green Card) if you carry out a business activity under your own tutelage, that generates 10 or more jobs, with a minimum investment of $1 in normal areas or $000,000 in economically affected areas.
  2. The version that grants the beneficiary residence (Green Card) if he invests $500,000 in stocks or shares of a project qualified by the Federal Government (USCIS) as a “Regional Center” for the purposes of the Immigration Law.

We see here that the investor can manage his own company, in case 1, or acquire shares in an investment project classified by the Federal Government as a "Regional Center" and thus remain a passive investor, in case 2.

The residence granted (Green Card) under the EB-5 category is conditional. The foreign investor must file a petition to remove the condition within the second anniversary of the grant of residence. If it is determined that the foreigner did not keep the new company operating in accordance with the commitments acquired with the Federal Government or if the Regional Center ceased its activity, the "Green Card” will be suspended.

To date, 63 Regional Centers have been approved in Florida. The recently created Miami Regional Center involves the regional government and local private initiative in development plans based on foreign investment. The Mayor's Office for International Business Development is responsible for overseeing the program.

The Miami Regional Center, which will benefit Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, will act as an intermediary between local entrepreneurs and foreign investors. On the one hand, it will be in charge of approving the projects to be financed under the EB-5 modality and, on the other hand, it will select the foreign investors who wish to benefit from the program.

In operational terms, the promoter of an investment project may register his initiative as a Regional Center before the Federal Government or take refuge in the shadow of the Miami Regional Center.

To register a project with the Miami Regional Center, the relevant rights and fees must be paid; present a business plan that includes an analysis of the economic impact of the project on the economy and employment within the region; a financial analysis that shows the sources and uses of the resources and the market strategy that would be used to raise funds from EB-5 visa beneficiaries. All this information will be reflected in detail in the investment prospectus that will be delivered to the applicants for the EB-5 visa.

At this point It is convenient to point out some warnings to those who intend to take advantage of the EB-5 program to emigrate to the US.

  • To qualify for the EB-5 visa, you must have substantial assets that allows the investor to cover the amount of his investment plus the expenses of professional fees and registration rights and, going further, that the eventual loss of these amounts does not have catastrophic effects on his business life.
  • Although the EB-5 program grants temporary residency to the investor and his or her spouse and children under the age of 21, there is a possibility that the migratory benefit will be lost if the Regional Center project that supports it fails before the first two years of execution.
  • The investment in an EB-5 Project is not guaranteed by the government, so the investor must bear the business risk inherent in any private investment.. It is essential to carry out a thorough evaluation of the background of the promoters as well as the verification of the information contained in the investment prospectus in order to minimize the risk.
  • Since the investment is tied to the granting of the EB-5 visa, it is highly recommended to place the $500,000 in a trust account (escrow account) and subject its disbursement to visa approval.

The EB-5 program has become especially popular among the conglomerate of Chinese investors and is becoming more topical among Hispanic communities seeking better levels of legal security and economic stability in the US The advantages offered by the use of the platform Miami Regional Center are linked to lower installation cost and faster processing speed.

To obtain information on the registered projects, those interested should go to the Office for the Development of International Businesses of the Mayor's Office of the city of Miami. As a final note, it is good to clarify that the Miami Mayor's Office does not endorse the quality of each EB-5 initiative, it only registers them once it has evaluated the minimum requirements. It is up to each investor to review the merits of the project and decide accordingly.

And if all goes well with the "half million visa", the investor and his family will start a new life while providing Miami and its area of ​​influence with a new source of job creation and economic activity.


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