EB-5 FAQ

How long do I have to keep my capital investment of $500,000 in the project?

Generally, your investment must remain in the project for the full 2 years that you are on a conditional green card. At the end of these two years, if your conditions are removed you are free to do as you please with your business interests.

If I change my mind after approval of my application do I lose my money?

After the approval of an EB-5 application, the capital investment is released from escrow and placed into the commercial enterprise/EB-5 project. A limited partner agreement is signed by the investor prior to the application processing. Once capital is released from escrow for use of the project, it will become more difficult for the investor to withdraw from the project. Withdrawal of funds prior to the 2 year requirement, will result in removal of the temporary green card provided to the investor.

If I change my mind prior to the application being filed will I lose my money?

During the application process, the investor’s capital is held in an escrow account until approval. If an investor changes his/her mind during this process, he/she may request that money be returned. Consultancy and legal fees for services already rendered will not be returned.

What percentage of Applicants have been denied and approved EB-5 status?

Please visit our homepage and see under Investor Green Card Statistics. This page will provide you with current statistics on EB-5 approval and denial rates. For a more in-depth prospectus please consult your STEP America consultant.

Are there any nationality restrictions for EB-5 applicants?

To date there are no restrictions based on nationality for the EB-5 application. Any foreign national may apply.

Is approval of my application for legal permanent resident under EB-5 status guaranteed?

There is no guarantee that the legal permanent resident application will be approved, although denial rates are generally low.

What happens to my funds if my application is not approved?

If you are not approved, the capital $500,000 which was placed in escrow, will be returned to the investor. The investor may lose the fees paid for legal services, referrals, and administration.

Is approval of my application for U.S. Citizenship after 5 years guaranteed?

After 2 years an investor must show that the requirements of the program were fulfilled. At that time their “conditional” status will be changed to permanent with no conditions. After three years, the Investor may apply for U.S. Citizenship. Under certain circumstances applicants can be denied should they not meet the requirements of the USCIS. For example, if you have been convicted of a high crime, you may be denied U.S. Citizenship. Please see the USCIS website for detailed requirements or speak with a STEP America consultant.

I have heard the term “at risk” being used. What does this mean?

Any investment has both the benefit of gain and the burden of loss. “At risk” generally means there is a risk of loss but a chance for gain. The general thought is that you are investing in a project which will succeed and give you a return on your investment.

Is it necessary that my full $500,000 capital be transferred at one time?

This varies from one project to the other. Some require a deposit to be placed in escrow at first while the application is being approved, and then the remainder once the application has been approved. Other projects may require the full $500,000 to be placed in escrow all at once while the application is in process.

Are all projects under construction or have some been completed?

EB-5 Since USCIS requires that all EB-5 investments be made into “a new commercial enterprise,” many of the approved projects are pre-construction or currently under construction. However, in some instances, a business looking to expand or an owner looking to reposition a property will obtain approval for EB-5 financing.

How long does each project take to complete?

This varies from project-to-project. Some may have a span of 2 years while others more, depending on the breadth of the project. Those with longer timelines may be broken into several phases with different EB-5 investors in each phase.

When will my capital investment be returned?

Generally speaking it will be provided back after the two year term or the term agreed upon between the investor and the developer prior to the investment taking place. However, the investor has the choice to keep his/her money in the project and continue the investment, or withdraw the funds once the term has been completed.

What is my annual rate of return on an EB-5 investment?

Annual return on an EB-5 investment is typically between 1% and 3%.

For the job requirement, do 10 jobs have to be created for each investor or in total within the project?

The project must show that enough jobs will be created to allocate 10 jobs for each separate EB-5 Investor applicant. This means in any project, 10 jobs must be created per investor.

If I invest in the EB-5 Program, can my mother and father also obtain a Green Card?

No, fathers and mothers are not considered immediate family for the purposes of the EB-5 Program. Only spouse, and children under the age of 21 may receive a green card based on the investor’s application and investment. Once an investor becomes a legal permanent resident, they may then petition for the entry of other family members such as their mother, father, or children over the age of 21. There are other options and strategies available. For more information please speak with a STEP America consultant.

How long will it take to have my application approved?

If investing in a government approved project the current timeline for approval or denial stands at approximately 5 to 7 months. If an investor is making a direct investment into his/her own commercial project, this process may take longer as the application process is more complex.

Can I make a direct investment into a new commercial enterprise of my own to obtain a green card?

Yes, one can decide to make a direct investment into their own new commercial project to obtain a green card. In these cases, the investor has to invest $1 million in capital, and must still meet the requirements for the creation of ten jobs per investor. The application process is also more complex and may take longer to be approved.

Am I investing in a business or a commercial property?

Generally the investor is investing in a business (a new commercial enterprise) which will work to create jobs in the targeted employment area. This is how the investor will fulfill their job creation requirement.The investor is not simply investing in the physical real estate.