Savvy investors should invest their hard-earned money only after due diligence, says Indian American attorney Naresh M Gehi
US based Naresh M Gehi, Founder & Managing Partner, Gehis Immigration and International Legal Services is an expert in complex Immigration strategies, foreign investments, optimization of tax benefits, cross-border investment and tax issues. In a talk with the American Bazaar, he answers some of the most important questions about the new developments around EB-5 Visa.
Read: What the new reformed EB-5 visa program brings along (March 18, 2022)
AB: What are the concerns about the minimum investment amount?
NG: The minimum investment amount has increased from $1 million to $1.8 million while in Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the investment amount went up from $500,000 to $900,000.
The main concerns about the minimum investment amount revolve around the representation of these adjustments based on inflation.
For the investors, the concerns are focused on how they can establish the requirements of the minimum investment amount as per the new rule of EB-5 during the filing of Form I-526 petition on or after the date of effecting the rule.
Not to forget, there is also lingering concern about the time required for processing the EB-5 applications.
Read: Bill to reform EB5 investor visa program in US Congress (April 7, 2021)
AB: Why has there been an Inclusion of rural and infrastructure projects in the new program?
NG: With the inclusion of rural and infrastructure projects, this new program will safeguard the interests of the investors better. It will also give the projects a better platform for attracting international investors directly.
AB: What would be the protection for new and existing investors?
NG: For the protection of new and existing investors, there will be investor reporting and the regional centers will be audited federally.
The existing investors will be safeguarded from the expiration of the investor program in the future as a remedy for the suffering in the last eight months.
AB: What is the protection for present investors on their future expiration to avoid any uncertainties faced by them in the last few months?
NG: The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act was passed by the US Congress. It expires on Sep 30, 2027. Since this is very new, there is ample opportunity for investors to take full advantage of the program and apply as soon as possible.
The act also has a grandfathering provision so that investors are not left in limbo if their applications are pending even when the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act expires.
USCIS is also planning to adjudicate these petitions expeditiously, within a span of 6 to12 months. Expediting the investor visa process is a fantastic change under the new program.
This change will allow investors to quickly immigrate to the United States with their families. On a conservative note, investors should be very careful before investing in a Regional Center, especially because if the Regional Center loses money or files for bankruptcy, the investor will suffer tremendously and will also be denied the visa.
On a positive note, the Department of Homeland Security will be auditing and monitoring the Regional Centers regularly. Additionally, Regional Centers will have reporting requirements for new projects before the Department of Homeland Security.
Under the new program, Regional Centers will contribute funds upto $20,000 which will be utilized by the government for enforcement purposes.
An intelligent and savvy investor should hire an experienced attorney, conduct his due diligence before investing his hard-earned money with the regional center.