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Immigration Through Investment Questions and Answers

Law Offices of Yu & Associates

Question: Hello! I heard you handle EB-5 investor immigration cases, and wanted to ask your advice. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to respond! I heard of an investor immigration program where you invest in a nursing home company, and you can keep the investment in your own US bank account and manage it yourself, so it's very safe. With this program, you can engage a lawyer to handle the whole process and the program covers it. They also guarantee that in two years you'll be able to remove the conditions from your green card and stay in the US.

Attorney Yu: This program sounds very nice, but it doesn't seem to meet the requirements for investor immigration. Firstly, investment without risk does not meet the requirements. Secondly, if we're talking about an investment of $500,000 in a regional center, then the funds would not be invested in your own account, but in an escrow account at a regional center that has been approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are a lot of investor immigration programs out there, and not all of them meet USCIS requirements, so you must be very cautious in making your choice. You should consult an attorney to help you choose a center that meets the requirements, is low-risk and has a high success rate.

Question: I've heard there are different types of investor immigration that require different amounts of investment. Can you explain the different types?

Attorney Yu: There are two types of EB-5 investor immigration, one which requires an investment of $1 million and one which requires $500,000. With the first one, the investor must find or start his or her own enterprise or program to invest in, and must personally manage the investment, while also employing 10 US workers. With the second one, the applicant invests in a USCIS-approved regional center, which operates and manages a program or enterprise. With this option, the immigrant investor does not need to personally manage the investment program or employ 10 workers, and the regional center will take care of that. You can also invest the lower amount of $500,000 if you start your own company in a rural area or place with high unemployment.

Question: For EB-5 investor immigration, is it better to invest in a regional center or on your own?

Attorney Yu: If the investment amount is not an issue, then either can be a good option. If the security of your investment is important to you, then you can elect to invest $1 million in your own enterprise which you manage yourself. This way, control of your investment remains in your own hands. No matter whether your enterprise fails or succeeds, still you retain control of your investment. If you want to avoid the effort of managing your own business and hiring ten workers, meanwhile, then you might want to choose to invest $500,000 in a regional center. Although the investment risk is a little higher, you dont need to worry about managing the investment yourself.

Question: In order to apply for immigration through investment, what sort of materials do I need to prepare?

Attorney Yu: No matter what kind of investment program you choose, you will need to provide documentation showing that your $1 million or $500,000 investment is your lawfully obtained income. The key part is proving that your investment funds were legally obtained, in order to avoid suspicions of money laundering. For example, if your investment funds came from investing in real estate, then you would need to provide real estate sales and purchase agreements, transfer documents and tax documents as proof.

Question: As a Chinese business owner, is there some other immigration pathway I can use besides immigrating investing $1 million or $500,000?

Attorney Yu: Another way is by coming to the US on an L-1 multinational manager or executive visa and then applying for a green card. In some situations, this can be safer and more direct than immigration through investment. Well talk more about L-1 visas another time.

The above is a general introduction to immigration policies, and should not be construed as individual legal advice. For specific legal questions, please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates. Attorney Xiaohui (Sharon) Yu is a graduate of New York University School of Law, one of the top five law schools in the US, and has practiced law at some of the top firms in the US, UK and China.

Tel: 301-838-8986, Fax: 202-595-1918; E-mail:, Address: 110 N. Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850. (All rights reserved.)

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