When applying for any type of permanent residency in the US, foreign nationals have to put up with a lot of hassles. But of all the ways to get a green card, the EB-5 visa program probably comes with the least amount of headaches.
Still, there are some important things you should know about the EB-5 visa program. Here, then, are five things most people don’t know about the process that they probably should:
1. There Are No Refunds — Like any investment, the $500,000 or $1 million you invest as part of the EB-5 visa program comes with some risks. You are not guaranteed to make money on the deal. And if you lose some or all of your investment, you can’t get your money back. That’s why it’s critically important to do your due diligence before making your investment. That way you can choose the one with the best return and the lowest risks.
2. Don’t Break the Rules — If you break any of the program’s rules and you get caught, you can be disqualified from participating in the program forever. This also applies to the regional center company that you invest with. Both the investor and the regional center also may be subject to civil and even criminal prosecution.
3. Trust, But Verify — Many regional centers will make a slick, glossy presentation about their earning potential. But it’s a good idea to use multiple outside sources to verify what they are telling you. It’s important that you protect your investment as well as giving yourself an opportunity to get a green card.
4. Don’t Save Money on the Lawyer — The place to cut corners isn’t your attorney. If you hire a lawyers who charges a lot less than other attorneys, it’s probably because he or she isn’t as experienced in immigration law.
5. The Upfront Investment Is Only the Beginning — The $500,000 or $1 million investment you make is only the basic fee. You should expect to pay out more money, including attorneys fees, application and processing fees, and so on. The average additional expense can be up to $50,000 to $60,000 on top of your original investment.