The US has always welcomed investors and businesspersons who wish to invest and trade in the US. There are primarily two avenues for businesspersons /investors to migrate to the US under the EB-5 visa category: a) Buying or starting a Direct Investment business. b) Investing in a regional center or partnership.
How do we help our clients? Our advisory and brokerage services team helps immigrants buy / start businesses to help them obtain PERMANENT RESIDENCE in the US under the EB-5visa category or non-immigrant visas under the E2 category as well by helping them buy or start their own businesses. We team up with attorneys and CPAs to offer comprehensive end-to-end solutions to help our clients get approval in a streamlined manner. More importantly, we use our established relationships with major banks to help our clients raise capital to expand their businesses by obtaining loans to leverage their equity.
What do we charge and do we offer payment plans?
We charge $75,000 as a combined fee for the immigration attorney, CPA and business broker/ adviser. This includes FULL advisory, accounting and legal support till approval of the client's I-829 (permanent green card), which is usually 60 months after filing of I-526. Clients may pay in 2 installments of 1) 65% when they sign up, 2) 35% when they receive their I-526 approval. This significantly reduces the burden on our client’s finances as well as ensures that our clients get full value for money.
What are the different options available for investors who wish to obtain EB-5 category immigrant visas?
Investors can either choose to go with Direct Investments or with Regional Centers. Direct Investment Businesses usually need to invest $1,000,000 to start or buy a business. However, those investors who are willing to invest in Targeted Employment Areas need to invest only $500,000 to buy or start a business. There are several attractive Direct Investment locations available in FL, and we strongly advise our clients to consider Florida as it has a low cost of living and a low cost of doing business (with no state income tax) and has a nice warm climate.
We're usually able to help our clients get small business loans equal to 3 times their equity, and this helps our clients to significantly improve their Return on Equity, as the interest rate is usually a lot less than the earnings from the borrowed funds.
Below is an objective comparison that lists the reason EB-5 visa seekers should select Direct Investment Businesses to obtain EB-5 immigrant visas. In a nutshell, it is safer, and easier and faster to get EB-5 visa approval with Direct Investment Businesses.
1) Processing times: EB-5 visa petitions filed on the basis of Direct Investment Businesses are approved in less than half the time it takes for petitions filed by regional centers to be approved, as regional centers are under active investigation for fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, conflict of interest and violation of several laws by multiple US government agencies such as DHS, SEC, IRS, FBI, etc. as well as foreign government agencies. We can state with confidence that ALL regional centers have committed securities fraud (by failing to disclose material facts to EB-5visa seekers), tax fraud, money laundering and violated securities laws in the US and overseas by illegally offering and selling securities overseas, laundering funds in order to evade foreign exchange controls and illegally paying commissions to sell securities. As seen by the aggressive action taken by DHS and SEC to detect and prevent fraud against EB-5 visa seekers, the regional center program is still a very risky option for EB-5 visa investors.
2) Return on Investment: The annual return on equity (ROE) is usually 1% or less when EB-5 visa seekers opt for regional centers, and it is usually over 15% when EB-5 visa seekers choose Genuine Direct Investment Businesses and manage it themselves.
3) Visa and Capital loss: Capital and visa loss are quite common in regional centers due to fraud and conflict of interest, while none of our clients have experienced capital loss, visa loss or operating loss since 2004.
4) Exit strategy: The exit strategies are truly nightmarish in regional centers, and it is also quite common to see Regional Center Promoters fleecing their investors by forcing them to use real estate agents or companies affiliated with the Promoters to exit the investments. Hundreds of investors are suing the promoters of EB-5 Regional Centers for fraud as well, and many promoters of regional centers are now being investigated by state and federal prosecutors for fraud and other felonies. In contrast, EB-5 visa seekers who chose Genuine Direct Investment Businesses have had full control and ownership of their business from day one, and could exit as and when they chose, instead of being at the mercy of unscrupulous regional center promoters.
5) Nepotism: Nepotism is rampant in regional centers, and it is quite common for partnership and regional center promoters to hire friends and family members at inflated salaries, instead of hiring employees in a competitive and transparent manner. Direct Investment Business owners can hire employees in a transparent and competitive manner, thus saving money and preventing fraud and conflict of interest.
6) Conflict of interest and fraud: Conflict of interest is quite common as regional center and partnership promoters are known to procure goods and services from related parties at inflated costs. Direct Investment Business owners can avoid this by buying goods and services in a competitive manner.
7) Securities law violations: Partnership and Regional Center promoters usually offer and sell securities in an illegal manner in the US and abroad. This is not applicable to Direct Investment Businesses.
8) Full control of funds and business at all times: Our client funds are usually kept in the bank account of corporate entities owned and controlled by our clients, with full access to details 24x7 through internet banking and very rarely kept in escrow. Our competitors unnecessarily lock EB-5 visa investor funds in escrow.
Direct Investments: Obtaining Permanent Resident status in the US under Direct Investment option of EB-5 visa has several advantages over Regional Centers.
They are: a) Reduced Risk of fraud and conflict of interest, due to full ownership and control of the business from day 1. b) Faster visa approval and easy exit strategy. c) Reduced risk of losing immigration status or capital. d) Reduced risk of tax problems. e) Significantly higher earnings.
What is the process that our EB-5 visa clients undergo?
The process is quite simple and straightforward:
1) Our clients sign up with us, and we hire an immigration attorney and CPA to represent our client. The client directly sends their documents to the Attorney, who prepares the forms to file the client's I-526. We hold extensive discussions with our client to learn what are our client's preferences, and what may be appropriate choices based on the client's preferences of location, budget, career goals, etc.
2) The attorney and CPA form a corporate entity on behalf of our client. This entity is wholly owned and controlled by our clients. This eliminates any potential for fraud or conflict of interest.
3) The client wires their funds into their bank account, and sends us evidence that the funds were legally acquired and lawfully transmitted.
4) The client sends their documents to the attorney, who uses the CPA prepared documents and client supplied documents as part of the supporting documents filed in support of the I-526 petition.
5) We sometimes help our clients obtain business loans, and we select an appropriate location for our client's business. We then conduct necessary negotiations with franchisor (if the client opts for franchise) and hire the architect, engineer and contractors (if needed to build or modify a location to comply with code or business needs).
6) The attorney files the I-526 along with supporting documentation (CPA prepared records, bank statements, leases, purchase records, contracts, payroll records such as W4 / I9 etc.).
7) After the client gets approved, (s)he can either choose to adjust status (if in the US) or opt for consular processing if overseas.
8) When the client is in the country, they start managing their business, and if needed, undergo necessary franchisor training.
9) After 21 months of being admitted in I-526 status, the immigration attorney would file form I-829 along with CPA prepared documentary records (bank records, income and sales tax records, payroll records, lease copies, etc.) in order to prove that the funds were invested and stayed invested, and that 10 jobs were created and maintained for US citizens or LPR's. Our clients usually have a MAJOR advantage, as it is easy for Genuine Direct Investment Businesses to create and maintain jobs, whereas regional centers always struggle with this issue.
10) Once the Client's I-829 is approved, our contractual responsibility ends, and our client is free to either hold onto their business or sell it. In most cases, our clients prefer to hold onto their business as we usually place our clients in solid businesses situated in great locations, and it makes no sense to sell.
WHY should EB-5 visa applicants buy or start Direct Investment Businesses using our firm?
a) INTEGRITY, ACCOUNTABILITY and TRANSPARENCY: We are probably the only EB-5 business brokers and advisors to offer the following guarantees to our clients:
1) We offer a written guarantee that we will disclose all material facts and will never engage in conflict of interest with our clients. You will usually NEVER see the CEO and CFO of a Regional Center or Partnership promoter or third rate franchise promoter offer this written guarantee, because they usually don't disclose all material facts, nor do they refrain from engaging in conflict of interest.
2) We've teamed up with CPAs and attorneys to offer our EB-5 investor clients a turnkey solution, where we help them to not only buy / start up businesses, but also document the finances and operations with the help of the CPA and have the attorney file the papers with the USCIS. Our team is probably the only team confident enough in our competence that we offer a 100% fee refund guarantee in case our client's petition is denied due to any reason attributed to us. To our knowledge, NONE of our competitors offer the same fee refund guarantee as they don't have confidence in their experience and expertise.
b) Easy exit strategy: First and foremost, it is a lot easier to exit and get a profit when you've your own direct investment as you can sell whenever you want to whosoever you want with the broker of your choice. We never place any restrictions on which service provider you wish to use to exit your investment. If you find our service to be honest, fair and transparent, use us in the future too. If you find us to be unprofessional or dishonest, let someone better than us serve you. Our EB-5 visa investor clients can easily sell their business when they want and to whosoever they want without any restrictions whatsoever, as we usually place our clients in blue chip franchises or solid businesses that are easy to sell. EB-5 Visa investors who opt for third rate franchises or illiquid partnerships or regional centers find that exiting is a harrowing AND absurdly expensive experience.
c) Growth and stability: We help our clients get business loans in order to leverage their equity and enhance their earnings in a strategic manner. We only suggest investing in businesses where we're satisfied that our clients will be able to earn a decent return on investment and will be able to avoid erosion of their equity. Unlike Regional Centers, we have only ONE agenda: Helping our clients grow in a safe, ethical and profitable manner. We suggest businesses such as banks (small community owned banks), gas stations (Shell, Hess, BP, Chevron, etc.), hotels (Super 8, Days Inn, etc.), gymnasiums (such as Planet Fitness), skating rinks, quick service restaurants (such as Subways, Dairy Queen, etc.) etc. where we know for a fact that our clients will have a strong chance to succeed, Our track record speaks for itself: None of our EB-5 immigrant investor clients have experienced operating loss, visa loss or capital loss since 2004. As a matter of fact, NONE of our clients have made less than 15% Operating profit annually even during the economic downturn of the past few years.
d) No hassle management: If our EB-5 investor clients don't wish to manage the business, we will do it for them for a competitive fee and unprecedented flexibility. No fine print, no excuses, no legalese. We believe in honesty and transparency and always have the business account statements prepared by a Licensed CPA in every quarter (which is great for future expansion and to ensure tax & USCIS compliance). We're proud of our track record of helping our clients get significantly better returns on their investment when compared with over 200 Regional Centers we surveyed so far. We're certain that Regional Centers will always fall short when compared against the business investments we suggest. For details see bottom of this page.
e) Freedom from fraud and 100% control of your business and funds: Our EB-5 and E2 clients always own 100% of their business and have full control of their business and business funds. This helps significantly reduce the potential for fraud against our clients and usually results in far higher earnings compared to those seen in partnerships and regional centers.
f) Focus on quality: Unlike our competitors, we do NOT advise our clients to invest in risky franchises such as Voodoo BBQ, Marcos Pizza, etc. and we strongly discourage our EB-5, EB-1C and E2 clients from investing in partnerships and regional centers as they're usually engaged in FRAUD, violations of securities laws and conflict of interest. This is why we've NEVER had a client rejected at I-526 or I-829 stage and none of our clients have experienced operating or capital losses in businesses where we played an advisory or brokerage role.
Why do we advise our clients to buy / start up a franchise business? Not only is it easier to get approval from USCIS, it is also easier to make money and in case you're going wrong, most franchisors actually advise you on how to improve your performance in that particular business, where they've accumulated several years of subject matter expertise. Most importantly, it is a whole lot easier to sell a franchised business than an unfranchised one.
Having said that, some businesses such as skating rinks, auto dealerships for used cars or banquet halls for instance, are not franchised and are designed, owned and operated by individual owners who are responsible for attracting and retaining customers and maintaining goodwill. Our advice depends on our client's goals, but most of our clients are advised to go with franchises and some choose to go for family oriented businesses such as Family Entertainment Centers, Skating Rinks, Small to Mid-Sized Banquet Facilities geared towards marriages, engagements, birthdays, etc.
How many clients have we helped obtain EB-5 immigrant visas under Direct Investment? We've successfully helped over 150 clients so far, and expect to add more to the list over time.
What if an EB-5 investor doesn't want to operate their own business?
We offer a great solution called Managed EB-5 businesses: We provide business management services to EB-5 clients, where we manage businesses on behalf of our clients and pay them the first 10% of annual ROE, as well as 75% of the increase in value when the client decides to sell their business. This is a much better deal than that offered by regional centers or "partnerships", where investors are lucky to see even 1% annual ROE, and usually experience capital loss instead of capital gains. This service is only available in Florida. In plain words, an investor who starts a business with $500,000 equity will get the first $50,000 in annual net profits, and in case the business doesn't earn even $50,000 in annual net profits, we will manage it for FREE! If an EB-5 client's business was started with $500,000 in equity and sold for $800,000, our client would get to keep $225,000 in the capital gains. This is a great deal that is NOT offered by regional centers, partnerships or any of our competitors, and we can offer deals like these simply because we place our clients in solid businesses. The biggest advantage this has over regional centers is that the client has full ownership and control of the business at all times, and can not only terminate our services if (s)he is unhappy with them, but can also sell their business(es) when they want and to whosoever they want at market rates. In regional centers and partnerships, EB-5 investors are powerless puppets who have to mutely watch their equity being eroded, while with us, EB-5 investors have full control of their business and funds, and can freely fire incompetent or dishonest employees or managers.