General Questions

The United States government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in 1990 in an effort to attract foreign investment and boost economic growth.Eligible foreign nationals can invest either $500,000 or
$1,000,000 in an eworexisting U.S.business.When investors demonstrate that their investment hascreated atleast ten jobs for U.S.workers,they may receive greencards for themselves and their families.Through its Regional Center program,LCR Capital Partners offers investment opportunities to meet the secriteria.

Approved EB-5 investors will receive a US green card within 18-20 months. There are two options for investors who want to obtain green cards for themselves and their family members through the EB-5 program. If the investor wants to start his own business in the US, the investment must be either $500,000 or $1,000,000 (depending upon the geographical area of the investment), and the business must directly employ 10 full time US workers.

This program has proven to be of very limited popularity. The option that is chosen by more than 95% of investors is the “regional centre EB-5” program. This program enables affluent South Africans to obtain a green card with a $500,000 investment in a construction or export-related project within a government-approved regional centre that also generates 10 full time jobs.

EB-5 investors are required to maintain their $500,000 investment in the regional investment centre for 5 years when such money is returned with interest or a share of the profits. As you can see from the graph below, the cost of the US EB-5 program compares favourably with other immigrant investor programs.

The EB-5 Program allocates 10,000 visas per year for immigrants and their family whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

The EB-5 Program offers a host of benefits to the investor, including but not limited to:

  • Low Cost with One Investment: A one-time fee of $500,000 provides green cards for an investor, his/her spouse, and children under 21 years of age.
  • Easy to Qualify: No specialized skills required. No travel or age restrictions, and no language skills requirements.
  • Personal and Professional Freedom and Security: Investors can live, work, and retire anywhere in the U.S., (and) travel easily to other countries. EB-5 participants can pursue a full range of professional and business opportunities in the world’s largest economy.
  • Healthcare: Investors can gain access to the same high-quality healthcare available to U.S. citizens.
  • Children’s Education: Investors’ children may qualify for state and federal financial aid and pay reduced “in- state” tuition at public universities.
  • Passive Investing: Through the Regional Center option, third parties manage the investments and all aspects of the project.
  • Direct Path to U.S. Citizenship: Investors can apply for U.S. citizenship five years after receiving a Green Card.
  • Removes Uncertainty: The EB-5 program does not have any backlogs or lotteries unlike other visa options (including H1-B, F1, and L1).

A TEA is a geographical area that is considered rural, or has an unemployment rate of at least 1.5 times the national average. When EB-5 Visa applicants invest in a TEA, they can invest $500,000 rather than $1,000,000. Individual states determine the precise boundaries of a TEA.

Each EB-5 Visa investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers, lawful permanent residents, or immigrants authorized to work in the United States. Job creation must occur over a period of two years. By pooling funds with other investors in a Regional Center, investors receive the benefit of indirect job creation.

If you want to manage your own business, consider a “direct investment” approach to EB-5 by investing $1,000,000 into your own business which you control, and creating the necessary 10 new jobs within that new enterprise. If your goal is to have a Green Card and not to actively manage a business, it is often cheaper, more convenient and potentially much less risky to utilize a structured investment program in the Regional Center EB-5 category rather than to start and maintain your own business.

EB-5 Regional Centers are organizations authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to receive and manage EB-5 investor funds. Regional Centers promote economic development and job creation within a specific geographic area.

In 1990, the EB-5 program originated as a “direct investment” program, but due to its overall complexity and lack of success, the Regional Center program was launched in 2002 to help formalize and popularize the program.

There are several important differences including:

 Cost: The direct program requires a $1 MM investment versus $500K for the Regional Center program

 Time: Due to the nature of the direct program, where the investor is responsible for the entire business

plan and investment documentation process, the timeline before making the investment is typically

longer with the direct EB-5 program.

 Jobs: The direct program only takes Direct W-2 jobs towards the 10 job requirement, whereas the

Regional Center program allows for indirect and induced jobs (i.e. at least 2+ more jobs per dollar than

direct program).

 Flexibility: Direct requires investor to actively operate and live near the project, where under the Regional

Center program, the investor can live and work wherever they would like.

 Adoption: Due to the above, the direct program only attracts 5% of all EB-5 applicants (versus 95% in the

RC program)

Founded in 2012 by Harvard Business School alumni, LCR Capital Partners is a partner-owned, private equity investment firm that deploys debt and equity to experienced operators of top American franchise restaurant brands – an ideal industry for EB-5 investments as it is one of the most efficient converters of capital into jobs. The firm helps its clients and their families secure U.S. green cards and permanent residency through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program. As a firm founded by first-generation U.S. immigrants, LCR understands the challenges of starting a new life in the United States and is committed to enabling a successful U.S. transition for all of our clients.

LCR received approval by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to operate the LCR Overseas Regional Center (“LORC”) for the purpose of promoting investments in job-creating projects across the Greater New York Metropolitan area.

The most common problem area has been insufficient documentation of the source of funds. Many people try to disclose the least possible information only to have the file returned with a request for further information. It is better to provide too much information rather than too little information. In this era of terror alerts and suspicions about money laundering, USCIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds.