....by Warren Kirshenbaum
Acquiring capital for real estate investments is a difficult and daunting task in this weak economy. The uncertainty of the real estate market has become a strong barrier between investors and real estate developers, leaving developers with very few options for obtaining capital. The absence of eager/willing investors has prompted real estate developers to seek innovative means of financing. One attractive source of financing is through foreign investment that is generated through the EB-5 Green Card program. EB-5 is part of the Immigration Act of 1990 established for the purpose of attracting foreign capital to the United States. Under this program, 10,000 green cards are set aside every year for qualifying candidates. A qualified candidate must satisfy three basic requirements in order to be considered for approval. These basic requirements include 1) establishing a U.S. business or investing in an existing business that was created or structured after November 19, 1990, 2) the foreign national must have invested $1 million in the business or $500,000 when investing in targeted employment areas and 3) the newly created business must create full time employment for 10 U.S. workers for a specified amount of time. Once these requirements are met, the EB-5 investors must also demonstrate that they, their spouses and their children under the age of twenty-one have resided in the U.S. for two years by means of conditional visas.
The EB-5 Program promotes the infusion of foreign capital into the American economy. This benefits real estate developers seeking additional investment capital for their projects. The U.S. developer can obtain financing from the foreign investor in order to commence or complete local development projects. This is a great opportunity for American developers to secure capital for their projects in an economy where banks are denying loans and U.S. investors are reluctant to invest in new endeavors. The program not only benefits U.S. developers, but also offers incentives to foreign investors desiring to live out the American dream. In exchange for the investor’s capital being put to work in the U.S., they receive green cards for themselves and their families as long as all of the program requirements are met. This is a win-win situation for both the U.S. developer and the foreign investor in achieving their goals of real estate investment/development and expedited permanent residency status, respectively.
EB-5 applicants invest foreign capital through Regional Centers that have varying investments programs. The Regional Center may be a state government agency, a corporation or a private venture. Companies or private entities that are approved EB-5 Regional Centers can directly contact foreign investors who are interested in participating in the immigration program. The Regional Center must verify that the investor’s capital was earned through lawful activity; otherwise it cannot be utilized for the program. Once all of the required elements are met, the Regional Center can begin the application process for the foreign investor. Don’t know where there is a regional Center? The Cherrytree Group can help you find one in your area.
At the Cherrytree Group we have extensive knowledge in structuring investments to achieve the optimal return on investment. The EB-5 provides valuable investment to new real estate development projects.