Tuesday, July 25, 2017 9:47 pm
With news agog both in the print and social media last week of an American who duped some Nigerians on the pretext of assisting them to acquire the EB-5 visa, I compelled myself to articulate this piece so as to better educate Nigerians on the EB-5 visa and its processes so readers can be better aware and not fall victim to fraudsters and chancers.
The American national, Marco Antonio Ramirez defrauded a Nigerian to the tune of $545,000 under the pretense that the money would be used to invest in the United States to facilitate the Green Card. He has been recently granted bail of $250,000 but the case is still in court.
As a professional with many years of experience in assisting clients secure investments in the United States and obtain their valid EB-5 visas, I can confirm that the visa is authentic and can definitely be obtained by Nigerians who meet the stipulated provisions.
However, we cannot out that criminals and opportunists will attempt to take advantage of the Nigerians who are not educated in the process and this is why I am writing this article so as to expose Nigerians to the rules and regulations and as such ensuring that people don’t get swindled.
If you are ready to pay the stipulated amount and go through the official processes, yes, you can obtain the American Green Card (EB-5) with your money right from Nigeria without being swindled and Nigerian families aspiring for US green cards would also qualify and have their investment work for them as they obtain the permanent residents inclusive of their household.
Given the uncertainty of travel restrictions, I can also categorically state that obtaining a green card is perhaps the best way of emigrating to the US. If freedom to travel, work and live with your family anywhere in the US is what you are looking at, an EB-5 green card is just the right thing for you and your family provided you are talking to the right people.
EB-5 Visa- Briefly
The EB-5 visa (Employment-Based Fifth preference category  or EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program) was created by Congress in 1990 by the Immigration Act to stimulate the U.S. economy, provides a method for eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents.
Basically, it is an avenue for foreigners to bring capital investment into the United States in exchange for American citizenship both from the primary applicant, their spouses and unmarried children under age 21. EB-5 permanent residents’ visas have emerged as the best bet for Nigerian families aspiring for US citizenship.
The EB-5 investor is expected to invest $1 million or $500,000 (rural) in a new commercial enterprise, and would also engage in the management of the new enterprise creating ten full-time jobs for U.S. citizens. To avoid the rigorous requirements, the option of an approved Regional Centers is perfect for the investor.
In the case where you are going to start a new enterprise, the Commercial Enterprise and Job Creation requirement of the EB-5 visa program stipulates that for an entity to meet its enterprise criteria, the enterprise must provide for ten full-time jobs as a holding company and/or its wholly owned subsidiaries, provided that each such subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business. This shall include; a sole proprietorship, partnership (whether limited or general), holding company, joint venture, corporation, business trust, or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned.
Regional Center – Briefly
The Regional Center is an organisation designated to sponsor capital investment projects for investment by EB-5 investors. Regional centers help EB-5 investors and project developers because they lessen the difficulty of meeting the qualifying job creation requirements under the EB-5 program.
Basically, Regional Center (RC) is a service agent organisation for investors and companies looking to complete a project under the EB-5 Program. A regional center can be any private or public economic entity that is involved with the promotion of increased domestic capital, job creation, improved regional productivity, and increased economic growth. Regional centers are best for EB-5 applicants who are more concerned with obtaining residency status rather than directly managing an investment on their own.
An RC represents one of two ways for EB-5 investors to obtain conditional permanent residence; the other being direct investment into a new commercial enterprise. Instead of investing directly into the project, the RC sets up an investment fund for the benefit of the EB-5 investors. Investors purchase equity stakes in the investment fund. Then, the fund either purchases equity in the job creating entity (the equity model) or loans the job creating entity money (the loan model). The job creating entity then uses the investment from the fund in the project to create jobs indirectly.
The main advantage of regional centers, it allows the project to count indirect and induced jobs in addition to direct jobs towards the job creation requirement. The number of indirect jobs created through an EB-5 investor’s capital investment is based upon a business plan and a detailed economic analysis, which is evaluated and approved by the US government.
Many investors find the regional center investment model attractive because the investor can live anywhere in the United States. He or she does not need to live by the project. Additionally, he or she can work anywhere because employment is not tied to the new commercial enterprise or the project. The EB-5 visa also allows the investor’s dependents (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) to move permanently to the United States. The dependents can go to school or work without restriction in the United States.
With the EB-5 Investment Visa program sets to expire in September 30, 2017, after President Donald Trump renewed for an extension in May 5th, 2017. The investment fee have been proposed by US congress should increase from 60% to 75% when re-introduced.
Applicants or investors making a rush for EB-5 visas should take the advantage now, act cautiously and guard themselves against fraud by following a step-by-step approach and engaging an expert for complete guidance.