A Story of EB 5 Success

By Andrew Bartlett

To be sure, there are stories of people out there who have had success and built wonderful new lives via the EB-5 immigrant investor program. They have, in essence, “invested” their way to permanent residence in the United States. Meet the Green family…

The Green Family

Shortly after the EB-5 immigrant investor programs were reformed, the Greens became one of the first to take advantage of them. They invested in a retail project of some scope, from which they receive an annual return. Because they used the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, which involves investment in a designated regional center, which is managed by the company that holds the regional center designation, they were not required to live in the same area as where they invested; they were free to roam about the country and make their new life where they chose.

As is required by the laws governing the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the Greens’ permanent residence was initially subject to a two-year conditional period. This meant that, at the end of the two-year period, they had to prove that they had not withdrawn the investment, and the regional center had to provide evidence that it had taken all necessary steps to produce ten new jobs per investor, as it had presented in a business plan submitted with the initial petition. The Greens succeeded in having the conditions removed from their permanent residence, and will be eligible to file to become US citizens, if they so choose (they do not, however, have to become citizens to stay in the United States-having had the condition removed from their permanent residence, the Greens are now eligible to remain in the states for as long as they like-the rest of their lives, in fact).

The Greens ultimately settled into their Florida home and took up residence in a home along the fairway of a beautiful Florida golf course. They have top amenities that include a fitness center and swimming pool, as well as access to the same amount of land as their previous home, but without the hassles of caring for or maintaining any of it. Mr. Green was struck by the incredible decrease in the cost of living, remarking at the low price of petroleum gas.

Speaking about the EB-5 visa and what he has achieved, he says, “We now enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, [in] a very nice climate, with English-speaking people, and a low cost of living. The investment is a small amount to pay for that benefit.”

Is every story a success?

Certainly not. There are those who fail to think things all the way through, or who get caught up in the hype of an overzealous sales pitch for a “prime” sunny property, and commit themselves before thinking about whether or not they really want to be permanent residents of the United States. That was not the case for the Greens because they took the time, took care, partnered with immigration and relocation experts, and learned about the place where they wanted to spend their retirement years. There is, of course, a chance that immigrating to the United States will not be the right choice for you, which is perfectly reasonable, and it is best that you make the most enjoyable, livable choice for yourself.

A GROUP DECISION

As a final word, we would like to interject that virtually no persons life decisions are made in a vacuum. As you consider these points, attempt to answer the question,

“Why do you want to live in the USA?”

Consider all the people-your partner, wife or husband, children, relatives, and others-who will be affected by your decision and who have a stake in your future. Share this information with them, take your choice seriously, and come to an agreeable consensus among yourselves.

Does this mean that you have to listen to those who vote against it? Or even for it? No, certainly not. But it does give everyone the opportunity to share in the decision and to alleviate any fears and concerns. It also gives you the opportunity to hear other arguments for and against immigrating-arguments you yourself may not have considered. And it gives you the opportunity to openly address issues and plan for them, as mentioned previously, to alleviate the stress of relocating and building a new life in a new country.

As you do this, think beyond the initial decision, on into the future. Think about how certain circumstances or occurrences might change your view of life in the states-things like unexpected serious illness or a child choosing to move back to your home country. These are issues that might weigh on your decision quite a lot or very little; it helps to be secure in the knowledge now that either you can live with this choice despite them, or that you will require an exit strategy to manage them.

Deciding to pull up stakes, invest savings, and move to a foreign country is no small decision. It is a decision of importance and one that is not made in the span of time it takes to be pitched an investment opportunity. It takes an average of three months to a year to do your due diligence, learn about life in the United States, make an informed decision, organize your investment, and move. Expect it to take time, allot that time to good decision making, and make sure that life in the United States of America is the best possible life for you.

More details on EB5 investments and the green card visa are available on http://www.whicheb5.com where you will be offered the independent advice you need to help you avoid pitfalls in your applications.

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