Frequently Asked Questions
Investor Immigration is a highly personal process. WSGA does not offer mass formulas or stock answers to questions that must take careful consideration of every family’s unique circumstances.
The WSGA process is custom-made and specially-formulated for each investor.
There are, however, some concerns common to many:
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF THE EB-5 VISA PROGRAM?
Qualifying investors, their spouse and their minor children (under 21 years old) will be granted U.S. Lawful, Permanent Residency.
No minimum requirements as to age, ability to speak English, employment experience, or education.
Investor and family may live/work anywhere in the United States.
Minor children may obtain employment, subject to age, state and governmental laws and regulations. Educational benefits include admission to universities at the same cost as U.S. residents.
The EB-5 program does not require immigrant investors to manage their investment on a day-to-day basis. After five years, the investor and their family may obtain U.S. citizenship, by meeting all immigration requirements, as mandated under the law.
WHERE CAN I LIVE IN THE U.S., AND HOW ABOUT FOREIGN TRAVEL?
The EB-5 Investor can live anywhere, regardless of where his investment is located.
He may choose to keep his original foreign residence, move only his family to the U.S., commute back and forth, or any combination. There are conditions of a certain minimum amount of time he must have physically spent in the U.S. to obtain the green card and eventual citizenship. When the Investor travels outside the U.S., he travels on his original passport, and must obtain the necessary visas required for that citizenship. WSGA can advise on this. His green card will speed the process, but it is not a passport. Many U.S. residents live in more than one location. Even modest-income families may have a simple summer house on a lake or at the beach, or a ski cottage in the mountains, found near many metropolitan areas. A primary residence must be chosen, however, for tax purposes. Currently, mortgage interest on a primary residence is a tax-deductable expense. WSGA can advise on this.
HOW ABOUT EDUCATION FOR MY FAMILY?
An EB-5 investor with a green card has the same access to public education for his children as any U.S. resident, in terms of admissions and reduced tuition.
Education is governed by the individual state, each of which has residency rules, admissions criteria and in-state fees specific to its territory. Some public state universities are amongst the best in the world, and rank with the top private institutions. Private education from pre-kindergarten to university is available everywhere in the U.S., and costs range from $25,000 to $50,000 per year. Within this category are boarding schools that pride themselves on the successful formation of the whole student, his intellectual and cultural development, sports abilities, study and learning habits, who is sought out by the best universities. WSGA, with advisors from top university communities, offers careful educational guidance to its clients.
Continuing adult education is very popular in the US, as people seek to update or acquire new skills or professions. It has been the traditional path for new immigrants to build new careers or get foreign credentials accredited in the U.S. College classes are a great place to meet new people. The investor or spouse has many opportunities in local institutions to grow and prosper by learning. The quality of U.S. education available for the whole family is often a prime reason for immigrating to the U.S.
IS IT DIFFICULT FOR IMMIGRANTS TO INTEGRATE INTO THE COMMUNITY?
The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. Every family has a history of coming from somewhere else.
Even “native” American Indians, originally Asian, crossed the northern land bridge from Asia to America or made it by canoe. Most Americans, with families having immigrated many generations ago, take continuing pride in their origins. Foods, traditions, holidays, ethnic street fairs, religious festivals, and the English language itself are constantly enriched through immigration into the current American reality.
Immigrants have come for economic opportunity, to flee oppression, to seek asylum, and experience freedom. All wish for the best future for their children. Together with EB-5 Investors, they continue to share a belief in the American dream of unlimited opportunity for those who work diligently and contribute value to society.
It is a model of social mobility and hope for one’s children unequaled in the world. There is no dominant ethnic majority. A glance at the immigrant origins of the current elected U.S. leadership, whether in the Presidency, Supreme Court or Congress confirms this. EB-5 Investors and their families will have a place in this society.
WSGA advisors are immigrants or of immigrant background, and welcome the opportunity to assist investors families in rapid integration.
WHAT ABOUT COMMUNITY FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES IN THE U.S.?
Previous to arrival, the EB-5 family will be counseled by WSGA as to the relative merits of where to settle. As the location of the investment has no bearing on where the investor family lives, it may take one or more moves to find the best location.
There are no barriers to mobility in the U.S. The average U.S. family moves every four years, more often in urban areas, and all schools and institutions are used to warmly welcoming newcomers. WSGA will guide the investor family to local public libraries, religious institutions if desired, or social clubs focused on tennis, golf, skiing or boating. These are all good places to form easy rapid friendships for all members of the family.
There are YMCA’s everywhere, with good pools, swimming and diving classes, and many other sports and cultural activities, most in small, friendly discussion groups. If there are children, the schools, with their extensive extra-curricular activities and sports at all levels, with very strong parent participation, are always the best socializing and integrating force. They need parents to coach and advise, or to cheer for the school teams. Local libraries have full schedules of art classes, book clubs, yoga sessions and political discussion groups. Neighboring community colleges have open enrollment for thousands of courses, for credit or not, that offer easy friendships.
Shopping is the most popular American activity. WSGA will guide the investor family to local Asian groceries for fresh baby bok choy, dried black fungus or frozen dumplings; farmers markets, home renovations super-stores and supermarkets are everywhere. Luxury and mass-market retailers, from Apple to Chanel to the Gap are in shopping centers everywhere. The WSGA promise is easy, personalized family integration.
WHAT CAN I DO IN THE U.S. IF I WANT TO BE IN BUSINESS?
Business formation is generally under state jurisdiction. Each state has slightly different rules. But they are all relatively simple.
Taxation varies by state. It is possible to set up a company (corporation, partnership, etc.) in an hour, and for very little money, a few hundred dollars. But legal and accounting advice should be obtained related to the investor’s circumstances of income, taxation, partners, family participation, payroll, and international factors of the business.
The U.S. Tax Code is complex and may influence the type of business formation most advantageous for the investor. Immigrants, for centuries, have easily started family restaurants, invested in professional sports teams, opened resort hotels, or founded manufacturing enterprises. More recently, they have flourished in services and the professions, whether medical, legal, accounting or engineering, benefitting from international connections and service to ethnic communities. Stock brokerages, real estate firms, insurance agencies, and automobile dealerships are all staffed and run by many immigrants. It has been said that “the business of America is business.” Banks are anxious to finance good proposals, and welcome immigrants with good ideas and business plans.
The WSGA advisors, all experienced in business, should be sought out for advice and connections, both international and local.
WHAT IF I WANT TO MANAGE MY OWN BUSINESS?
If you want to manage your own business, consider an EB-5 Alien Entrepreneur Investment by investing $1,000,000 into your own business which you control, and create the necessary 10 new jobs within a new enterprise.
If your goal is to have a Green Card and not to actively manage a business, it can be less expensive to utilize a structured investment program like a Regional Center EB-5 category rather than starting your own business and invest only $500,000.
HOW MANY IMMIGRANT VISAS ARE ALLOTED FOR EB-5?
The EB-5 program allots 10,000 visas per year for aliens and family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 3,000 immigrant visas are set-aside for aliens who invest in designated regional centers, areas of high unemployment or other qualifying areas.
IS EB-5 TRULY A PASSIVE INVESTMENT?
The EB-5 regulations require involvement in management or policy making. The regulations consider a limited liability corporation (LLC), which is properly structured and conforms to the Corporations Act, as sufficiently engaged in the EB-5 enterprise.