Protecting Your EB-5 Investment
Protecting yourself and your investment should be a priority since it is the key to become a citizen and maintaining your wealth. Before signing with any company do some research and prepare yourself for some of the common mistakes made and some of the common fraudulent schemes in the EB-5 world.
1. "You don't need certification"
This is very incorrect. Every company needs to be licensed and certified. This includes all Broker Dealers as well. In order for the SEC to protect your investment and to help you recover the investment in case the opportunity goes awry, the investment must be registered.
2. The promise of permanent residency
No company can promise a green card or permanent residency. USCIS does not guarantee a green card for the EB-5 process, they offer the opportunity to apply for a green card after the investment stipulations are met.
3. Investment opportunities that plan on using different portions of an investment for multiple separate projects.
This is a guaranteed way to be denied for a green card, and is also one of the hardest ways to protect an investment. Dividing an investment into multiple projects makes is extremely hard to prove that you have followed all program requirements to be able to receive a green card and creates ample room for error during the process.
4. Guaranteed returns on investments.
There is no way to guarantee returns on an investment because of the nature of the business. There are always circumstances that can altar the profit of a project. If a company can guarantee the percentage of returns on an investment, then it is no longer an investment, it is instead a loan and DOES NOT qualify for a green card through the EB-5 process. Your investment MUST be at RISK as part of the terms for the EB-5 process.
5. Investment firms that will not use an escrow account to handle money.
Escrow accounts are necessary for all major business deals. The account holds and monitors the money, and only releases the money once it is safe. This helps to protect your investment and protect yourself from individuals looking to take your money and run.
6. Regional Centers that have lost the USCIS designation before
If USCIS has gone as far as removing certification from a center, it would be in your best interest to avoid dealing with the regional center. It is very likely they have been caught making false promises or promoting illegitimate projects.
7.Firms who have had charges brought against them for fraud or mishandling money
This is the number one sign you should avoid a project or regional center. It is showing that these individuals have had a string of improper uses and are guaranteed to lose your investment. Though finding this out is one sure fire way to protect your investment, many individuals don't do the research required to find this fact out about a regional center before signing with them.