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EB-5基本资料

EB-5签证投资选择

作者:Elizabeth Krukova, Esq.

直接投资 V.S. 通过区域中心投资

投资移民项目——即EB-5——是为外国投资人在美做出投资以后获得永久居留权的所设立的签证项目。投资人需要投资规定的金额到新商业企业中,投资方式共有两种:1. 个人投资(直接投资)2. 通过政府获批的区域中心进行投资

直接投资基础知识

Direct Investment vs Regional Center Investment

直接投资是指外籍人士直接投资于企业,而不是通过中介进行投资。最低投资额为100万美元,除非企业位于目标就业区(TEA)。投资位于目标就业区的企业最低投资额为50万美元。直接投资最主要的特点是递交签证申请的时候,投资人需要证明其投资直接(而非间接)在两年时间里创立了至少十个美国全职工作岗位。只有提交满足要求的有效证明签证才会获批。直接工作岗位室实际创造的可认明的(W-2雇员),并且在投资接收企业内产生的工作岗位。除了满足工作岗位创立要求,选择直接投资的投资人还需要满足对所有EB-5申请人(不仅仅是直接投资的投资人)提出的法律要求,其中包括:“新商业企业”的建立,投资人介入企业管理,以及位于目标就业区的企业需要提供相关证明。

区域中心基础知识

通过区域中心进行投资是指外籍人士通过美国政府批准的区域中心进行投资。最低投资额为100万美元,如果投资的项目位于目标就业区,则最低投资金额为50万美元。不同于直接投资,通过区域中心进行投资计算创立的工作岗位将包括两年内直接间接创立的美国全职工作岗位。只有提交满足要求的有效证明签证才会获批。间接工作岗位是那些区域中心投资与新商业企业以后间接创造的工作岗位。

In the regional center method, the foreign individual invests in an enterprise through a government-approved regional center. The minimum investment amount is $1 million, or $500,000 if the regional center is located in a TEA. Most, but not all, regional centers are located in TEAs. Unlike a direct investor, a regional center investor can satisfy the job-creation requirement by creating direct or indirect full-time jobs for at least ten employees within two years of the visa petition's approval. Indirect jobs are those created collaterally as a result of a regional center's dispersal of investments to affiliated new commercial enterprises. Moreover, because a regional center is pre-approved by the government to promote economic growth, regional center investors generally will not have to conduct independent investigation and analysis to prove in the visa petition that the job-creation requirement has been met, that a new commercial enterprise has been established, or that the investor will engage in the management of the enterprise. Because most regional centers are also pre-approved by the government as being located in TEAs, the investor's evidentiary burden is often further lightened if the reduced investment amount of $500,000 is desired.

Choosing an Investment Method

While the regional center method may be less burdensome in many respects, it may not appeal to every EB-5 investor. If individuals want to start their own business or expand a preexisting one, and therefore seek greater control of their investment and company operations, the direct method may be the better option. Indeed, the necessity to obtain permanent residency through direct investment may simply be incidental to a foreign entrepreneur's primary objective of expanding business operations to the United States. Also, because business ventures will tend to have a higher chance of success in regions with better economic conditions, investors seeking to maximize profits may find more options by investing directly rather than in a regional center, most of which are located in TEAs. Furthermore, greater business control may facilitate easier collection of evidence to prove the satisfaction of legal requirements, thereby assuaging, to some degree, the evidentiary burden of direct investors. Nevertheless, a strong business motivation alone is insufficient to make the direct method a good option, as other factors must be considered. Most importantly, the investor must consider the feasibility of creating actual, identifiable full-time jobs within the enterprise for at least ten qualifying employees.

At the other end, the indirectness of the regional center method may appeal to investors who are less business-driven. Regional center investors can take advantage of established, government-approved economic units rather than expending time and energy to build their own enterprise. Moreover, in addition to carrying a lighter evidentiary burden, regional center investors who obtain permanent residency will also have more geographic mobility both within and outside of the United States since they are not tethered to the location of the commercial enterprise as are direct investors who are more directly involved with their investment. However, investing through the intermediary of a regional center does not eliminate the importance of due diligence. Individuals interested in regional center investment will want to consider the qualifications of available regional centers and their affiliated enterprises, including information about government approval, investment experience, success in job creation, financial outlook, and visa petition approval rates.

What All EB-5 Investors Should Keep in Mind

All foreign individuals considering the EB-5 program should consult an immigration attorney to choose the investment method best tailored to their circumstances. They should ask questions about issues including, but not limited to, those discussed in the previous paragraphs so that the relevant features of an individual's situation can be taken into account when deciding the proper investment method, and the suitability of the EB-5 program in general.

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