Atlantic Regional Center for Foreign Investment (ARCFI)

FAQ’s

Do I need my own immigration lawyer to prepare and file my immigrant investor (I-526 and I-829) petitions?

Yes.  We have relationships we can refer if needed.

Must I speak English?

No

Do I have to live in North Carolina or South Carolina if I participate with ARCFI sponsored investment opportunities?

No.  You may reside anywhere of your choosing within the United States.

What is the process to obtain lawful permanent residency through investment?

  1. Filing of an I-526 petition, in which you, as the investor, must show:
    1. that you have the required funds;
    2. that the funds were obtained from a lawful source;
    3. that the funds have been (or are in the process of being) invested; and
    4. that the investment meets USCIS requirements.
  2. Once the I-526 is approved, you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa at your nearest U.S. consulate (if you are outside of the U.S.) or for adjustment of status (if you are already in the U.S.). If approved, you are given conditional lawful permanent residency for two years.
  3. Ninety (90) days before the end of the two-year period of conditional residency, you must file Form I-829, to remove the conditional status by demonstrating that the required jobs have been created by your investment. If your I-829 application is approved, you are granted unconditional lawful permanent resident status, and are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship five years after the initial grant of conditional permanent residence.

What if I am already in the U.S. on another visa status?

You may file an I-526 petition whether you live abroad or are already in the U.S. The process for the I-526 petition remains the same. However, if you are already in the U.S., after the I-526 is approved, you may then file an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident, as opposed to filing for an immigrant visa (green card) with your local U.S. consulate. Of course, if you are not yet in the U.S., you must file for an immigrant visa with your local U.S. consulate. We can advise you more specifically on the process in a direct consultation.

May I apply if I am currently out-of-status (i.e., I live in the United States, but do not have a current visa)?

No.  Out-of-status nationals are no longer permitted to apply for permanent residency from within the United States. They must first return to their country of origin and apply through the United States Embassy there. Examples of “out-of-status” individuals are students, tourists, E-2 treaty investors who no longer have valid visas because they remained in the United States after their visas expired or were revoked.

Who will be included in the investor petition?

The petition includes the investor, the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.

How many years is my permanent resident card valid after USCIS removes conditions?

Ten years.

Are any countries excluded from eligibility for the EB-5 Visa program?

No.  The EB-5 Visa is open to all nationalities.

What are the benefits of permanent residency?

Upon receipt of the conditional green card, you and your family will enjoy the same benefits as other lawful permanent United States residents.  Some of these benefits include:

  • Live and work anywhere in the United States
  • Study in the United States at resident cost, and legally work while enrolled as a student.
  • Establish eligibility to become a United States citizen.
  • Start a business anywhere in the United States.
  • Travel abroad and return to the United States without having to apply for an additional visa.

When do I make my investment into the project?

When you sign a subscription agreement for an ARCFI-sponsored project, the investor may deposit his investment and subscription fee into a designated bank account in the United States.  You have two options for this deposit:  1) You may choose to deposit your investment directly into the project’s operating account and your funds will be put to work immediately.  2) You may choose to deposit your investment and subscription fee into the project’s escrow account, pending approval of your I-526 petition.  This account will be in a United States banking institution and will not bear interest.

Is my investment guaranteed?

No.  EB-5 statutes require that all investment be “at risk” without guarantees or redemption rights.

What are my risks with an EB-5 investment?

As with any investment, there is a risk of total financial loss.  EB-5 regulations require all investments to be “at risk.”  ARCFI is confident in the financial suitability of its sponsored projects, but makes no guarantees.  It is highly recommended that each investor seek advice from their own financial advisor prior to making an investment.

May I visit the project?

Yes.  ARCFI will gladly coordinate any visit.

How do I prove the legitimate nature of the source of funds I will invest?

In addition to your personal background information, you must provide information showing that the funds you will invest come from a legitimate source. This financial background information varies widely in individual cases, but generally includes: bank statements tracing funds from you to the UNYRC, five years of tax returns, documentation concerning the actual source (gift, inheritance, bank loan, etc.), proof of ownership in any businesses, and business licenses.

USCIS will thoroughly investigate the source of funds. This is especially true with the rise in terrorism and money laundering of ill gotten funds. Therefore we encourage all investors to completely and truthfully provide all the required information and to provide more information and not less.

May investment funds be gifted by a parent or other relative and used for an EB-5 investment?

Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual arms length transaction and is a not a mere ruse or that the gifted funds will be given back after permanent resident status is granted.

What are the tax implications of receiving a green card?

Investors should consult their tax or legal advisors prior to making an investment. In general, the United States requires income tax reporting, by all US residents, based on worldwide income. Most US states also levy an income tax. There are numerous tax treaties regarding avoidance of double taxation, but your advisor can provide you with the information you will require in your specific situation.

What makes the EB-5 Visa program different from the L-1 (manager transfer) or E-2 (Treaty/Investor)?

Participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor programs gives you permanent resident status (green card). Permanent residency requires no renewal or re-application. Here are differences with other visas:

  • The E-2 Treaty Investor programs allow for non-immigrant status only. When the qualifying business/ investment ends, so does the non-immigrant status that has been granted to the alien. The Alien will have to leave the United States unless another visa category is granted.
  • Likewise, the L-1 is a non-immigrant classification. Other U.S. non-immigrant visas, such as E-2 and H may never result in permanent residency, have time limits, and require additional filings with USCIS or Department of State. Furthermore, U.S. immigration laws may change and prevent future approval when a renewal of visa is required.

Unlike E-2, the L-1 alien can apply for immigrant classification as a Multinational Executive or Manager. If such a case is approved, which is becoming more difficult due to the high number of fraudulent cases and a subsequent tightening of the review process, the alien may apply for Permanent Resident status.

If I am granted an EB-5 Visa, how long must I remain in the United States each year?

The first requirement of any investor after they receive the visa at the United States overseas consulate office is to enter into the United States within 180 days of visa issuance from the consulate. The investor must then establish residency in the United States. Evidence of intent to reside includes opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver’s license or social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, renting or buying a home. The United States resident may work overseas if required based upon the nature of the business or profession. However, all permanent residents must remain in the US for more than 6 months each year, or they may be deemed to have abandoned their permanent residence status.

Where can I find a copy of the EB-5 regulations?

Please visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at: www.uscis.gov/eb-5-investor.