An immigrant investor who invests $1 Million (or $500,000 in a target employment area) and creates 10 jobs for American workers can achieve permanent residency (or green card) for themselves and qualifying family members. To qualify as an “investment” the investor’s project is required to have risk. Many countries have investment immigration programs but the most popular programs are that of the United States, Australia, Canada and United Kingdom.
The program has various requirements and stipulations such as how the jobs are counted, what documentation needs to be provided and more. There are 2 styles of investment, investing directly or through a federally-designated Regional Center. When investing directly, the investor makes a direct investment into a job creating company. When investing directly, the investor must invest at least $1 Million and can only record jobs that are created through direct hiring of employees.
A USCIS approved Regional Center is a vehicle that has gone through a sort of pre-approval process with USCIS. The Regional Center pilot program’s core purpose is to make the EB-5 investment process easier for the investor, more streamlined for USCIS approvals and further promote U.S. economic growth. The Regional Center essentially can take all the management and job creation responsibilities out of the hands of the investor. The Regional Center is a powerful job creating entity that is granted the capability to pool multiple investors together like a “fund”, and create jobs in multiple direct and indirect capacities. Regional Centers can also invest in Target Employment Areas (TEA’s) which drops the minimum initial investment amount to $500,000. Over 80% of all EB-5 investments go through Regional Centers.
The EB-5 investment is split into 2 phases. In the beginning, the investor is granted a conditional or “temporary” green card. After 2 years and successfully creating 10 jobs through their investment, the conditions are removed and a “Permanent” green card is given to the investor. If investing through our Regional Center, we make this process simple for the investors to complete.
Berkeley Regional Center& EB-5 Program Advantages
The Berkeley Regional Center has the capability of qualifying job creation by both direct and indirect employment creation from the project.
Foreign investors use their own funds and do not need sponsorship from relatives or employers.
Day to day management responsibilities for the EB-5 project are not required by the investor.
Ability to live and work anywhere in the United States, regardless of the Regional Centers location. Foreign investor is not required to speak English, have related business experience, or achieve minimum education requirements.
The right to travel outside of the United States and return to the United States without a visa.
Education at colleges and universities for students at U.S. resident costs.
Ability to apply for U.S. citizenship once you have been a permanent resident for more than five years.
The Berkeley Regional Center is a fully approved federally-designated (USCIS) Regional Center with a focus on residential construction and related activities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.
USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise (or a fancy way of saying a new business), which is a commercial enterprise:
Established after Nov. 29, 1990, (or) Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990,
Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results,
Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs:
Commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:
A sole proprietorship
Partnership (whether limited or general)
Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned
This definition includes a commercial enterprise consisting of a holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries, provided that each such subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business.
Note: This definition does not include noncommercial activity such as owning and operating a personal residence.
EB-5 Investment Requirements
Job Creation Requirements
Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.
Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs:
Direct jobs are actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise into which the EB-5 investor has directly invested his or her capital.
Indirect jobs are those jobs shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an EB-5 investor. A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a regional center. The regional center often uses an economic impact model such as RIMS-II or IMPLAN (See Exhibits A – RIMS-II).
THE BERKELEY REGIONAL CENTER ONLY USES INDIRECT JOBS, THE MOST SIMPLE AND RELIABLE FORM OF JOB CREATION.
Capital Investment Requirements
Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur, provided that the alien entrepreneur is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness. All capital shall be valued at fair-market value in United States dollars. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered capital for the purposes of section 203(b)(5) of the Act.
Note: Investment capital cannot be borrowed.
REQUIRED MINIMUM INVESTMENTS ARE
GENERAL: The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.
TARGETED EMPLOYMENT AREA (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.
A targeted employment area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.
A rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.
Why the BRC has the best EB-5 projects
The Berkeley Regional Center is a federally-designated Regional Center that offers potential investors the fastest and lowest risk opportunity to obtain an EB-5 visa. Our elite management team and EB-5 consultants have over 400 projects of EB-5 experience between us. All BRC projects follow the same investment strategy which embodies the same strengths, job creation methodology and presentation format that USCIS prefers. This includes projects from the initial business plan all the way through to the I-829 petition. With a proven strategy for success, we lower the investors risk considerably. This benefits the investors because when USCIS gets the petition, they are already confident in knowing what they are getting. By design, our EB-5 investments contain the following core characteristics that you should consider when choosing a Regional Center to invest with.
APPROVED JOB METHODOLOGY
Not only is the job creation, the most important factor in EB-5 investment but is also the reason our projects are the most competitive in the EB-5 industry. The most important element that determines an EB-5 investor’s success is the ability to prove that ten new qualifying jobs have been created. Our projects work almost entirely on construction jobs, which are transparent, easy to account for, and strong contractual arrangements guarantees the completion of the finished asset.
BRC projects always create extra jobs above and beyond what is required by policy. USCIS designated Regional Centers benefit from being allowed to utilize both direct and indirect job creation to support the investor’s requirement to create at least ten full-time jobs for American workers. According to USCIS, proof of job creation is the leading cause of denial for petitions under the EB-5 program.
As an example, if a hotel project generates most of its job creation from operations, when do you find out if the operations are successful? Operations cannot start until the project is built, furnished and open for business. If occupancy is slow in the beginning, the job creation numbers may get hit significantly compared to the original business plan estimates. Naturally, by the time investors learn that there is a problem with the job creation methodology, it is too late to rectify the situation. The investors are already in the investment irrevocably and if the job creation fails, they will likely lose their visa.
For BRC projects that are almost 100% based on construction, all the jobs are created up front at the very beginning of the investment.
DEFINED EXIT STRATEGY
The loan term in BRC projects are five or six years from the time the first investor funds are placed. Once the loans are repaid, the investors hold a shareholder vote to liquidate the partnership. There is nothing to sell due to being a debt style investment; this way the investor is more likely to recoup their investment and preserve all the capital placed in the project.
LOW-RISK SAFE INVESTMENT
In terms of the reliability for return of original capital, BRC projects should be considered one of the “safest” EB-5 Regional Centers. BRC projects will have the pledge the master developer, or a private entity for return of the original investment. Frequently, investments are secured by a combination of security interests in the investment property, cash flows of the operations, and membership interests within the entities.
TRANSPARENCY OF INVESTMENT
Investors in BRC Partnerships have a right to access partnership records. Thus our investors have insight into the financial records of the partnership.
NO DAY-TO-DAY MANAGEMENT
Investors in BRC partnerships have no day-to-day management responsibilities because of BRC’s limited partnership structure. The investor management participation requirement is satisfied within this structure.
The BRC is located in California which is a top business and tourism site for countries worldwide. In terms of preparing a site visit to view the investment, no one complains about needing to travel to California.
Simple Strategies, Simple Execution
BRC invests EB-5 funds through a loan agreement with a highly qualified borrower. We do not have to participate in the management of the operating company. The loan return is fixed and the principal is safe. The job creation methodology is transparent and USCIS-approved at the I-526 and I-829 petition level for previous investors invested in projects with identical NAICS codes.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…WE UNDERSTAND YOUR GOALS!
We understand our clients and we know that there are 3 main goals of the EB-5 investor:
Our construction job strategy backed by construction guarantees and highly qualified development teams lower the investors risk considerably. The investor can have faith they will gain U.S. Permanent Residency (green card)
While EB-5 statutes require the investor’s capital to be fully at risk for the entire period of conditional residency, BRC seeks out investment opportunities that are structured to minimize this risk. Ensuring the capital is “at risk” does not mean that the investment needs to be “risky”. Just like the investor, BRC’s success depends on the strength of the borrower. Ensuring that the goals of the Regional Center are well-aligned with the goals of the investor provides for a successful foundation.
The primary goal of an EB-5 investor is the permanent visa. Potential EB-5 investors have acquired considerable net worth and are sophisticated investors. If an investor is seeking highly profitable investments, they should consider seeking those investments outside the EB-5 program. BRC believes that a safe investment that minimizes risk offers the investor confidence they will receive permanent residency and their original capital back. This structure meets the “at risk” requirement of the EB-5 program, and it is a very conservative strategy.
Behring Capital and the BRC specifically design its investments to include a favorable amount of protections to minimize risk to the investor’s immigration and capital investment. Those protections include but are not limited to the following:
LOAN STYLE INVESTMENT STRUCTURE TO A BORROWER WITH PERFECT CREDIT
Our Development partners and borrowers are firms that have been in business for over 30 years. An absolute borrowing requirement is that they have a perfect borrowing history and have never failed to repay a loan. We only act under absolute certainty that we will get repaid 100% in full. We examine their financial health, existing assets, operating cash flows, future financial commitments and conduct thorough background checks. This sort of due diligence is commonplace in the lending industry.
ESCROW ACCOUNT WITH STRONG PROJECT RELATED ESCROW CONDITIONS
We design our escrow agreements to be very similar to an escrow account that would be necessary in order to close on a loan. In order to draw up an agreement that would protect our investors to the fullest extent, we draw language from documents used by multiple international banks for their own loan closing documents. In every escrow agreement, the project company needs to prove out that the project is fully loaded and ready to proceed with construction and start creating jobs. Under no circumstances would a project be able to draw money and not start the project.
SOPHISTICATED LENDING CASH MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
The post-financial crisis era has forced banks to tighten their requirements and supervision to levels stronger than ever before. The BRC has taken these time tested strategies and incorporated them into our own cash management systems.
Disbursements and loan drawdowns typically take place on a monthly basis and follow on disbursements do not occur until accounting documentation is reviewed, site checks are made and the project has proven that it deserves the next phase of funds. If the opportunity arises to adopt the Senior Lender as a surrogate cash management entity, we will combine forces and utilize their lending platform to manage disbursements.
CONSTRUCTION COMPLETION GUARANTEE
We require Construction Completion Guarantees on all projects. A Construction Completion Guarantee is when the developer or contractor guarantees to the lender, partners or other parties involved that the construction phase (possibly the most risky portion of any development project) is guaranteed to be completed. This guarantee usually specifies the time frame and any cost over runs are paid by the guarantor.
GUARANTEED MAXIMUM PRICE (GMAX) CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT
We require construction costs to be a fixed price. Through the GMAX style contract, the contract stipulates that any cost overruns above and beyond any previously agreed price is afforded by the contractor or guarantor. This provision may already be within the language of a Construction Completion Guarantee or it may stand on its own.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO FILE
A I-526 All prospective investors should contact us to inquire about the availability of current BRC projects. By filling out the online registration we can contact you and insure you get the latest offering materials.
SIMPLIFIED REVIEW OF INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY THE USCIS FOR FILING AN I-526 PETITION:
The USCIS requires investors to provide documentation and proof on the following:
• By law, the investor must prove the source of the invested capital is from a “lawful” source. Regardless of who provides the capital the source of funds must be provable from a lawful source.
• The investor must prove that they have a level of income or have accumulated sufficient wealth that would enable the investor to invest.
• Simple statements by the investor or simple declarations are not enough to satisfy USCIS requirements for proof of either lawful source of funds or sufficient funds to invest. Independent evidentiary proof must support all declarations.
• BRC requires the full $550,000 be deposited into the BRC authorized escrow account (NOTE: an investor should not ever put funds in an “escrow” other than one that requires a signature of the BRC Partnerships Managing Member) the escrow must be the BRC authorized escrow and not that of an agent or other. This deposit will suffice as proof the investor has sufficient funds for the investment. However, all claims to the source of funds must be properly and thoroughly supported with documentary evidence of how the money was earned, as well as possession of sufficient funds or assets with which to support himself or herself upon entry into the U.S.
• An investor should prepare as much of the following types of documentary evidence (copies are sufficient) for both the investor and the investor’s spouse, as relevant to his or her financial status.
THE USCIS REQUIRES PROOF OF SOURCE OF FUNDS:
The investor must prove that the funds come from a lawful source such as profit or earnings from a business, the profits or proceeds from the sale of real estate or the profits or earnings from stock or other investments. Inheritance, gifts or loans are allowed as a source of funds under the law. If the investment funds are from a gift, then the financial information regarding the person giving the gift must be provided. Evidence may include but need not be limited to bank statements, stock certificates, any loan or mortgage documents, promissory notes, security agreements or other evidence of borrowing which is secured by assets of the applicant.
THE USCIS REQUIRES PROOF OF TRANSFER OF FUNDS:
The investor is required to fully fund the authorized BRC holding account with the capitol contribution amount of $500,000 plus the syndication fee amount prior to the filing of the I-526 petition. The investor must provide evidence of where the capital that funded the escrow came from. BRC will provide documentation as to the arrival of the funds (the bank wire transfer or check the funds were received from). BRC receives confirmation from the bank escrow agent when the escrow account is funded.
THE USCIS REQUIRES FINANCIAL STATEMENTS:
The USCIS will require financial information that evidences a net worth of at least U.S. $1 million. Evidence can include bank statements, documents showing ownership in real estate or a company, accompanied by an appraisal of value and registration of ownership. Other examples of evidence include a gift statement, a loan statement, etc.
THE USCIS REQUIRES COPIES OF PASSPORTS:
The USCIS will require copies of passports for each member of the family that are qualified under an EB-5 investment. Passports must be valid for travel to the United States and must have at least six months validity beyond the issuance date of the visa. Household members can include husband, wife, and all unmarried children under the age of 21.
THE USCIS REQUIRES EMPLOYMENT AND BUSINESS DOCUMENTS: The USCIS will require information regarding the investor’s education, employment history, and business experience, including but not limited to résumés, diplomas, and business registrations.
THE USCIS WILL REQUIRE FAMILY CERTIFICATES:
The USCIS will require copies of birth, marriage (or divorce) certificates and they must be provided for all individuals applying for a Green Card under the investor’s application, including spouse and children under the age of 21 at the time of application. For birth certificates, one certified copy of the birth certificate for each person named in the application should be submitted. Birth records must be presented for all unmarried children under the age of 21 even if they do not wish to immigrate at the time. For marriage certificates, one certified copy of the marriage certificate or proof of termination of any previous marriage(s) must also be submitted (e.g., death certificate of spouse, final decree of divorce or annulment).
THE USCIS WILL REQUIRE POLICE CERTIFICATES:
The USCIS will require each visa applicant of 16 years or older to submit a police certificate from the police of each locality of the country of the applicant’s nationality or current residence or where the applicant has resided for at least six months since turning 16. Police certificates are also required from all other countries where the applicant has been arrested for any reason, and must be of recent date when presented. Police certificates must cover the entire period of the applicant’s residence in any area.
THE USCIS WILL REQUIRE COURT/PRISON RECORDS:
The USCIS will require persons who have been convicted of a crime to obtain a certified copy of each court record and of any prison record, regardless of subsequent benefit from an amnesty, pardon or other act of clemency.
THE USCIS WILL REQUIRE MILITARY RECORDS (CERTIFIED COPY OF ANY MILITARY RECORD.) AND USCIS WILL REQUIRE TWO COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS IN PASSPORT STYLE. NO HEAD COVERING OR DARK GLASSES SHOULD BE WORN.
Contact us for the most recent cost estimates for EB-5.