Opportunity opens as govt reinstates $500,000 EB-5 investment for US residency

For international investors seeking permanent United States residency in return for making a qualifying real estate investment, good news is here as the government of that country has reinstated the qualifying $500,000 Houston EB-5 investment in real estate.

The US government had, in 2019, increased the qualifying real estate investment for residency through the EB-5 from $500,000 to $900,000, leading to a significant drop in the number of investors.

The return to the $500,000 investment was made possible by a recent court ruling at the North District Court of California, temporarily allowing the EB-5 Minimum Investment till September 30, 2021.

Expectation is that the court ruling, which leaves $400,000 in the pocket of international investors, will increase the number of residency seekers as it has eased and widened the investment window.

Ruth Obih, CEO, 3INVEST, Houston EB-5 partner in Nigeria, affirms that the court ruling is an opportunity for intending investors and, therefore, calls on them to key in as it may, like the US lottery, be a rare and final opportunity for families that want second passport through the EB-5 scheme.

Now, there are two new EB-5 bills including Regional Center reauthorization circulating in the US Senate, according to the 3Invest CEO, both contemplating a higher investment amount and this is expected to happen in September 2021.

“This means that investors have between now and September 30, at the latest (as per key USCIS Sunset dates), to secure their spot in an EB-5 project at the $500,000 investment level, since no one is sure how long this ruling will remain effective,” Obih explained.

The new policy, which saw the statutory authorization related to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Programme expire at midnight on June 30, 2021, however, reaffirms that this lapse in authorization does not affect EB-5 petitions filed by investors who are not seeking a visa under the Regional Center Programme.

Obih noted that, going forward, only direct EB-5 Investment and projects creating direct employment such as Moderno Porcelain Works, which is the latest project offered by Houston EB-5, will qualify for the EB-5 Visa.

She explained that Moderno Porcelain Works, which serving as the future of EB5 investing, is currently one of the few approved operational businesses in the EB-5 industry that is ready and able to process direct EB-5 investments in the US.

The project offers a more personalised investment opportunity and smaller capital raise to begin each project. Another attractive aspect of the new project is that returns are paid yearly instead of being accrued, according to Acho Azuike, the managing director, Houston EB5.

He explained that Houston EB-5 chose to offer an EB-5 Visa investment in Moderno for several strategic reasons including the ability to provide repeatable, predictable results. Moderno is a matured business model with several large retail and builder accounts to service. Your investment will fund the opening of new service locations (HUBs), expanding Moderno’s national reach.

With six operational centres currently in Texas, Florida, and Minnesota, EB-5 Houston completed the raise for three additional locations with plans to expand to a total of 60 cities by 2026.

Therefore, investors are strongly advised to key into this rare opportunity as soon as possible to engage the US immigration attorney to begin working on the Source of Funds to kick start their investment journey.

Source: Business Day

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