March 7, 2024

Demystifying the EB-5 Visa: Direct Investment vs. Regional Center

The EB-5 visa, also known as the “Investor visa”, offers a pathway to permanent residency (green card) in the United States 🇺🇸 for foreign nationals willing to invest a significant amount of capital in the American economy. This visa program has two main pathways: direct investment and investment through a regional center. Understanding the distinctions between these options can be crucial for aspiring EB-5 applicants.

Direct Investment:

  • Investment: You directly invest at least $1,050,000 in a new commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers. ‍
  • Benefits: Offers greater control over your investment and potentially higher returns. You have a direct say in the business operations and decision-making processes.
  • Drawbacks: Requires a larger initial investment compared to the regional center option. Finding and managing a qualifying investment can be complex and time-consuming. You may need to hire legal and financial professionals to navigate the process.

Regional Centre Investment:

  • Investment: You invest at least $800,000 ($500,000 in certain targeted employment areas) in a pre-approved regional center project. These projects are typically real estate developments, infrastructure initiatives, or other job-creating ventures.
  • Benefits: Lower investment threshold compared to direct investment. Less hands-on involvement required, as the regional center manages the investment and job creation process.
  • Drawbacks: Less control over your investment and potentially lower returns. You rely on the regional center’s performance and success, which can be unpredictable.

Choosing the Right Path:

The choice between direct and regional center investment depends on your individual circumstances, risk tolerance, and investment goals.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Available capital: Do you have the minimum investment amount required for each option?
  • Investment experience: Are you comfortable managing your own investment or do you prefer a more passive approach?
  • Risk tolerance: Are you comfortable with the higher risk associated with direct investment or do you prefer the relative safety of a regional center project?
  • Timeline: Regional center processing times are generally faster than direct investment applications.

Seeking Professional Guidance:

The EB-5 visa process involves complex regulations and legal considerations. It is highly recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney ‍⚖️ who can help you understand the program requirements, assess your eligibility, and choose the path that best suits your needs.

Additional Professionals for Standalone (Direct) EB-5 Applications one may need assistance:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Assists with company registration, licenses, and compliance.
  • Business Plan Expert: Creates a detailed and realistic business plan demonstrating job creation.
  • Business Lawyer: Drafts company agreements and handles legal matters.
  • Security Lawyer (if applicable): Addresses complex legal matters if multiple non EB5 partners are involved.
  • Indian Immigration Lawyer: Assists with Indian documents, source of funds, and interview preparation.

Please note: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Always consult with a qualified professional for guidance on your specific situation.

To explore your settlement options in the USA, schedule a consultation with Indian immigration lawyer Prashant Ajmera, the founder of Ajmera Law Group. Contact us at +919974253030 or email us at Discover the pathways to your American dream with expert legal guidance.


January 7, 2024

“Navigating EB-5 Investments: Ensuring the Safety of Your Capital”


The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program offers a pathway to obtaining a U.S. Green Card by making a qualified investment in a new commercial enterprise. While this program provides an excellent opportunity for foreign investors, it’s crucial to understand the intricacies and risks associated with EB-5 investments. This blog aims to shed light on the safety of EB-5 investments and guide investors on mitigating business risks.

EB-5 Investment Criteria:

1. **New Commercial Enterprise:**
– Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or restructured before this date.
– Involves purchasing and restructuring an existing business or expanding it by at least 40%.

A new commercial enterprise is defined as any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business.

2. **10 Job Creation Requirements:**
– EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise that creates full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees.

3. **Capital Investment Requirements:**
– Capital includes cash and tangible assets owned and controlled by the investor.
– Excludes assets acquired unlawfully, investments with guaranteed returns, or investments subject to repayment agreements.

Navigating Business Risks:

Investing in any business, whether in the USA or elsewhere, involves inherent risks. The key for EB-5 investors is to minimize these risks through due diligence and professional assistance. Here are essential considerations:

1. **Due Diligence:**
– Conduct a thorough analysis of the business, industry, and market conditions.
– Evaluate the business plan and financial projections for viability.
– Assess the management team’s expertise and track record.

2. **Professional Guidance:**
– Seek assistance from experienced professionals, including legal and financial advisors.
– Consider hiring experts who specialize in EB-5 investments and understand the nuances of U.S. immigration law.

3. **Risk Mitigation Strategies:**
– Consider making investments in businesses or regional centers with a proven, long-standing track record of success.
– Stay informed about changes in U.S. immigration policies and regulations.

– Avoid making investment decisions on projects solely based on shorter processing times.


While the EB-5 program offers a unique opportunity for foreign investors, understanding and mitigating business risks is paramount.

By conducting due diligence, seeking professional guidance, and implementing risk mitigation strategies, EB-5 investors can enhance the safety of their capital.

Making informed decisions will not only safeguard investments but also contribute to the success of the EB-5 journey.

To explore your settlement options in the USA, schedule a consultation with Indian immigration lawyer Prashant Ajmera, the founder of Ajmera Law Group. Contact us at +919974253030 or email us at Discover the pathways to your American dream with expert legal guidance.

September 27, 2022

Are you a student going to USA in 2022 for study with the hope of eventually obtaining a green card? Congratulations on getting admitted to a US university!! But the bad news is you may have to wait for 100 years to get a green card if you plan to settle down in USA after your studies. Read our blog to know more.

Thousands of students start their academic and professional journey in USA and wait in line for a number of years for their green card. Indian citizens living in USA for more than 10 years have not yet received their green card due to the limited employment-based quota. If you are going to USA in 2022, you may have to wait for almost 100 years to obtain a Green Card. Based on our communication with our associate US immigration lawyer, we would like to explain why this is happening.

October 2022 Visa Bulletin

The Dates of Filing Chart from the October 2022 Visa Bulletin show that EB2 India will retrogress well over 2 years to May 1, 2012. This means Indian citizens with advanced degrees, sponsored by their employers and living in USA for more than 10 years, are still in line for receiving their green cards.

The unfortunate part is people sponsored for EB2 India green cards in 2022 will have to wait for 100 years to obtain their green card! This means all EB2 Indian professionals may not even be alive when they get a green card. They will have to keep extending their H1-B visas every 3 years until they retire or until the government refuses to renew the visa. After which they will have to return to India.

One may question why this has come to pass. The main reason behind this situation is the outdated immigration laws. The number of employment-based green cards available to professionals with advanced degrees is only 28.6% of the 140,000. Additionally, the country limits EB2 green cards for people born in the country to only 7% of the total. As a result, the number of Indian professionals with advance-degrees who are obtaining green cards has drastically reduced.

Furthermore, not all countries have limits on EB1, EB2 and EB3 green cards. Thus, unused green cards are offered to some Indians waiting in line for years. 

Current situation of EB2 India

Currently, 140,000 people are waiting for their green cards, and 80% of them are Indian citizens. Considering the fact that US employers are dependent upon highly-educated Indians, one wonders why a quota of EB2 India immigrants is limited to 7% of the total number of immigrants?

Except immigrants from India and China, no other nationalities are waiting in queue to obtain a green card. It seems like citizens of India and China are being penalised due to the county of their birth.

Additionally, immigrant families are facing another hurdle. Children born abroad, after turning 21, are not allowed in USA. They are not even permitted to stay in line as dependents for a green card. Many such children become undocumented and are forced to go back to their home country after turning 21.

Is there a solution?

As discussed above, it can clearly be seen that US immigration laws are antiquated and require reform. If reforms don’t come soon, highly educated Indians will get demotivated about going to USA. Sensing the need of the hour, Senator Rand Paul, an American physician and politician serving as junior U.S. senator, has introduced the Backlog Elimination, Legal Immigration, and Employment Visa Enhancement (BELIEVE) Act.

This Act aims to end the limits placed on green cards for employment-based immigrants. It also proposes to increase the number of green cards for EB2 immigrants from 140,000 to 270,000. Additionally, entire families – spouses and minor children – will be included in the quota.

It doesn’t end here. The BELIEVE Act will eliminate the EB2 and EB3 India green card waiting times. The Act creates a levelled playing field for employment-based immigrants who must play by the rules and help the county by boosting the US economy.

To summarise, many highly educated Indian citizens waiting for green cards in USA may finally see a ray of hope in form of the BELIEVE Act. Get in touch with US immigration lawyer to stay updated.

June 25, 2021

EB-5 Updates 20th August 2021 at 12.00 PM (IST) 

Ajmera Law Group has several direct investment options for the EB-5 program of the USA with a reduced investment of US$ 500,000.  Act fast as the rule may change at any time. 

  1. Mexican Franchise – Start in any state in the USA which meets the definition of TEA area
  2. Co-working space and daycare center based in LA, USA
  3. Burger and Hotdog restaurent in Huston, Taxas.   Please contact us for more information

EB-5 Update 10th July 2021 at 12.00 PM (IST)

EB-5 with investment on regional center is not available but direct EB-5 with investment under US$ 500,000 active and an investor can make an investment in the USA and apply for USA green card under direct EB-5.

EB-5 Updates: 25th June, 2021 at 8.00 AM (IST)

EB-5 program reauthorization just fails to pass in US Senate

A bill to establish EB-5 rules on a permanent basis has failed in the US senate and therefore the current change in EB-5 rules will expire on 30th June, 2021.

Now the US government and senate are on vacation to celebrate the 4th July holiday.

As the current EB-5 change (where the investment amount has been once again reduced to 500K) is on a temporary basis, the US Senate MAY grant an extension in July 2021 when senators are back from vacation.

This could be a great opportunity for investors to file for EB-5 with a reduced amount of investment. Serious investors must be ready with documents and investment amounts to file the EB-5 petition with a US$ 500,000 investment amount.


The investor can also borrow money to invest in EB-5.

EB-5 Update: Dated 22 June, 2021:

EB-5 Investment for US$ 500,000

Read complete the US court judgment here 

June 1, 2021

By removing the Trump administration proposal that aimed to kill the initiative, the Biden administration wants to resurrect an immigration program that allows foreign entrepreneurs to operate in the United States.

The International Entrepreneur law, which was then proposed by President Barack Obama’s administration three days before he left office in 2017, enables foreign entrepreneurs to work in the United States for up to five years if their start-ups can raise at least $250,000 from the venture capital in the United States, recruit ten employees, or meet other criteria.

As part of its attempts to revive the program, the Biden administration intends to market it. These actions are in response to demands from venture capital firms, which want the administration to support a program that would encourage thousands of foreign start-up founders to relocate to or stay in the United States to expand their ventures.

The Biden Administration is unlocking an enormous job growth opportunity by incorporating the International Entrepreneur Rule, which will help the United States remain the global leader in innovation,” said Bobby Franklin, the group’s president and chief executive.

“Immigrants in the United States have a long history of entrepreneurship, hard work, and creativity, and their contributions to this nation are incredibly valuable,” said Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Tracy Renaud.

Currently, there is no visa available for start-up founders in the United States, despite the widespread bipartisan support for the concept. Other visa types must be used for foreign entrepreneurs, but none are ideal.

Between 2017 and 2019, USCIS received only 30 applications for the program, with only one being accepted, according to a USCIS official.

According to USCIS, if the program is properly implemented, about 3,000 international entrepreneurs would qualify per year, resulting in the creation of about 100,000 jobs over a ten-year period.

This article is contributed by Ms. Dishita Sheth, Intern at Ajmera Law Group 

February 10, 2019


How to select your EB-5  project and make a safe investment in the EB-5 project?

Regional Centers, Broker dealer, Agent, and mortgage broker who is showing you EB-5 project, you should ask the following questions.

  • What year was the Regional Center first approved by USCIS?
  • How many EB5 projects have the Regional Center completed?
  • How many I-526 and I-829 approvals obtained by the investors in the Regional Center.
  • May I have a copy of the PPM _ Private Placement Memorandum) so I can review the credit agreements for the senior bank loan and the other loans?
  • Is it true that the EB-5 loan is the last loan to be repaid because the Senior Bank Loan will be paid first?
  • Does the EB-5 loan have a security interest in real estate or in the assets of the developer or Regional Center?
  • May I have a copy of the EB-5 insurance policy?  Does the policy cover the 3 primary reasons for application denial: fraudulent statements, criminal background and source of funds issues?
  • If the project doesn’t sell as quickly as expected, could the EB-5 loan be extended beyond 5 years?
  • If the project sells for 15% less than expected, could I lose all or a portion of my investment?
  •  Where is the money coming from to pay the interest on the bank loan?
  • Does the Fund provide the letter from the senior bank loan and the private loan as well as the Targeted Economic Area?

Find out these answers and consult our law firm to compare answers with Regional centers we work with and answer provided by them to these questions.


July 28, 2018

Of late a large number of regional centers have entered into the EB-5 market, offering a variety of investment choices to investors. This has resulted in investors becoming more and more confused regarding the most appropriate investment option most suitable to their needs and long term goals.

I regularly meet clients who have a very sound financial background, yet are completely lost when choosing the right EB-5 investment.

Here are the three most common offerings in the EB-5 market at present:

  1. DEBT Model:

98% of the offering in the EB-5 market is using this model. This model involves three entities:

(i) The company who has been granted the ‘Regional Center(RC)’ approval

(ii) The developers who have incorporated a company or LLP -1 for the project, and

(iii) Another LLP-2 which is used as an investment vehicle for EB-5 purposes.

As an investor, you will be making investment in LLP-2 which will loan fund to LLP-1. In return, LLP-1 will give credit for all jobs created in the project to LLP-2so as to meet the mandatory ‘Creation of 10 jobs’ requirement of the EB-5 program.

Investment is generally made for a period of 5 years and at the end of 5 years, the capital is returned to the investor by taking a second mortgage.

LLP-1 also offers interest to EB-5 investors which can be in the range of 1%-4% per annum. Ideally, if all these three entities are managed by one single developer company, then this particular EB-5 project can be considered a good selection.

However, in reality, we see that RC approval is obtained by one entity, which then seeks out a developer to develop the project and an entirely different third company is involved in marketing the project. If you do adequate research you will find that there are very few developers who are directly involved in the marketing of their project.

In these type of projects, the local banks havethe first claim, promoters have second claim and EB-5 investors have the last claim to receive any money in the event of project failure.

  1. EQUITY Model:

Very few companies are currently offering the equity option for EB-5 investment. In this model, only one company or LLP is created by developers of the project and EB-5 investors are required to make an investment in this particular LLP only. EB-5 investors give the managing rights to the developers. In this model, the investors are not given any fixed returns but are offered a percentage of the profits as and when the project becomes profitable, while the developers take only a small portion of the profit.

In this model, the risks are higher but returns can be as high as 10%-12% per annum. Some of the hotel projects for which our law firm has raised EB-5 investment capital were based on this model and have consistently given good returns.

In many EB-5 projects, there are no loans from local banks or lenders except bridge loans. Because of this, the properties are mortgage-free right from day one and chances of failureare very low,while those of good returnsare very high.

In case the project fails, the capital can be distributed amongst all the EB-5 investors as compensation since there is only one class of investors.

  1. FUND Model:

Quite a few RCs are offering this model now. In first two options, there is one project and one company or LLP. In the Fund model, a fund of a certain predetermined amount is created to loan money to several projects and hence the risk is distributed equally among several projects. An annual fixed return is given to investors which can be in the range of 1%-3%.

Simply put, the first model can be compared to a debenture, the second one to a share investment and the third one to a mutual fund investment. Each model has its own pros and cons. However,the bottom line is that a viable EB-5 project must have good developers who have a successful track record in non-EBB and EB-5 project development.

This article outlines very general information regarding EB-5 investment options for the sole purpose of easy understanding for investors at large. Each investor must seek appropriate legal advice and consult their financial advisers before making any kind of the investment.

July 10, 2018


Doing business or Investing in USA: Nine different options for Indian businessman

This is a very simple way to explain, how one can make an investment in the USA or do business in and with the USA.

  1. Simple export of goods and services to USA consumer or business.
  2. Making an investment into an existing business, land building, or farming land and become partner/investment. You do not any visa of the USA and you don’t get any visa by just making a simple investment.
  3. Purchase of Real estate in the USA – any type of visa not possible but can take benefit of rental income and capital gain.
  4. Register a company in the USA, open an office in the USA, a bank account in the USA in person, hire local people to run the business. No Person is transferred from India to the USA.
  5. Register a new company in the USA, open a subsidiary office in the USA, a bank account in the USA, hire local people to run the business with a definite business plan and KEY PERSON(S) IS TRANSFERRED from India to the USA. This is an L1 visa. A person is a senior executive and Technical Person to be transferred from the USA. The American company will be a  subsidiary of the Indian company.
  6. Indian company taking over 51% of the USA company and by join venture, Indian CEO or Key technical person transferred to the USA under EB-1-C Visa class.
  7. Starting a NEW business in the USA, hire 10 people and make an investment of 1 million US$ and investor, his spouse and children under 21 can get a green card of USA. – This is an EB-5 direct investment.
  8. Starting a NEW business in the USA, hire 10 people and make an investment of 1/2 million US$ and investor, his spouse and children under 21 can get a green card of USA. This business must be in an area where there is high unemployment or a population is less than 20,000. This is EB-5 under the Regional center class.
  9. You make an investment in Real Estate and become a citizen of another country like Grenada, Turkey, Canada and then apply for an E2 business visa of the USA to do business in the USA.


December 5, 2017

USA green card by investment – EB-5 Visa:

Investment can be made as Debt or Equity or Fund

The EB-5 Visa provides the most flexible path to a Green card and is based on investment in the US. The EB-5 Visa does not require the applicant to manage the day-to-day affairs of a business. One may invest in an existing business or a new business. More than one person may invest in the same business. The EB-5 investor may be a minority owner of the business.

One may qualify for an EB-5 Visa by:

  1. Investing One million dollars and hiring ten employees anywhere in the USA.
  2. Investing $500,000 US and hiring ten employees in an area where the unemployment rate exceeds the national average unemployment rate by 150%.
  3. Investing in a regional center.

The INS has designated specific areas, called Regional Centres, as eligible to receive immigrant investor capital. The INS has approved over 520 Regional Centres. Regional Centre investors may rely on indirect job creation rather than directly hiring ten employees. A competent professional, such as an economist, must quantify the indirect employment. If the regional center is in a high unemployment area, the required capital is reduced to $500,000 US. Presently there are projects underway in many regional centers whereby making an investment of $500,000 in a limited partnership can qualify an individual for applying for a green card through the USA EB-5 investor program.

Out of the 10,000 Investor visas (EB-5 Visas) available annually, 5,000 have been set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving an INS-designated “Regional Centre” To date, this quota has not been exceeded.

EB-5 investors include people from all walks of life – professionals, business people, persons wanting to facilitate a child’s education, and retirees. Because the EB-5 Visa permits employment in the US, many EB-5 investors become involved in charity or part-time work. Simply put, the EB-5 visa gives you the flexibility to do what you want in the USA.

Our firm has identified several regional centers that offer investment as Debt which is a loan to a business, Equity in which investor is a partner in the business, or Fund investment in which fund is created to loan several businesses and risk is minimized.

Make an investment in the EB-5 project with confidence.

Do not do an analysis of the EB-5 project but find the right immigration lawyer in India and the USA who can assist you to navigate the whole process of EB-5.