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The United States EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, created in 1990 by the Immigration Act of 1990, provided a method for eligible immigrant investors to obtain their “green cards” by investing a minimum of $1.8 million towards the creation of a business in the United States. If the eligible immigrant investor chooses to invest in a Targeted Employment Area, the investment threshold can be lowered to $900,000. Either way, the investment must result in the creation of at least 10 jobs for qualified U.S. workers. If the investor’s initial application (called an I-526) is approved, the investor can apply for conditional residence in the United States. Once approved, the conditional residence lasts two years. After two years, the investor can apply to have the conditions removed and have the conditional residency made permanent, but only if the investment has resulted in the creation of the minimum of 10 jobs, as required.
Unfortunately, sometimes EB-5 investors are the victims of fraud. Fraud can occur for a variety of reasons, including if the invested funds are not used for the intended EB-5 project. Fraud can also occur if the developers of the EB-5 projects are not honest and forthright about the nature of the projects, the intended use of the investment funds and the amount of jobs that will be created.
If you are a victim of EB-5 fraud, GFM can help you pursue your claims. GFM has also routinely worked with immigration counsel to coordinate with respect to green card related issues that could be impacted by litigation. Because of the popularity of the EB-5 Program, there is a long backlog of people waiting to obtain their conditional visas.
During that waiting period, the EB-5 investors’ money may be “redeployed,” meaning that the original investment is repaid and the repaid money is then used for another project. There are many issues that arise when investment funds are redeployed, including whether the risk of loss is unfairly increased, whether there are additional costs and expenses associated with the redeployment, and the impact of the redeployment on the creation of jobs.