The EB-5 investor program of the U.S. immigration is seeing a lot of takers and is enjoying a huge popularity ever since it was initiated. An investor could take up a regional center project, a direct EB-5 project proposal or pool up his investment across projects, making a total investment of about $900,000 to $1,800,000 plus the processing overhead cost, legal and filing fees depending on the type of project and generate a certain amount of direct employment for the citizens.

Irrespective of the type of the project it is essential that the investor be value – driven and have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. However, he may not get to be an entrepreneur directly in case he or she has taken up a regional center project. The project still requires the investor you to be in a considerable policy-making and decision-making position, which requires the investor to be keenly interested in the project and following the path of his investment. It is generally advisable that the investor stays close to where his investment is, literally! So, if you have a project in rural Nevada, then perhaps you should plan on living close-by so you can be close to where your work is, and monitor the project properly every step of the way. The rates of returns are generally very low, sometimes not even considered, and a lot of people spend their time travelling or maintaining some other business. This is a good idea too, but never ignore your investment, it is after all your money, and the reason why you are allowed to stay on American soil.

Always take the processing times into consideration. Processing of the I-526 takes time that runs into a couple of months or sometimes more than a year. There is no sure timeframe, of course, however, you can still draw a basic timeline estimate and plan your work and investments accordingly. Your whole relocation and life would be planned according to this then.

When taking up a regional center, it would be a risky situation to just blindly accept any regional center that comes your way. Always do your due diligence and research out about the center on the internet, from the people around, and even visit the center and talk to the people there. You will not be able to file an I–526 until and unless the regional center is USCIS approved. Also, you don’t want to fall in the trap of spammers and frauds who might gobble down your money and disappear, leaving stranded! Check out the track record of the center, it is generally better to go for regional centers with a proven track records – how has it fared, how long has it been around, how many projects has it handled, etc. Also, research out the project you are planning to invest in like has it been preapproved by the USCIS, what area is it being implemented in, if it is focusing on some rural or targeted employment area, how the jobs being created, how and for what are the fund being used, etc. Also, always keep an exit strategy in mind. In case, your I–526 does not come along or something goes wrong and you have to withdraw then how will the investment you made be returned to you and how you can make your way out of the project and the program.

It is good to be skeptical and doubtful at times, and this would be one such situation. This would keep you on your toes and make you double check everything, after all, becoming an investor in an EB-5 green card program is a major decision with large scale ramifications. So be careful about what you choose and what you decide, being cautious never did anybody any harm!