Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)?
- What is the job creation requirement?
- How much do I need to invest? What is the Targeted Employment Area (TEA)?
- Who may apply for an EB-5 visa?
- May I apply for an EB-5 visa if I have previously been denied a visa to the U.S.?
- Can qualified individuals from any country apply?
- Do I need an immigration attorney to submit an I-526 petition?
- How long does the application process take?
- For how long is the "Green Card" valid?
- How does the EB-5 visa differ from an L-1 visa (manager transfer)?
- If I want to move to the U.S. and invest in a PRIC project, do I have to live in Pittsburgh?
- What are the benefits of investing through the Pittsburgh Regional Investment Center?
- Where can I find more information about the EB-5 visa program?
- What is the minimum investment required?
- What investment options do I have for consideration with the Pittsburgh Regional Investment Center?
- Are there any requirements for the capital investment?
- Can money gifted by a parent, other relative or business be used for an EB-5 investment?
- What are the financial risks involved with the Pittsburgh Regional Investment Center investment projects?
- Should I consult my own financial advisor before investing?
- What is an escrow account?
- What is the rate of return on investment?
- What exit strategies will the Pittsburgh Regional Investment Center use to provide investor liquidity?
- Will my investment in the PRIC projects be returned if my application is denied by the USCIS?
- Can I visit the project location?
USCIS is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. It will secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to its customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of its immigration system. PRIC is approved by USCIS to offer authorized EB-5 investment opportunities to foreign investors seeking permanent residence in the U.S. Investors’ petitions have to be approved by USCIS in order to obtain the permanent residence. You can find more information about USCIS at www.uscis.gov.
Each EB-5 investor must demonstrate that his/her capital investment will create or preserve at least ten full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers within the United States. A qualified U.S. worker is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or other immigrant authorized to work in the U. S. This definition does not include the immigrant investor, or his/her immediate families, or any foreign national in any nonimmigrant status. PRIC qualifies for an accounting of both direct and indirect job creation.
Generally, the minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million. If the project is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum qualifying investment 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.
EB-5 Regional Center foreign investors include people from all walks of life: professionals, business people, persons wanting to facilitate a child’s education, and retirees. Any person who can demonstrate the ability to invest the required amount into the American economy, can document that the capital was legally earned, and can satisfy general eligibility requirements (e.g., medial, criminal) is qualified to apply. The investor’s spouse and any minor children (under 21) can file applications at the same time.
Yes. You may still apply for an EB-5 visa if you have been previously denied a visa to the U.S.
With the exception of individuals from countries with which the U.S. does not hold diplomatic relations, citizens of any country may apply for permanent residence in the U.S. through the EB-5 investment program. As long as the applicant is able to leave his or her home country and has sufficient investment capital, a qualified immigration lawyer can assist the applicant with the process of obtaining an EB-5 visa.
Although not legally required, PRIC strongly recommends that each EB-5 investor obtain legal counsel to assist in the submission of an I-526 petition and to provide legal advice regarding the immigration process. The documentation needed for an I-526 petition is extensive and an immigration attorney can assist with the petition, consulate interview and visa issuance process. Legal fees are not included in the PRIC administration fee, and PRIC does not provide legal advice to EB-5 investors.
In general, the process takes about six months. After the I-526 petition is approved, it is forwarded to the overseas consulate or local USCIS for further processing and final visa issuance and conditional residence approval.
The investor and dependents are granted conditional permanent residence for a two-year period upon entry into the U.S. with an EB-5 immigrant visa or upon the approval of adjustment status in the U.S.
90 days prior to the two-year anniversary of granting the EB-5 investor’s conditional resident status, the investor can file I-829 to remove conditions on his/her conditional permanent residence. If USCIS approves this petition, the EB-5 investor and dependents will be allowed to permanently live and work in the U.S.
With an EB-5 visa, you obtain the permanent residence in the United States. After 5 years, the investors and their family may obtain US citizenship, subject to meeting all immigration requirements. Other visas, such as the L-1, may never result in permanent residence, have time limits, must be renewed, and require additional filings with USCIS or Department of State.
No. The EB-5 visa program allows you to maintain your permanent residence by living anywhere in the U.S. But we invite you to stay in Pittsburgh – "America’s Most Livable City" by Forbes, 2010. We will provide all services to help you settle down.
The Pittsburgh Regional Investment Center is ideal for foreign investors for many reasons:
- Foreign investors using the Pittsburgh Regional Investment Center are given priority by USCIS.
- Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) qualify for lesser investments of $500,000.
- Investment capital can come from a gift, inheritance, business ownership, or any other lawful activities.
- The center qualifies for both direct and indirect employment creation.
- There are no quota backlogs like those found in many other employment and sponsorship visa programs.
- Foreign investors can use their own funds and do not need sponsorship from relatives or employers.
- Foreign investors are not required to speak English, have related business experience, or achieve minimum education requirements.
- Investors, their spouse, and children under 21 years of age will be granted, upon approval, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency, otherwise known as a Green Card.
- Investors may sponsor Green Cards for their relatives.
- Investors are not required to manage their investment on a daily basis so they may pursue other personal and professional ventures.
- Investors are able to live, work, travel, own property, and retire anywhere in the United States.
- Investors may travel outside of the United States and return without a visa.
- Investors may start their own business.
- Investors may work without obtaining authorization from the USCIS.
- Investors may maintain business and professional interests in their country of origin.
- Students may attend public and private schools, colleges, and universities at the same costs as U.S. residents.
- Investors, their spouse, and their children under the age of 21 may apply for U.S. citizenship once they have been permanent residents for five years.
Further information regarding the application process, requirements, and benefits of the EB-5 visa program can be found on the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (www.uscis.gov).
Typically, an investment of at least $1 million is required for an EB-5 visa. If the project locates in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum qualifying investment is $500,000. Currently, all PRIC projects are in TEAs.
PRIC offers a variety of investment projects and opportunities. We are currently targeting in Energy, Technology, Entertainment, Manufacturing, Education, Medical and Real Estate. We can develop small projects around your interests. For more information about PRIC projects, please go to Projects.
Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the investor, provided that the investor is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the project upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness.
Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual arm’s length transaction and is not a mere ruse or that the gifted funds will be given back after permanent resident status is granted.
All investments are risky by nature and the PRIC projects are not exceptions. Under the law, PRIC cannot guarantee profit or the return of the principal investment.
Yes. PRIC urges prospective foreign investors to consult their own financial advisors for advice on investing through the EB-5 program.
An escrow account is a separate interest bearing account where the investor will deposit funds. PRIC will provide escrow account information to the investor at the appropriate time. This account serves to keep the investor’s money protected and separate until the I-526 petition is approved.
EB-5 program regulations and USCIS rulings require all EB-5 investments to be at risk. As outlined in the Confidential Investment Memorandum, each investment is specific to its risk reward analysis and pro forma analysis. While PRIC cannot guarantee a specific rate of return, we believe it can achieve results consistent with or exceed those of other regional centers.
PRIC structures our EB-5 investments to divest the investor and return the original principal balance after 5 years to the investor. The exact strategy used to exit each project investment will be determined on a project-by-project basis in order to provide the maximum financial and immigration benefit to our EB-5 investors.
Yes. PRIC has created an escrow account in which your investment is held until your application is approved by the USCIS. In the event that your I-526 petition is denied, your investment will be return to you in full. PRIC will return the Remaining Administrative Fees minus the Advanced Fees.
Definitely! PRIC coordinates many visits for interested investors. We welcome you to visit us, meet our staff at our office in Pittsburgh and tour the latest EB-5 projects.