Abandonment, or loss of permanent residency, can occur when you are outside of the United States for more than six months without informing USCIS of your plans in advance. The law provides that you are free to travel abroad, provided that your trip is “temporary." Generally, the Department of Homeland Security views any absence from the United States for longer than six months as not temporary. Thus, it is advisable to obtain a “re-entry permit” before your departure. You should contact your immigration attorney to obtain advice regarding extended absences from the U.S.
EB-5 visa applicants receive a conditional green card, which is a temporary green card that is valid for two years. Commencing 21 months after the conditional green card is issued, the investor will have three months to file an I-829 Petition with USCIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested into the EB-5 project and employment created. When the conditions on resident status have been lifted, full resident status is granted and a permanent Green Card is issued.
A designated regional center is an economic entity that has been approved by USCIS to be affiliated with projects for purposes of the EB-5 Visa Program and is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and capital investment. Investments in projects that are affiliated with designated regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation, including counting both "direct" and "indirect" jobs.
The EB-5 Visa Program is an employment-based immigration program that provides for the granting of up to 10,000 visas per year for aliens and immediate family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 3,000 immigrant visas are allocated per year for aliens who invest in projects affiliated with designated regional centers.
An escrow account is an account with a bank or other financial institution in which funds are held and disbursed based on the satisfaction of specific conditions provided in an escrow agreement.
Funds gained in a lawful manner. An investor must prove that his or her investment funds were obtained through a lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means.
Once you obtain a green card and become a legal permanent resident, you have most of the rights and obligations of U.S. citizens, except that you cannot vote and you are not entitled to some public benefits. You are subject to the same tax filing requirements and entitled to the same tax rates and deductions as U.S. citizens.
An unconditional green card does not need to be reissued.
Yes, SPRC (formerly known as Gotham City Regional Center LLC) was designated as a regional center by USCIS on April 2, 2014. Click here to view the approval letter.
The SPRC encompasses areas in and around New York City in the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
SPRC is managed by professionals with experience in real estate development and investment. SPRC's team has developed many large-scale real estate projects throughout the world, including several of the largest development projects in New York City (click here to see bios of SPRC executives). SPRC also routinely retains experienced outside professionals including:
  • Signature Bank (Escrow Agent)
  • Greenberg Traurig LLP (Immigration & Securities Counsel)
  • Economic and Policy Resources, Inc. (Economist)
SPRC will primarily be affiliated with projects in and around New York City that will be managed by the development team responsible for the development of the World Trade Center. Each investor should perform due diligence and consult with his or her advisers before making any investment.
Your immigration attorney will oversee and coordinate the application process.
Please click here to fill out a contact form or call (212) 490-0666 to speak with a member of our staff. You can also email us at info@SPRC.com. For further information on the process for applying to invest in a project that is affiliated with SPRC, please review Section 4 below.
  • Live, work or retire anywhere in the United States (not limited to New York City)
  • Enter the U.S. at any time and stay any length of time
  • Possibility of obtaining green cards for you, your spouse and unmarried children under age 21
  • No USCIS authorization required to accept employment in the U.S.
  • Attending U.S. universities may be possible at lower tuition rates available to U.S. residents
  • Become eligible for United States citizenship after 5 years
  • Time spent with a conditional green card will be credited towards the 5-year lawful permanent residency requirement for U.S. citizenship
The EB-5 Visa Program provides for the grant of up to 10,000 visas per year to aliens and family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 3,000 immigrant visas per year are allocated for aliens who invest in projects affiliated with designated regional centers.
That is a decision only you and your family can make. However, the program provides a number of benefits that are not available through other immigration programs.
Each investment of US$500,000 (or US$1 million if outside a Targeted Employment Area) must create 10 direct or indirect permanent jobs for U.S. workers.
No. But it is strongly recommended that an investor obtain the services of a translator to read our any documents you receive. It will also help in the immigration interview.
Yes. You must have not have any communicable diseases and have evidence of proper vaccinations.
Under USCIS regulations, an investor who is approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card, which must be reissued after two years, subject to removal of conditions upon approval of the I-829 Petition by USCIS. Otherwise, the two types of green card offer the same rights and privileges.
  • Successful participation in the EB-5 Visa Program results in permanent resident status. Once you have permanent resident status, there is no need to renew or reapply.
  • The E-2 Treaty Investor program is for non-immigrant status only. When the qualifying business / investment ends, so does the non-immigrant status granted to the foreign investor. The foreign investor will have to leave the United States unless another visa category is granted. In addition, E-2 visas are only available to citizens of certain countries.
  • Likewise, the L-1 is a non-immigrant classification as well. The L-1 alien can apply for classification as a Multinational Executive or Manager. If such a case is approved, which is becoming more difficult due to the high number of fraudulent cases and subsequent tightening of the review process, the alien may apply for permanent resident status.
Rejection in the past does not necessarily disqualify the applicant, unless the reason for rejection was related to immigration fraud or another major problem. It is most important that all prior criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration issues be disclosed to the Fund and your immigration counsel in advance of the I-526 Petition process.
The foreign investor, his or her spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21. It is possible for adopted children and step-children to be included as well.
The most common problem area has been insufficient documentation of the source of funds. Many applicants initially disclose very limited information, only to have their application returned with a request for further information. USCIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds application. Professional assistance from a certified public accountant or tax attorney is recommended in addition to legal counsel.
The investor completes Suitability Questionnaire and is required to provide a copy of his or her passport.
If the investor is deemed eligible, he or she is invited to review the Private Placement Memorandum for the Fund.
If the investor desires to purchase an interest in the Fund, he or she will execute and deliver signature pages to the documents and agreements comprising the Fund's Subscription Booklet. Additionally, the investor will deliver US$500,000 by wire transfer to an escrow account designated by the Fund as such investor's anticipated capital contribution, and US$50,000 as an administrative fee to the manager of the Fund (the "Fund Manager") or its designee. Such investor's anticipated capital contribution and administrative fee will be disbursed form the escrow account or returned to the investor as provided in the governing documents of the Fund.
Due diligence is conducted on the investor at the request of the Fund Manager. The investor will be required to provide income tax returns and substantial documentation evidencing that his or her funds were derived from lawful sources. Such evidence may include information concerning real estate transactions, business income, proceeds from the sale of a business, employment income, investments, bank accounts and dealings, licenses or similar evidence. If investment funds are from a gift or inheritance, an appropriate affidavit and/or other evidence will be required. Investors will also be required to provide evidence of the lawful source of funds in the case of a gift. The investor will only be admitted to the Fund after providing satisfactory documentation to the Fund Manager.
Upon satisfactory completion of the Fund's due diligence of the investor, the Fund will provide a list of approved EB-5 legal counsel and an engagement letter will need to be executed by the investor and such legal counsel. The investor must then file Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) with USCIS. The Fund will provide the investor with information for his or her I-526 Petition regarding the regional center, the new commercial enterprise, the job-creating project (including the business plan and economic impact report), and other relevant documentation. The investor must work with his or her legal counsel to document the lawful source of funds being invested and to trace them. The investor must pay the related legal fees and USCIS filing fees for their I-526 and I-829 petitions.
Following approval of an investor's I-526 Petition, the investor must apply for an immigrant visa. If the investor is outside of the United States, the appropriate United States Consulate must be notified. If the investor is in the United States, an application to Adjust Status (I-485) must be filed at the appropriate USCIS office. The Consular Interview Process or the USCIS adjustment of status process, as applicable, is designed to enable the United States government to determine whether the investor is inadmissible to the United States. As part of this process, the investor is subjected to medical, police, security and immigration history checks.
Upon entrance into the United States on the immigrant visa or approval of an adjustment of status, the investor, his or her spouse and unmarried children under age 21 years are granted conditional permanent resident status in the United States. The conditional permanent resident status is valid for two years. Upon receipt of this approval, the investor must forward a copy of his or her I-551 card ("green card") to the Fund Manager for tracking and compliance purposes.
Investors who have been granted conditional lawful permanent resident status must file a petition to remove the conditions on residency (Form I-829) between 21 and 24 months after the date they receive their conditional lawful permanent resident status upon arriving in the United States. The USCIS review of the I-829 Petition will verify that there were no material changes to the business plan of the developer of the project and that the investment of US$500,000 in a targeted employment area (or US$1 million outside a targeted employment area) was made. Likewise, USCIS will examine evidence to assess whether the requisite amount of direct, indirect and induced jobs were created to satisfy EB-5 program requirements. Once the I-829 is filed, the investor will receive a receipt notice that extends the investor's conditional lawful permanent resident status until USCIS completes processing of the I-829 Petition.
There will be one or more separate pooled investment vehicles for each project (in each case, a "Fund"). It is anticipated that each Fund will invest in or lend money to a real estate project company anticipated to result in direct and indirect job creation. The foreign investor will become a member or limited partner of the Fund, will participate in certain management decisions of the Fund, and may receive distributions from the Fund.
Yes. The investment must be completed in full prior to filing your I-526 Petition with USCIS.
A copy of the escrow agreement for the Fund and wire instructions for the escrow account will be provided in the offering materials for each Fund. Within 48 hours of your wire transfer, our office should receive a remittance confirmation. A copy of the remittance confirmation is provided to you and must be included as part of your I-526 Petition.
Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate their investment funds were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the investor to prove their investment funds were obtained through a lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means.
Yes, provided that applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual arms-length transaction and that the gifted funds will not be given back after permanent resident status is granted. The gift must also be sourced to its lawful origin.
For foreign investors seeking lawful permanent residence through the EB-5 Visa Program, the first step in the process is to file an I-526 Petition together with accompanying evidence in support of the program’s requirements. Your attorney will assist you in the preparation of the application.
The length of time for a foreign investor to pass the U.S. consular interview and receive his or her conditional green card varies. USCIS occasionally provides information on the current average processing times, which are typically found on the USCIS website.
Your attorney will discuss the required documents and information in detail with you. However, please note an investor must provide sufficient documentation of how his or her investment capital was earned or acquired. An investor’s independent declarations are not enough to satisfy USCIS requirements for proof of lawful source of funds. Independent evidence must support all declarations. Evidence may include, but need not be limited to, bank statements, stock certificates, and any loan or mortgage documents, promissory notes, security agreements or other evidence of borrowing which is secured by assets of the applicant.
The conditional green card will expire two years after the issuance. Foreign investors can submit their I-829 Petition as early as three months prior to the expiration date. The Fund Manager and SPRC will supply supporting evidence regarding the Fund, capital investment, and newly created jobs. Upon filing of the I-829 Petition, your conditional permanent residency is extended for one year.
Each investment of US$500,000 (or US$1 million if outside a Targeted Employment Area) must create ten (10) direct or indirect permanent jobs for U.S. workers.
Yes. SPRC believes that it is important for you to have independent legal counsel representing your interests. While we can provide a list of immigration attorneys, you should make your own arrangements for legal representation.
The investor and his or her spouse and any unmarried children under age 21 are eligible to apply for a green card through the EB-5 Visa Program after making a qualifying investment. It is possible for adopted children and step-children to be included in the family.
After you receive a green card, there are generally two conditions required to keep it for life. First, you must not become removable or inadmissible, including as the result of being convicted of a serious crime. The second requirement is that you not abandon the United States as your permanent residence.
Perhaps. The primary rule is that you lose the green card if you give up your U.S. residence. There are three important time limits to know about: If you are absent from the U.S. for less than six months, the burden would be on the Department of Homeland Security to prove that you abandoned your residency. If you are absent for more than six months but less than a year, the burden of proof reverses: it becomes your obligation to prove that you remain a permanent resident and that you did not intend to abandon your residency. If you are absent for more than one year, your green card may automatically be considered abandoned. Once that has happened, an immigration court hearing will be required to challenge the determination of abandonment.
You should speak to immigration counsel. You may be able to apply for a reentry permit, but you may need to apply for before leaving the U.S. With such a reentry permit, you can return to the U.S. until the reentry permit’s expiration date.
You should consult with your immigration counsel. If you received your green card through investment (such as through the EB-5 Visa Program), you will receive a conditional green card that will be valid for two years. You will need to apply for removal of conditions within 90 days before the expiration of the conditional green card by filing Form I-829. Once that is approved, you will have an unconditional green card. If you do not have the conditions removed, the green card will become invalid at the end of two years, and your permanent resident status will be terminated. Unconditional green cards are valid for ten years and can be renewed using Form I-90.
You should speak to your immigration counsel. The first requirement for an investor after he or she receives a visa at the United States overseas consular office is to enter the United States within 180 days of visa issuance. The investor must then establish residency in the United States. Evidence of intent to reside includes opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver’s license and a social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, and renting or buying a home. Once you become a conditional permanent resident, you should generally spend at least 180 days each year in the United States. There are several exceptions to the 180-day rule, such as students studying abroad, medical circumstances or emergency business circumstances where a re-entry permit may be granted. Proper preparation for re-entry into the US is highly recommend prior to leaving. The 180-day rule is in effect until you become a U.S. citizen.
You should speak to your immigration counsel. Once you obtain a green card and become a legal permanent resident, you have most of the rights and obligations of U.S. citizens, except that you cannot vote and you are not entitled to some public benefits. You are subject to the same tax filing requirements and entitled to the same tax rates and deductions as U.S. citizens. Your green card is your most important travel and identification document. When your green card arrives, look at it carefully. You may need to extend it in 10 years. If you replace it before then because it is lost, stolen, or duplicated, you may file a form with the USCIS. “Abandonment of residency” rules are an important restriction on legal permanent residents. The law provides that you are free to travel abroad, provided that your trip is “temporary.” Generally, USCIS views any absence from the United States for longer than six months as not temporary and abandonment can occur if you do not inform USCIS of your plans in advance and obtain a reentry permit. One of the most important rights legal permanent residents possess is the right to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years. The first step in becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). Being an LPR for 5 years is one of the basic requirements for qualifying for naturalization. A second requirement is being physically present in the U.S. for 30 months during the 5 years prior to the naturalization application. Once naturalized, an individual is entitled to the benefits of U.S. citizenship including the right to vote and hold public office.
You should speak to your immigration counsel. Individuals who are in the United States, but "out-of-status" are not permitted to apply for permanent residency from within the United States. They must first return to their country of origin and apply through the United States Embassy there. Examples of “out-of-status” individuals are non-immigrants who no longer have valid status because they remained in the United States after their status expired or was revoked.
Maybe. The U.S. allows dual citizenship, but your original country of origin may not allow it. You should consult with your immigration counsel.
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