Monthly Archives: December 2014

New USCIS EB-5 Changes Increase Program Transparency and Speed

As president of Hesemann & Associates, Mark Hesemann helps developers, landowners, and investors finance real estate projects. Mark Hesemann has extensive experience in financing development projects through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services investment immigration program (USCIS EB-5). This longstanding federal program provides foreign investors with the opportunity to obtain a green card, provided they meet certain criteria.

In early 2014, a new USCIS program director, Nicholas Colucci, was appointed, and he refocused the agency’s attention on increasing transparency and expediting the EB-5 application and approval process. Currently, the processing of the initial I-526 petition, which helps determine the legality of the investment source, takes a lengthy 10 months on average. The new director is also seeking to increase due diligence capacities by hiring well-qualified securities and immigration lawyers and economists. The end result promises to be a streamlined USCIS EB-5 application and approval process that will benefit investors, U.S. workers, and the American economy as a whole.

Understanding the USCIS EB-5 Investment Immigration Program

Experienced in diverse aspects of real estate development and investment financing, Mark Hesemann leads the Indianapolis-headquartered firm Hesemann & Associates. With a presence in Singapore and New Delhi as well, Mark Hesemann has arranged numerous international investments and facilitated financing of a southwest Michigan resort hotel through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services investment immigration program (USCIS EB-5).

USCIS EB-5 enables foreign investors to receive a U.S. green card, provided they invest between $500,000 and $1 million in a business enterprise based in the United States. This investment must generate a minimum of 10 full-time positions for U.S. citizens. Each year, 10,000 visa numbers are allocated, with 3,000 reserved for investments of $500,000 or more in “targeted employment areas” and 3,000 reserved for investments in Regional Center-affiliated commercial enterprises. USCIS EB-5 investments are typically an excellent choice for individuals with qualifying resources and the willingness to pursue high-risk investments. While demand for USCIS EB-5 visas was slack in recent years due to worldwide recession, investor demand has picked up recently, and it is likely that a visa quota backlog will emerge should current trends continue.