Will I Get My Money Back if I Invest in a TEA Project?

by Carter Toni

The EB 5 Visa Program allows immigrants to get their United States green card by investing in a qualified U.S. business or project. The minimum investment is $1,050,000, or $800,000 for a project located in a targeted employment area. Investors must meet the minimum investment amount and create 10 full-time jobs with their investment to qualify for a green card. Successful investors will be issued a 2-year conditional green card, which can later become permanent if conditions are met.

After investing $800,000 in a targeted employment area project, some investors might ask if they will get their money back. Every investment is different, but there are steps that you can take to help increase your chances of getting your investment amount back.

What Is a TEA Project?

Investing in a targeted employment area (TEA) allows you to invest $800,000 instead of $1,050,000. Your investment would help create jobs and boost the economy. Two types of TEAs are recognized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): high unemployment areas and rural areas.

High Unemployment Areas

The location must be a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), meaning most of the population is in the region’s center, to qualify as a high unemployment area. The area must also be experiencing an unemployment rate that is at least 150% higher than the current national average. If these two qualifications are met, the area can qualify as a TEA.

Rural Areas

Rural areas cannot be located within an MSA and must have less than 20,000 people living in the area.

Will I Get My Money Back if I Invest?

There are ways to increase your chances of getting your money back, but in most cases, there is no guarantee. You can generally find information about profit earnings or the potential for a refund in your investment documents or contract.

What Can I Do To Improve My Chances of Getting My Money Back?

While there is usually no guarantee of return on financial investments, there are steps that you can take to help improve your chances of getting your money back.

Choose a Reputable Regional Center

EB 5 investors can make a direct investment or choose to invest through a regional center. Regional centers make meeting job requirements easier by counting indirect jobs towards the job creation requirement. They can also have investment opportunities that are ready to go and can answer many of your questions about the EB 5 visa process. Investing with a reputable regional center is one of the best ways to answer all your questions and increase your chances of getting your money back.

Hire an Immigration Attorney

Hiring an immigration attorney may help you avoid losing your money. An experienced attorney can recommend trustworthy regional centers. They can also help you complete due diligence on a project to help you identify a good investment.

Research the Project

Whether or not you hire an immigration attorney to help you research potential projects, make sure you know and understand the project you are investing in. Research the developers and review their business plans. Ask questions about financial projections and how many potential jobs the project will create. Thorough research can help you choose the right project and help you feel more confident in your decision.

Read Offering Documents Carefully

Before investing, your regional center should send you offering documents. These documents go over the details of your investment opportunity. Make sure you read these documents thoroughly. Pay careful attention to the project’s risks and exit strategies.

Stay Up-to-Date

Although it is not required, you can choose to follow the activities of your project after investing. By staying informed about your project, you can quickly address concerns if they come up. Keeping tabs on the project can also help you decide if you would like to reinvest or exit the project in the future.

Contact a Regional Center to Learn More About the EB 5 Visa Program

If you are interested in the EB 5 visa program and want to learn more, contact a certified regional center. They can provide helpful information about the program and its benefits. After speaking with a regional center and doing your research, you can decide whether the program is right for you.

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