Summary of the EB-5 Seminar of December 8, 2013
On December 8 the New Oriental Chinese School and the website www.ohio168.com invited Francis Fungsang, a partner at Margaret Wong & Associates, to give a presentation in Columbus, Ohio on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, alternatives for obtaining U.S. permanent residency, and current immigration trends. Fungsang has been practicing at Margaret Wong & Associates for six years and is experienced in employment-based immigration. He discussed the two EB-5 categories, the application process, and the risks involved. As Fungsang explained, the EB-5 investor can either invest directly in a private business (Direct Investment) or invest in a government-designated entity called a Regional Center. Direct Investment requires a minimum investment of $500,000 or $1 million, depending on the location of the business, and the creation of at least 10 U.S. jobs using that investment. The investor must also play a managerial role in the business after obtaining permanent residency. On the other hand, investing in a Regional Center will in most cases require a $500,000 investment, and the investor will not be involved in management or be responsible for hiring U.S. workers. Fungsang stressed the importance of researching individual Regional Centers and their projects, given the expenses and investment risks involved.
Fungsang then explained alternatives to the EB-5 program, including temporary work and business visitor visas, and employment and family sponsorship options. Fungsang then took questions from the audience and engaged in a lively discussion on the many interesting issues that arise in his field of work. The audience appreciated Fungsang’s clear explanation of the EB-5 process and perspective on immigration law and practice. The one-hour presentation passed by quickly, leaving the audience wanting more.