The EB-5 Program is known to be the most direct way to obtain green cards for your entire family and start living in America. The program was created by the United States Congress in 1990 to stimulate the American economy through job creation with the help of foreign capital. By becoming a partner in an approved EB-5 project, the applicants contribute to the creation of job opportunities in the United States, and in return, they get awarded with permanent residency. The program is operated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; USCIS.
The EB-5 Program is now being represented in Indonesia by Pt. Koa Global Mandiri, the official affiliate of the Koa Group which is one of the most experienced consultancy firms in investment-based U.S. immigration procedures. The founder of the Koa Group, David Wilson has over 35 years of experience in construction finance and international funds management. Mr. Wilson is here to answer some frequently asked questions about EB-5.
Why is the EB-5 known as the short-cut to get green cards for the whole family?
Although there are many other ways to obtain permanent residency status in the United States, no other method is as direct as becoming a partner in an approved EB-5 project and immediately starting the green card application. Other ways of applying for a green card requires years of working and networking, either through education or business, prerequisite visas and longer waiting periods. Transferring from a student or work visa to resident status is still a very indirect way that requires not only time but also a lot of work on the applicant’s end.
On the other hand, the other “employment-based” U.S. visa programs, such as E1, E2, do not provide immediate application for green card and they require a lot of effort on the investors’ side. In the EB-5 program, the only thing expected from an applicant is to keep the required amount of investment in an approved project fund for a certain period. They are not required to do any other work. Plus, they begin their immigration applications as soon as they join the project fund. We shouldn’t forget that other green card application methods do not give the chance to start the immigration process for the applicant’s family. EB-5 investors can apply for green card also for their spouses and children who are under 21.
Do the applicants receive back their investments at the end of the process?
Yes. The EB-5 process has two timelines; investment and immigration. They start at the same time, when the main applicant becomes an official partner of the capital fund of the EB-5 project. The immigration process is much faster and it ends with the acquisition of green cards. The investment process ends with the return of the funds. All applicants who work with our projects receive their investment, plus the interest income, in five years.
How much time is necessary between becoming an applicant by joining an EB-5 project fund, and being able to live in America?
Every year, 10.000 investors around the world apply for permanent residency in the U.S. with EB-5. Most of these people are from China and that’s why, there is currently a waiting list for Chinese applicants. Of course, this affects the statistics about the average waiting periods in the world, but do not get confused: for applicants from other countries, such as Indonesia, the process is much faster. From becoming a partner in an EB-5 project, to obtaining the entry visa and the permit to live and work in the U.S., it takes about a year and a half.
Can you please tell us about your team?
Because they allow to create job opportunities much more efficiently, the majority of the approved
EB-5 projects in America are construction projects. We are a team whose background is in construction and unlike many other EB-5 project “agencies” we do not just represent an approved, job-creating construction project fund, we also manage and develop the project itself. To this date, our group have planned three approved construction projects, including the one that is currently available for application. Our financial consultants and U.S. immigration advisors helped more than 210 people around the world in obtaining green cards with our two completed projects.
Our group has teams and offices in Honolulu, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Bali, Istanbul and New York. Koa GM officially represents the Koa Group in Indonesia. For more information on the program or our current partnership fund, you may reach our representatives here via e-mail at [email protected].
You mentioned that your team has planned and managed 3 project funds so far, including the currently active one. All of your EB-5 projects are located in the State of Hawaii. What is the significance of the Aloha State?
Well, as we always say, it is the meeting point of the entire Pacific region. If you turn to history, and of course geography, you see that the Hawaiian archipelago is a midpoint for all Pacific-rim countries. As a company with a background in construction, we have a strong network of professionals and a lot of building experience in this friendly region. We are happy and proud to create win-win opportunities by means of construction projects at a place that serves as a stepping stone for prospective U.S. residents on their way from the Asian to the American continent.
Where is your current project located at?
Our third EB-5 project, Whales Point, is located in the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. This region is known as the “gold coast” because of the many world-class luxury resorts and golf courses found in here. It is a very dynamic real estate location that attracts tourists, entrepreneurs and property investors from around the world. The name our project’s EB-5 investment partnership fund is “Whales Point Fund LLP” and it accepts 68 applicants worldwide. By the end of the project’s development, these 68 foreign investors will create more than 700 jobs in this Targeted Employment Area. We very excited to be a part of this process and we welcome global entrepreneurs to join us in building bridges between Asia and America.
Finally, what are the benefits of becoming a lawful resident in the US? In other words, what can I do with my green card?
Green card holders can live anywhere in America. Once the resident status is obtained, you can work, own a business or real estate and in any part of the United States. You can also go to any American K-12 school or university without dealing with foreign student fees and or international application documents. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why families with children in school and college age are considering to get green cards.
For more information about EB-5, visit www.koagm.com