EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

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EB-5 Regional Centers for Canadians

Under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, Canadians who invest at least USD $1 million into a job-creating business south of the border can qualify for a US Green Card allowing them to live and work anywhere in the United States. In accordance with 2019 EB-5 Program regulations, a qualifying business must be a new commercial enterprise, and the immigrant investor's capital investment must create at least ten full-time jobs for American workers.

Most Canadians who participate in the United States investor immigration program invest in an EB-5 Regional Center, which can make meeting the program's investment and job creation requirements significantly easier. Almost all EB-5 Regional Center projects are located in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), which are rural regions or areas with above average unemployment. The minimum investment required is only USD $500,000 when the EB-5 project being funded is located in a TEA.

What is an EB-5 Regional Center?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines an EB-5 Regional Center as a public or private economic unit that is "involved with the promotion of economic growth, including increased export sales, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment." USCIS approved Immigrant Investor Regional Centers operate an investment fund explicitly for the benefit of EB-5 investors - investing their funds in specific job-creating projects while managing the EB-5 approval process on their behalf.

The EB-5 Regional Center investment option differs from the direct investment option in that the investor is not required to engage in active management of a new commercial enterprise. Regional Center investments are managed by professionals who assure that program requirements are satisfied, while the enterprises themselves are managed by corporate officers or other personnel hired for that purpose. Like an EB-5 direct investor, a Regional Center investor must create at least ten full-time jobs for qualified US workers. Unlike a direct investor, however, the employment created by an investment in a Regional Center can be direct or indirect. A Regional Center investment is a good option for investors who want to become permanent residents of the United States without creating and managing their own business. Regional Center investors are not required to live in the area where the Regional Center is located. USCIS has approved more than 800 EB-5 Regional Centers across the United States.

In order to qualify for a US Investor Visa, an EB-5 candidate's investment capital must be fully at risk. This means that a bad investment could result in an EB-5 investor losing some or all of their capital investment. Consequently, it is important for prospective participants to do extensive research and due diligence before investing in an EB-5 Regional Center. A qualified US immigration attorney can help with this process.

EB-5 Investment Opportunities

Disclaimer: We are not a business or financial advisor and do not offer any advice regarding the choosing of an EB-5 project, the rate of return, security, timing of return, or any other financial or tax aspects of your investment.

There are many EB-5 projects that may be of interest to Canadian investors. One of these projects is the Hyatt Fort Lauderdale, which is a 46-storey luxury condo hotel being developed by the Canadian-owned Kolter Group. One of the largest private developers in the United States, the Kolter Group and has built more than $10 billion of real estate in the last 25 years. The Fort Lauderdale Hyatt is the fifth EB-5 project in Florida sponsored by the Kolter Group and EB5AN (EB-5 Affiliate Network), and to date they have a 100% success rate of USCIS approval. The other EB-5 projects sponsored by the Kolter Group and EB5AN were the Water Club Project in North Palm Beach ($181 million), VUE Project in Sarasota ($128 million), Hyatt Place Hotel Project in Baton Raton ($66 million), and Westin Hotel Project in Sarasota ($102 million). There are more than 600 Hyatt brand hotels around the world.

Hyatt Fort Lauderdale EB-5 Project

Construction on the Hyatt Fort Lauderdale is already underway, with an estimated completion date of March 2019. The chic, urban tower is located on the famous Las Olas Boulevard in the city's center, a district filled with world-class restaurants, exciting nightlife, and internationally acclaimed galleries. The tower is the first major condominium project of a new development cycle in the North Miami area and will be the tallest building in Fort Lauderdale. The total project cost is estimated at USD $206 million. Of this, only $40 million (19%) will be contributed by EB-5 investors. The project has a very conservative capital structure, with the developer contributing $42.5 million (21%) in cash equity and deposits, and only $123.5 million (60%) being financed.

Project Highlights:

  • 80 EB-5 investment slots available
  • Will contain 121 condominium units and 238 luxury hotel rooms
  • Hotel will operate under the renowned Hyatt brand
  • Estimated to create 2,861 jobs (EB-5 job creation requirement is 800). This would be 35.7 jobs created per EB-5 investor, which is more than 3.5x the minimum job creation requirement
  • Has received USCIS I-924 Exemplar status, resulting in the pre-approval of the agreements, business plan, and job creation model. Consequently, EB-5 applicants who invest in this project can receive automatic removal of their Green Card conditions.
  • Developer has provided an I-526 petition denial guarantee

Building Details:
Height: 495 feet
Floors: 46
Land area: 0.88 acres
Condo space: 342,185 sq ft
Hotel space: 165,000 sq ft
Meeting space: 8,500 sq ft
Retail space: 8,000 sq ft
Total space: 523,685 sq ft

Job Creation Details:
Construction jobs: 2,482
Operational jobs: 379
Total jobs: 2,861 (based on econometric analysis)

Interested in learning more about this project or other EB-5 Regional Centers? Contact us today for a free complimentary consultation.

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