In 1990, the United States government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. Under it, foreign investors can invest a minimum of $500,000 in a business that creates at least 10 new American jobs. In exchange for their capital, these investors receive investment green cards, allowing them to legally immigrate to the United States. Initially, the program only allowed investments to go toward new enterprises, but with subsequent modifications to the policy, under certain conditions EB-5 visas can now be issued to help established businesses get back on their feet or expand. It’s a program that has experienced increased interest in the past few years as capital becomes harder to obtain and immigration routes become harder to traverse. But with the increased interest comes increased scrutiny, making attracting the right foreign investors a difficult task. Here are five tips to help you acquire the money and skills your business needs to get or stay afloat:
How to Expand Your Business with Foreign Investors Funding
Do Your Homework
Pretend you’re preparing to defend a doctoral thesis or studying for a board exam. Now is the time to carefully review and document all your business dealings. Ensure that your finances are in order, your contracts are solid and your projections are sound. Have a business plan to show potential investors and be ready to answer a range of questions from “When is morning break?” to “What is your target gross profit percentage?” Demonstrate that you know what you’re doing and aren’t a liability or impediment to success.
There are a lot of companies that need funding. Make yours stand out by highlighting your strengths and critically and accurately describing your needs to potential investors. Create marketing materials that are unique with eye-catching graphics. And most importantly, cater to specific interests that your potential investors might possess in order to attract and hold their attention.
One of the criteria for granting an investment visa is that the investor will actively participate in the business’s operations. Don’t just look for cash. Look also for skill. Market your project only to the individuals you believe have the money and the expertise you need to grow your business.
Consider a Regional Center
If the thought of scouting foreign investors seems like too large a task to accomplish single-handedly, a business can apply to become part of a “regional center.” Regional centers are third-party organizations designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that help connect businesses with interested foreign investors. Going through a regional center increases a project’s exposure to investors and often makes it easier for businesses and investors to create the necessary number of jobs that the EB-5 investment visa program demands. Applying for “exemplar status” can further increase interest for investors, as it means that a regional center has been pre-approved by the USCIC as meeting all EB-5 requirements, thus making it easier and faster for investors to proceed through the system.
Hire a Professional
The best way to navigate the EB-5 process is by hiring a reputable attorney skilled in all matters relating to the eb-5 investment visa. He or she will know all the latest updates to the law and be able to navigate you through the complicated process.
For a properly funded business venture, increasing revenue while lowering down on expenditure is a good sign of progress. Knowing when to do and when not to would help you make proper decision that would further grow your company.