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What is an attractive deal for EB5 investors?

Can anyone provide details on their personal experience for what they negotiated with an EB5 investor package. I would like to know what an attractive offering is for them.

It is a competitive environment where EB5 investors can choose between different business opportunities to invest their money in so I would like to know what deal was offered regarding their investment returns and any other enticements over and above the green card itself.

I am not looking for an explanation of what an EB5 investor is and/or conditions that must be met. Details on business owner/entrepreneur package offerings that worked or didn't work please. Examples in the hospitality industry or the technology product (software/hardware)industry would be great.

9 Replies

Peter Weiss
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Peter Weiss Entrepreneur
President at American Outlook, Inc.
Certainty that you can deliver the green card above all else.

A friend of mine runs one of the original EB5 programs and it is huge. Other friends tell me it is very difficult to compete with him because he has a superb and well documented history of reporting compliance and getting his people through the system.

They have made a decision to stick to real estate investments because they are far less likely to fail than start-ups and thus eliminate much of the biggest risk (not generating jobs) than investing in new businesses.


Mark Graham
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Mark Graham Entrepreneur
President & CEO at Caiman, Inc.
Thanks Peter, this was a two prong thought. Although I am in technology and have a new company I am also involved in a hotel project where two new hotels are being built by a group who has already owned hotels for years. Further, I myself have gone through the green card process and have sponsored green cards successfully for one of my information systems consultants.

So I was more curious about what is a good deal over and above EB5's just getting their green card. Everyone seems to offer the same major benefit but do they not really care about getting a higher interest rate on their investment? Getting paid back quickly or anything?
Shobhit Verma
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Shobhit Verma Entrepreneur • Advisor
building an adaptive recommendation engine
Peter, does your friend have projects in "targeted areas", where the requirement is $500k and not a Million ? If so, please share the details, I am looking to invest.
Mark, I am one of those prospective EB5 investors(500k, not million).
Unfortunately there is too much noise in EB5 projects, there are too many scammers and it it is extremely hard to evaluate which projects (if any) are worth taking the risk. The only way for me to feel good about my investment is
1) If there is enough history and success stories, OR
2) It is a business that I fully understand and have full transparency and control over how my money will be used, .. AND
3) I can be absolutely sure that the person running the business will be able to generate 10 fulltime US jobs and other criterion for EB5 project.
Peter Weiss
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Peter Weiss Entrepreneur
President at American Outlook, Inc.
The biggest deal flow I see offers profit participations, either from income when available or sale of the investment. Many of the deals I know most about have become hung up for a number of reasons and are generating anywhere from nothing to maybe 3% cash on cash with no imminent prospect of liquidity. I hear the E(b)5 folks are not happy but they're not making a fuss.

I think there are differences depending on where the investor is coming from. Most of the Asians and eastern Europeans seem motivated most by the green card and then by a desire to move capital to the US. The western Europeans want the option to live in the US but are more interested in return of capital.

I watched one fairly sizable deal come together where the offer was 8% plus upside on disposition, if the sponsor sells the property (no promises) but what the investors insisted on was a parent company and founder guarantee of return of capital. When you factor in time, enterprise risk, the maxing out of the green card limits and currency fluctuations my assumption is the money is coming in principally for the green card, not economic returns.

Hope this helps.
Mark Graham
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Mark Graham Entrepreneur
President & CEO at Caiman, Inc.
Thank you Shobhit for your perspective.

I do not want to get into too much detail on what your investment goals are but I know there is a common view amoung EB5 investors that 500k is better than 1 million. What I would like to know is whether EB5 investors are aware that projects with the lower investment limits are more risky. I have seen proposals from the regional centers (legal entity) that do not detail what their conditions are to meet the 500k requirement for an EB5 investor. I have a feeling regional centers might be "putting together" projects knowing the EB5 investor wanted a lower investment and maybe not stressing the risk differences.

For you to qualify for the lower 500k the project must have these attributes:

"EB-5 investors with the reduced $500,000 threshold, then the Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), Rural Areas (areas with populations under 20,000 people) and areas of high unemployment (areas with unemployment rates 150% or more of the national rate), should be identified."

This means investment in these projects is inherently more risky as the potential for economic success is less for a project in an economically challenged area than one in a better economic location.

If you can just confirm that you know about the inherent additional risk of investing just 500k vesus 1 million and would still chose this option or whether you were not aware of these conditions that regional centers must comply with. This is not "it depends" thing. Their is a strong reason why only 500k is required in these economically disadvantaged areas/projects.



Mark Graham
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Mark Graham Entrepreneur
President & CEO at Caiman, Inc.
Thank you Peter. This was just the response I was looking for.

1) Make sure you can show your competence and understanding to meet EB5 compliance issues

2) Interest rates up to 8% are good with clauses to have money paid back in the event of a sale.

3) Recognize that different EB5 investors (based on regions of the world they are coming from) have a slightly different importance placed on investment returns and target them accordingly.

Address concerns for executing on theEB5 process itself (we would use the same top notch legal team I used for my own visa's) and for concerns with business execution detail fully the experience of the business team with similar projects.

Thank you
Peter Weiss
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Peter Weiss Entrepreneur
President at American Outlook, Inc.
Shobhit, I know two groups who are doing this well. One has a long track record of success; the other is newer but has spent the time and money to have all the systems in place and since the money is used to build functioning retail stores, there is no question of job creation. I need to find out if the second is at the $500K or $1 million level. Better to communicate directly rather than through FounderDating. My e-mail is below. P Peter H. Weiss President, American Outlook, Inc. Providing Financial Consulting and CFO Services P.O. Box 1682 Mercer Island, WA 98040 [removed to protect privacy] Fax [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy]
Peter Weiss
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Peter Weiss Entrepreneur
President at American Outlook, Inc.
The up and coming issue is going to be the cap on e(b)5 green cards 10,000 per year. Weve hit it the last couple of years and with the huge growth in the programs a backlog is starting to build. Were starting to see the massive flood of applications hitting as soon as ICE opens the window, just like the H(1)b work visas. P Peter H. Weiss President, American Outlook, Inc. Providing Financial Consulting and CFO Services P.O. Box 1682 Mercer Island, WA 98040 [removed to protect privacy] Fax [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy]
Mark Graham
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Mark Graham Entrepreneur
President & CEO at Caiman, Inc.
The other thing to note that may help EB5's investors not being taken advantage of is that regional centers are simply a form filing process you complete to get listed. I see many regional centers promoting themselves as if they have some sort of seal of approval by immigration. Their is no requirement prior that the regional centers know what they are doing.

Further EB5's need to be aware that the people who may be referring you to a good investment may very well be getting paid for referring you. So you are being sent to the "good groups" who pay the most for the referral. Also, it may not be common knowledge that a regional center, in many cases, is simply a clearing house of putting people wanting investment and those wanting a green card together. A regional center can simply be a middle man and previous successful projects have no measurable success rate to future ones since the people doing the project are completely new.

Best thing is to do what we have done and have EB5's come see what projects you have completed, talk to the people involved and then see what projects the same team is doing now.
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