The EB-5 visa
program, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, has been gaining a lot
of attention lately, as immigrants, developers and investors have been taking
advantage of the multiple benefits that the program has to offer.  For all of the program's upside however, one
can't forget that a lot of challenging work still has to go into each EB-5
application and each EB-5 funded project to make them a success.  Some immigrant investors have fallen into
common pitfalls along the way that can derail their applications, but with a
little planning or even professional advice, those obstacles can be avoided all

The Investment
Visa Program
was created in 1990 by Congress as a means to stimulate job growth and encourage capital investment by
affluent foreign entrepreneurs.  The program
provides US green cards to foreign investors and their families, enabling them
to become permanent residents in the United States, in exchange for a sizeable investment
in a US venture.  The investor must
contribute either $1 Million in any location throughout the US, or $500,000 to
a project located in a rural or high unemployment area.  Furthermore, the investment must create or
preserve at least ten full-time, permanent jobs for qualified American workers
within two years after the investor's admission into the United States.

As one might
guess, these requirements make the application process a thorough and
exhaustive one, especially given the fact that the program has faced criticism
in past years for being corrupt and poorly supervised.  The program was revised and reorganized in
2003 to ensure that the investments were being made through the correct avenues
and that the job creation requirements were being dutifully followed.  The one aspect of the program that required
the most revision, were the so-called EB-5 regional centers, which are
government approved hubs designed to recruit and facilitate the funding of
larger projects by bundling together multiple EB-5 visas.  The regional centers were criticized for
failure to monitor and manage the investments of the visa holders, so a new
oversight unit was created in 2003, and since then, all aspects of the program
have been operating without objection.

To ensure that
no visas are granted to undeserving applicants, the United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services requires that each applicant provide documentation
showing that their investment capital is from a "lawful" source, and that their
income level will allow them to sustain the investment.  They also have to provide evidence showing
that their investment will produce or preserve at least ten permanent full time
jobs, and all of these documents must be produced in English, which can prove
to be challenging for some foreign investors. 
If the documents are written in other languages, an English translation
must be provided.  All of this must be
done before the investor even comes to the United States.

After the
process has started and the investor is in the US on a conditional permit, they
are required to provide further additional documentation, including a medical
exam, birth certificate, tax returns, criminal arrest records, and some
applicants even have to sit for an interview. 
If any aspect of this process is defective, the entire investor's visa
can be denied.  However, there are many
professional attorneys and agents who have experience leading investors through
the process and with so much at stake, immigrants are wise to seek aide to
ensure that their petition doesn't get denied on a technicality.