Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) provides clients with rigorous economic impact analyses for EB-5 immigrant-investor visa program applications. Our services include:
- Analysis of Regional Center Geography & Help with Regional Center Establishment
- Targeted Employment Area (TEA) Designation Services
- Rapid Assessment of EB-5 Application Feasibility
- Situating EB-5 Projects in the Context of Local Markets
ESI’s expertise in input-output modeling and familiarity with the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudication policies enables us to produce solid, defensible job creation projections in support of EB-5 program visa applications.
ESI has recently completed analyses for:
- Port Terminal Infrastructure
- Recreational Facilities
- Renewable Energy Investment
- University Facilities Expansion
- Healthcare Facilities Investment
- Hospitality and Entertainment Facilities
- Real Estate Development
- Downtown Revitalization Projects
Our economists have extensive experience working on a variety of topics, including but not limited to: real estate development, transportation economics, and travel and tourism. This expertise provides us with a depth of understanding vital to producing reliable employment impact projections that satisfy EB-5 application requirements.
All told, ESI has worked on 40 EB-5 projects.
What is the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program?
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigrant Investor Program, commonly known as EB-5 (for Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference) is a program that offers permanent residency to foreign nationals who invest in job creating enterprises. When the program was created by Congress in 1990, the investor was required to be directly involved with the job-creating business. In 1992, the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program expanded the program to include economic development projects that are funneled through a Regional Center — a local entity involved in economic growth for a defined region. The Pilot Program also expanded the definition of job creation to include “indirect jobs” — those created by downstream economic activity generated by the initial investment, which are estimated using economic models.
As of January 1, 2014, there were 426 approved Regional Centers. According to US Citizen and Immigration Services, which administers the program, approximately 90 percent of EB-5 applications are filed in connection to Regional Center-affiliated investments. The amount of investment for which a project is eligible is a function of the number of jobs it creates. Each investment is required to generate at least 10 permanent jobs, for which the immigrant must invest $1 million (or $500,000 in an economically distressed area).
How do I Know if my Project Qualifies?
Through the Regional Center program, virtually any investment is eligible for funds if it can demonstrate that it generates at least 10 permanent jobs. USCIS puts some restrictions on what jobs it will count. The two most impactful restrictions are 1) jobs must be “net new”, meaning that they are not displacing an existing job or simply relocated from elsewhere and 2) direct construction jobs do not count if the construction period is less than two years. Projects with a high job-to-investment ratio are more able to rely on EB-5 funds than others.
Contact our EB-5 Economists for a preliminary economic analysis: