Why choose GERC?
- Why is green energy a good investment sector?
- What makes California the ideal location for a green energy project?
- What is the connection between Clean Focus and GERC?
- Why is the GERC EB-5 program better than other EB-5 programs?
- What is the investment amount required for GERC?
- Are there any fees in addition to the investment amount and if so, what are they?
- How safe is my investment?
- How do my funds get invested in the regional center?
- How do you satisfy the job creation requirements of the EB-5 Visa?
Qualifying for EB-5
- What previous business experience or education is required to qualify for the EB-5 investment program?
- Do I have to be involved in the day-to-day management of the business?
- What sources of investment funds are eligible?
- Can I borrow funds to invest?
- Do I need to speak English?
- Can I apply if I have been previously rejected or terminated by USCIS for an L-1, B, or other visa?
The EB-5 Immigration Process
- How many immigrant visas are allotted each year for the EB-5 classification?
- What is a Regional Center and what are the benefits of a Regional Center?
- What documents do I need to prepare?
- Where can I find a copy of the relevant EB-5 law and regulations to review?
- What is the difference between “conditional” and “unconditional” green cards?
- In the EB-5 program, who is eligible for permanent residency (“green card”)?
- Do I have to stay in the U.S. after I receive my EB-5 visa?
- How long must I remain in the United States each year?
Why choose GERC?
Green energy is one of the most important focal points for the U.S. economy. The United States must reduce its dependence on foreign oil in the interest of national security, and investment in green energy will lead to a new industrial revolution and create millions of jobs. As a result, all levels of government provide substantial incentives to promote green energy. Demand for green energy has also accelerated. Twenty-five states mandate utility companies to purchase up to 30% of their energy from renewable sources, and corporations have increased their green power purchases twenty-fivefold since 2001. Even though the overall economic forecast for the United States may vary, financial experts agree that the green energy sector is poised for tremendous growth.
California is the world’s eighth largest economy, and it is the most populous state in the country. California also imposes some of the highest electric rates in the U.S., and it is already the country’s largest green energy market. The abundant sunshine it receives all year creates a perfect environment for building solar-power systems. Most importantly, the state government is highly supportive of the green energy industry. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently issued an executive order requiring the state’s electric utilities to use renewable sources for a third of the energy they generate by the year 2020. To meet that goal, the state will need around US$50 billion in capital investments in the next decade, and that in turn will lead to thousands of new jobs. Over the past decade, green energy investments created more than 125,000 jobs and generated employment that grew at a rate 15 percent faster than the California economy as a whole.
Clean Focus is the investment manager for GERC. Clean Focus raises and manages capital from a variety of sources, including EB-5 investors through GERC, to acquire and operate solar power-projects in California. Other funding sources include banks, tax equity investors, sponsor equity investors, and Clean Focus itself. The Clean Focus team brings together tremendous experience in worldwide financial markets, green energy projects, and high-tech operations. For more information, visit www.cleanfocus.us.
GERC stands out from other EB-5 programs for several reasons:
- Proven, safe technology – The solar-power technology deployed by GERC has proven itself over 30 years and in more than 100,000 individual projects.
- Job creation – USCIS has approved GERC’s job-creation methodology. GERC depends exclusively on “indirect” job creation. Unlike EB-5 programs that rely on direct job creation, for GERC, the job creation requirement is satisfied as soon as an investment is made, thus expediting the I-829 petition. EB-5 investors in GERC co-invest with banks and sponsor equity investors to fund larger projects, which results in a higher number of jobs for the EB-5 dollars invested. Compared to other approaches, the GERC methodology substantially reduces the risk of not creating enough jobs.
- Investment safety – GERC projects are led by other investors, including highly reputable banks and sponsor equity investors. All the investors conduct extensive due diligence to ensure project safety. EB-5 funds contribute only a small portion of the total investment in each solar project. Each project generates stable cashflow with predictable revenue streams, government incentives, and low operating expenses.
- Governmental support – Green energy and solar power receive strong support from the state of California. GERC solar-power projects benefit from a number of laws, including the California Solar Initiative Performance Based Incentive paid out by the state for the first five years of production of solar energy. Additional support includes mandates for the purchase of green energy, generous tax credits, and tax benefits from accelerated depreciation.
- Immigration processing – GERC and its legal partners offer full service in immigration processing, including the preparation and processing of I-526 and I-829 applications.
- Professional management – GERC and its partners bring together a world-class team with extensive experience in risk management, solar technology, and immigration affairs.
USCIS regulations require a minimum investment of $500,000 for solar projects in Targeted Employment Areas (TEA).
In addition to the $500,000 investment, there are legal, set-up, and filing fees.
The GERC EB-5 program offers potential immigrants an attractive investment opportunity. Investors are virtually assured of recouping their monies for the following reasons:
- Solar-power technology has proven itself over 30 years and in more than 100,000 individual projects. The key components, solar modules, carry 25 to 30 year warranties, and solar systems receive system-performance guarantees from system integrators.
- Each solar system sells its electricity to a reputable organization with a high credit rating (an “offtaker”). The offtaker signs a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and commits for at least 20 years. This purchase guarantee yields predictable returns and generates adequate cash reserves to return the EB-5 investment at the end of the five-year term.
- As an added measure of safety, the government of California provides a Performance Based Incentives (PBI) that often doubles revenue for the first five years. PBI payments come from a state account that is automatically deducted from electricity users in California. As such, repayment of EB-5 loans in GERC is not dependent on industry or even general economic conditions.
- EB-5 investors will co-invest with highly reputable banks and sponsor equity investors, all of whom conduct extensive due diligence on the solar projects.
The EB-5 investment funds flow into a Clean Focus investment fund that pools together contributions from multiple EB-5 investors. The fund then lends to individual solar projects with a security interest in all project assets.
GERC depends exclusively on”indirect”job creation, which means that the EB-5 job-creation requirement is satisfied as soon as an investment is made.
Qualifying for EB-5
What previous business experience or education is required to qualify for the EB-5 investment program?
You do not need any prior business experience or a minimum level of education; however, you will need to show the required net worth and capital availability.
Unlike traditional work-related green cards, you do not need to be involved in day-to-day operations. You may continue to engage in your own business, live where you please, and enter and exit the United States without any obligation to manage individual projects.
The EB-5 investment must come from a lawful source, including earned personal income, profits from the sale of property, stocks or bonds, profits from a legal business, a loan secured by personal assets of the immigrant investor, business transactions, gifts, and inheritances. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires tax returns, bank records, proof of ownership in any businesses, financial statements for each business and business licenses. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as sale of a house, inheritance or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred by providing an official document, such as a closing statement, contract, or other official documents.
Yes, funds may be borrowed or gifted; however, a loan must be secured by other assets. The loan must not be secured by the EB-5 commercial enterprise. It does not matter if the loan came from a third party or the enterprise itself. In either case, a petition will be denied if a loan is secured by the EB-5 commercial enterprise.
No. You are not required to speak English.
Rejection in the past does not disqualify you, unless the reasons were related to immigration fraud or other major problems. It is important that all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration problems be disclosed to GERC and legal counsel in advance of your petition.
The EB-5 Immigration Process
The EB-5 program allots 10,000 visas per year for immigrant investors and their family members whose qualifying investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
Within the EB-5 regulations, the government created a special provision called the”Regional Center.” A Regional Center is a private enterprise, corporation, or a regional governmental agency with a targeted investment program within a defined geographic region. One of the major benefits of the Regional Center program is that USCIS pre-approves a job-creation methodology through economic forecasting.
You will need to complete and submit the following documentation:
- Passport Identification Page (for you and family members who will immigrate with you).
- U.S. Visa Stamps and I-94 Departure Record (for you and family members who are currently in the U.S.).
- Birth certificates and marriage certificate.
- Net worth statement or statement of financial condition.
- Earnings and account statements, employer letters, closing documents, property deeds, and other documents to explain source of funds.
- Bank account statements and wire transfer records showing withdrawal of funds from your bank account and transfer to a regional-center investment.
- Business Registration/Incorporation documents of any business owned (U.S. and abroad).
- Individual income tax returns for past 5 years (U.S. and abroad).
- Business income tax returns for past 5 years (U.S. and abroad).
- Resume, curriculum vitae, or biographical statement.
Visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
A conditional green card is a temporary green card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens during which an individual must file the I-829 application with USCIS to verify that:
1) All of the funds have been invested, and
2) Employment creation criteria have been met.
Upon approval of the I-829, full resident status is granted and an “unconditional” or permanent green card is issued. The final I-829 step makes it imperative for EB-5 investors to examine the job creation potential of competing EB-5 programs. An “unconditional” or permanent green card has no expiration date. Otherwise the two cards offer the same rights and privileges.
The investor, spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21 at the time of the I-526 petition, are eligible for permanent residency under the EB-5 program. Adopted children also can be included.
No. As a U.S. permanent resident, you will be able to travel freely within and outside of the United States, the same as any citizen.
You should enter the United States within 180 days of being issued a visa and establish residency (for example by opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver license or social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, renting or buying a home). Thereafter, you may continue to live and work abroad, but you should re-enter the U.S. no less than once every six months.