EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE 52 non-resident investor to move their wealth safely between both countries, as well as an easier time suing for relief in the U.S. court system. NO NEED TO PHYSICALLY RELOCATE & CUT TIES WITH YOUR HOMELAND Permanent residency doesn’t mean an immigrant is obligated to live in the U.S. permanently. While moving to America on a long-term basis is the most common reason for obtaining a green card, many Middle Eastern investors have significant financial and family interests in their homeland. They have no desire to abandon them. Stress to your clients that they don’t have to give anything up or “exile” one of their children overseas to manage their American interests in corpus. Immigrants can come and go as they please and maintain their residency status as long as they don’t stay outside the country for more than one year at a time. And even that requirement can be waived by applying for a two-year re-entry permit. 2 In short, they can have their cake and eat it too by maintaining their core business and lifestyle back home, then simply visiting the United States a few times a year to vacation and check up on their American business interests. THE PRICE IS LIKELY GOING UP Criticism of the EB-5 program has increased among some American politicians in recent years. It doesn’t seem that the program will be cancelled anytime soon but there is a chance of Congress raising the minimum investment amount in the near future. Afterall, the program’s financing thresholds haven’t changed since it was founded in 1990. The Department of Homeland Security in United States has formally recommended raising the required investment for TEAs to $1.35 million, and that’s just to keep pace with inflation. 3 Other critics have called for even higher rates. In any case, time might be running out for the current investment levels. So if your client is skeptical of the current investment level, gently point out that it might be increasing a lot. CHALLENGE TWO: WHAT’S THIS ABOUT TAXES NOW? Your traditional pitch probably includes a long list of tax advantages investors can enjoy when putting capit a l i n rea l est ate ver su s ot her i nvest me nt opt ion s. L ower capita l g a i ns rates, w r it i ng of f depreciation, no FICA taxes, 1031 exchanges and other things but none of this is going to impress a property developer from the UAE who is used to zero income and corporate taxes. So yes, such investors will only be swayed if they buy into your previous arguments of diversification a nd r i sk m a n age me nt . Howe ver, t he p ote nt i a l market is incredibly diverse. The Middle East is home to a vast number of HN WI prospects who aren’t native to the region and have different goals than the typical Saudi or Emirati millionaire. This is especially true in the UAE, where just under half of t he HN W I a nd UHN W I resident s a re foreig n born. 4 They’re already immigrants to the country, so you’l l f i nd a host of rea son s t he y m ig ht b e interested in a backup U.S. green card. For example, there’s a good chance your Emirati prospect is actually an Indian CEO who will never have t he cha nce to obta i n a n Em i rat i passpor t but isn’t interested in going back to his countr y a n y t i m e s o o n . O r s h e’s a L e b a n e s e p r o p e r t y developer look ing to e x pand her operat ions globally. Perhaps he’s a Pak istani businessman w ho m a d e h i s for t u ne i n t he G u l f a nd h a s no i nte nt ion to leave t he a rea, but wou ld love to acquire U.S. green cards for his teenage children. T h e o p p or t u n it i e s a r e e n d l e s s i n t h i s mu l t i- cultural melting pot.