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Frequently Asked Questions


New York Immigration Fund

1. Is the New York Immigration Fund Regional Center ("NYIF") an approved regional center?

Yes. The NYIF received full approval and designation from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") on July 8th, 2010. The USCIS has also approved the NYIF's job creation methodology. (see USCIS Approval Letter)

2. What locations does NYIF cover?

NYIF includes the following 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. NYIF also covers Long Island, which includes both Nassau and Suffolk County. (see map of NYC counties and Long Island)

3. What kinds of real estate projects can NYIF invest in?

The NYIF will target investment opportunities in a variety of real estate projects, such as:
  • Real Estate Construction, Renovation and Management – Construction projects involving hotels, retail, office buildings, mixed use commercial and residential projects.
  • Real Estate Development – Development of real estate projects involving hotels, retail, office buildings, mixed use commercial and residential projects.
  • Hotels – Free standing hotels or mixed use hotels that include residential, restaurant and retail.
  • Retail – Free standing retail stores or stores within a larger development project.
  • Office Buildings – Buildings used for general office use.
  • Mixed Use (Hotel, Retail, Office) – A combination of commercial and residential of any of the above.

4. What are the benefits of participating in NYIF-sponsored transactions?

  • Commercial Real Estate Development projects located in New York City
  • Freedom from daily responsibilities
  • Completion of government EB-5 requirements
  • Assistance with full immigration process, from application to relocation
  • Support of an experienced and knowledgeable staff

NYIF Regional Center provides EB-5 investors with an incredible opportunity to be involved in Commercial Real Estate Development projects located in New York City.

NYIF handles day-to-day business operations, freeing the investor from daily responsibilities. The passive investment process allows the investor the opportunity to pursue other careers, hobbies, passions, or retirement.

NYIF works extensively to complete all EB-5 government requirements. One of the most important requirements is the creation of at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs. The NYIF uses approved input-output employment modeling technology to calculate not only jobs created directly from each participant's investment, but also those created indirectly in related industries—all of which are applicable towards the government job requirement.

NYIF goes beyond simply managing the project—we guide the investor through the immigration and citizenship process as well. Our dedicated and friendly staff of legal and real estate professionals will help navigate what can often be a confusing and difficult process. NYIF will prepare and provide all documentation about the investment required for the EB-5 immigration application. We also provide assistance with the investor's move to the U.S.—from establishing a new business to finding a new home and applying for admission to the best schools and colleges in the country.

NYIF's EB-5 team is experienced and dependable. The projects are managed by experts with extensive qualifications, connections, and knowledge of their fields.

5. Will NYIF pool multiple investors together for its projects?

NYIF aggregates EB-5 program participants into an SPV to enable the regional center to participate in larger projects. This allows our projects to be larger in scale, more detailed in scope, and more financially stable than a project funded by a single investment. When pooled with other investments together the project will have a deeper impact in the local community for job creation.

6. Who Runs the NYIF?

Buhm Jung Roe, as Chief Executive Officer, has over 34 years experience in real estate ownership, acquisition, management, development and construction of numerous residential and commercial properties in New York City. He has extensive private real estate fund managing experience and has syndicated and successfully completed multiple projects in New York City. In addition, he has solid development and construction experience from residential and commercial buildings to luxury condominium buildings from the ground up. Buhm Jung Roe graduated from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea.

Louis Katsos has over 35 years of experience in the New York Real Estate and Construction Management market. A known leader in the industry in New York he has for over 30 years held senior executive positions with major firms including serving as the Executive Vice President of Tishman Construction Corp. and Chief Operating Officer as well as President of his own firm Jekmar Associates, Inc. a consulting firm to New York Developers. As Project Executive he has built over 10 million square feet of High Rise buildings and as a Corporate Executive managed the construction of millions more. He holds a B.E. in Civil Engineering and an M.B.A. and is a professor at the Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union.

NYIF has its own Real Estate Construction and Development department. NYIF also has a fully experienced legal team that can assist you in receiving your Permanent Green Card.

7. Will the NYIF help me in obtaining my Green Card?

NYIF also has affiliated with a fully experienced legal team that can help you obtain your Permanent Green Card. They can provide assistance on the green card process and can answer your questions.

8. What is the first step in obtaining my Green Card through NYIF?

Please contact our office at 212-766-0700 to speak to a NYIF representative, who can answer all your questions and get you started on your road to a Permanent Green Card.

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EB-5 Program

1. How many Green Cards are allocated each year for foreign investors who invest in regional centers?

There are 3,000 green cards that are reserved each year for foreign investors who invest in regional centers.

2. What are the goals of the EB-5 Green Card program?

The United States Congress created the EB-5 Green Card program to create jobs to benefit the economy through foreign investment and to allow eligible foreign investors to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.

3. What are the job creation requirements to obtain a green card?

Each investment of $500,000 (or $1 million if outside a Targeted Employment Area) and investor must create 10 direct or indirect permanent jobs for U.S. workers.

4. What are the qualifications of the EB-5 Green Card program?

The EB-5 Green Card program is open to all kinds of people, such as professionals, executives, business persons, people who are interested in having their children attend colleges and universities in the United States, people who want to live a better life or retire in the United States. Under the EB-5 Green Card program, the foreign investor and their family will be permitted to work in the United States.

5. Do I need to have previous business experience to obtain a Green Card?

No, you do not need to have any previous business experience to obtain a Green Card. The only requirement for the investor is that he or she is an accredited investor who has the required net worth and capital. (see question on accredited investor)

6. Are there minimum education requirements to obtain a Green Card?

No, there are no minimum education requirements to obtain a Green Card?

7. Is it necessary to speak English to obtain a Green Card?

No, it is not necessary for you to speak English to obtain a Green Card. It is recommended to learn English for the immigration interview.

8. Do I need to be in good health to obtain a Green Card?

Yes, you must have the proper vaccinations and no communicable diseases.

9. Do I need a sponsor to obtain a Green Card?

No, you do not need a sponsor to obtain a Green Card.

10. Can I apply for an EB-5 visa if I have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for other visas?

Rejection in the past does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reasons are related to immigration fraud or other major problems. It is important to disclose to NYIF or your attorney about any criminal, medical or U.S. immigration history problems before you apply for an EB-5 visa.

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Your EB-5 Investment

1. Do I need to invest the entire $500,000 before applying for my Green Card?

Yes, the investor must pay the entire $500,000 before filing the I-526 petition to the USCIS.

2. What is an escrow account?

An escrow account is a legal account established in a banking corporation meeting all the legal requirements to operate in New York State. This type of account is commonly used in the sales of real estate, business and personal property. After the funds are wired into the escrow bank account, the funds continue to belong to the investor. No money will be released from the escrow bank account to the project until the investor's I-526 Petition is approved by the USCIS.

3. If my I-526 Petition is rejected, will I receive my funds back?

Yes, if your I-526 Petition was submitted in good faith and your I-526 Petition is rejected, the full $500,000 investment will be returned to the account from which the funds originated.

4. Where can I find EB-5 laws and regulations?

Please go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, for link to immigrant investment visa information.

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I-526 Petition

1. What is the I-526 Petition?

The I-526 Petition is the first step for foreign investors seeking lawful permanent residence through the EB-5 regional center program. You will need to provide supporting evidence with the I-526 Petition. NYIF will assist you and your attorney in preparing your I-526 Petition.

2. How long is the processing time for the I-526 Petition and when can I get the conditional Green Card?

The approximate time for a foreign investor to pass the U.S. Consular interview and receive his or her conditional Green Card is 3 to 6 months from the date he or she submits the I-526 Petition.

3. What are the required documents and information for the I-526 Petition?

A foreign investor must submit a number of documents for the I-526 Petition. These include: passports, employment and business documents, family certificates, police certificates, court/prison records, military records, photographs, financial statements, and all documents proving that the funds came from a lawful source such as bank statements, stock certificates, loan or mortgage documents, etc. NYIF and your attorney will discuss these documents in more detail with you.

4. What are the requirements of the foreign investor's investment? What is the meaning of lawfully gained?

Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that his or her assets were gained in a lawful manner. The investor must prove to USCIS that the investment funds were obtained through a lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means.

NYIF requires each investor to reveal where and how they received the assets, such as through certificates by the investor's licensed accountants, lawyers, court records, salary statements, tax statements, real estate documents, etc. It is recommended to provide more information rather than less information.

5. What is an accredited investor? And do I need to be an accredited investor to apply for NYIF?

Yes, you would have to be an accredited investor to invest in NYIF projects.

An accredited investor has a net worth or joint net worth together with investor's spouse in excess of $1,000,000 excluding homes, furnishings and automobiles.

Or an accredited investor has an annual adjusted gross income in excess of $200,000 during the last two full calendar years (or joint income together with investor's spouse in excess of $300,000) and reasonably expect to havean annual income in excess of $200,000 (or joint income together with investor's spouse in excess of $300,000) during the current calendar year.

6. What issue has caused the most problem when applying for an EB-5 visa?

The most common problem has been insufficient documentation of the source of the funds. Many people try to disclose the least possible information only to have the file returned with a request of further information. It is recommended to provide more information rather than less information. Professional assistance from a certified public accountant or tax attorney is recommended.

7. Should I hire an immigration attorney to represent me?

Yes, NYIF believes that it is important for you to have independent legal counsel representing your interests. We can recommend attorneys who have competently handled EB-5 applications.

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Green Cards

1. What are the benefits of having a Green Card?

  • Live, work or retire in the U.S.A.
  • Work or visit other countries as long as you maintain a residence in the U.S.A.
  • Sponsor green cards for relatives
  • No work permit necessary to work in U.S.A.
  • Travel to other countries and return without a visa
  • You pay the same school costs as U.S. residents
  • After 5 years from receiving your temporary green card, you are eligible for U.S. Citizenship

2. Who receives a Green Card if my I-526 application is approved?

The foreign investor, spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 at the time of the application can receive temporary Green Cards after the I-526 application is approved by the USCIS. Your temporary Green Card is also known as a Conditional Green Card. (see question on Conditional Green Card)

3. Can my children continue to attend school in the United States if I leave the United States?

Yes, your children can continue to study in the United States and can adjust status in the United States.

4. What is the meaning of a Conditional Green Card?

A conditional green card is a temporary green card that is valid for two years. The foreign investor, spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 can receive conditional green cards after the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) approves the investor's I-526 Petition.

After one year and 9 months later, the investor will have a 3 month window to file the I-829 application, which verifies that all of the funds have been invested and the required 10 jobs are created directly or indirectly. After the I-829 application is approved by the USCIS, you will be issued a Permanent Green Card. NYIF will provide the job creation verification to the USCIS for the investor's I-829 application.

5. Can my Green Card be taken from me after I receive it?

Once you receive a green card, there are only two conditions to keep your green card. The first requirement is that you must not become removable or inadmissible, such as being convicted of a serious crime.

The second requirement is that you do not abandon the United States as your permanent residence. As a general rule, if you have a green card and leave the United States for more than a year, you may have a difficult time re-entering the United States. The USCIS considers an absence of longer than one year possible abandonment of your U.S. residence. You should return to the United States within six months to avoid a full-scale inspection.

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Permanent Green Cards & U.S. Citizenship

1. After I receive my conditional Green Card, when can I apply for my permanent (unconditional) Green Card?

Your conditional Green Card expires two years from the date it is issued. The foreign investor will have to submit their I-829 Petition within 3 months before the conditional Green Card expires. NYIF will supply all supporting evidence regarding the capital investment and newly created jobs.

After your I-829 Petition is approved by the USCIS, the foreign investor, spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 will receive their permanent Green Cards. You and your family can get permanent Green Cards approximately two years after receiving the conditional Green Cards.

2. When can I be eligible for U.S. Citizenship?

You and your family will be eligible for U.S. Citizenship after five years of receiving your conditional Green Card.

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