What is US Freedom Capital?

US Freedom Capital is a group of companies offering investment and Investment Management services, headquartered out of Dallas, Texas. With close to $280 Million in Investment Management experience, US Freedom Capital provides Dollar-denominated investments to global investors.

The management team at US Freedom Capital have a stellar track record and decades of Investment Structuring and Offerings, Asset Management Real Estate experience.

What does it mean- ‘it is registered with FINRA Broker Dealer?

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is a United States regulatory authority which oversees brokerage firms and registered securities representatives. The mission of FINRA is to protect investors by making sure the US securities industry operates fairly and honestly. In order to sell any kind of security or investment products one must be either be a registered Broker Dealer or be a registered securities representative with a Broker Dealer. Broker Dealers and their registered representatives are held to high compliance standards in accordance with the requirements of FINRA. In addition, they are expected to comply with the requirements of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), which is the ultimate governmental body which oversees the promotion and sales of securities in the US.

EB-5 is an immigration as well as a financial product. Currently it is not mandatory to be licensed under USCIS to sell this immigration product. However, as it is a financial product as well it is mandatory to have a licence under SEC or FINRA to sell EB-5 investments. Companies that are not registered with the SEC or FINRA are rapidly being cracked down upon.

US Freedom Capital has top management been registered with FINRA as registered representatives from the beginning and they work a broker dealer to ensure that all sales of securities, including all EB-5 investments, are done in accordance with FINRA and SEC requirements.

Is there any control of US Government on them?

USCIS is a government body which oversees lawful immigration to the United States. In order to set up a regional centre you require a licence from USCIS. To obtain this licence all companies including USFC has to meet extensive requirements of the USCIS. Once USCIS assert their company’s credibility and issues a licence they do not oversee day to day operations. However, they review each project by USFC which gets submitted along with each application of investors, that is how US immigration keeps track of the projects as well as regional centre. Further, the regional centre is subjected to annual compliance and spot audits of the USCIS.

While the investment products offered by US Freedom Capital are private in nature and not required to be registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), SEC because US Freedom Capital works with a Broker Dealer which has to meet compliance requirements with FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the Broker Dealer will review all documents as they pertain to the promotion and sales of securities. In addition, US Freedom Capital Advisors LLC, which is a registered investment advisory firm and provides the investment management services of the group, is required to perform its own compliance at the State level when providing its services whether to fund created by US Freedom Capital or the investors themselves.

A subscription agreement is the agreement signed between the investor and USFC and will govern the terms of the investment with US Freedom Capital. The Broker Dealer will review any agreement as per their discretion. If Broker Dealer feels there is a discrepancy in the agreement they can raise questions and use appropriate methods to contain fraudulent activities.

The same scrutiny is applied to the payment of fees. All of these activities are subject to FINRA and SEC oversight.

At any point if the investor feels the money has been misused or has been wrongly placed into something they did not sign up for in the agreement, a complain can be filed with the SEC, who will investigate the matter.

What is timeline for investments?

The investment of $500,000 has to be made after the source of fund is satisfied by the attorney. After the investment is made the attorney files the I-526, and it takes 18-24 months for approval.

After the approval of I-526 and depending upon the consulate waitlist which is 1-3 months an interview is required to be set up by the applicant, where the investor is provided with immigration kit and entry permit.

Thereafter 0-6 month timeline is provided to the investor to move in to USA, after reaching US the investor starts residing in US as a conditional green card holder. The Investor establishes his residency in US and after residing in US for 24 months I-829 is filled by the attorney. Depending upon the waitlist which is 18-24 months I-829 is approved and the conditions are removed. Thus making the investor and his family a permanent Green Card holder

These timelines are all subject to change depending on USCIS processing times, changes in regulations and may be further impacted by backlog in visa availability for certain jurisdictions (often referred as retrogression).

Who issues the Green Card, - US Government or US Freedom Capital on behalf of the Government?

The Green Card is always issued by the US Government. No company can issue a Green Card. Even in the case of company sponsored visa to the US, the Green card will only be issued by the US Government and they will always be the final authority on this. US Freedom Capital is not a governmental agent or authority.

How long does it take to get the Green Card once invested?

The green card process starts only when the investment is made. Once the money is invested in the ESCROW account your EB-5 application will be filed (i.e. is the I526 Petition). Now the application will be reviewed at two levels; firstly, the applicant has to be approved by the US immigration which takes 7-8 months and secondly the project has to be approved which takes 14-15 months this is the maximum time stated, some projects get approved in 6 months.

This delay is caused due to limitations in the number of economist who have to review the entire project, the staff is being rammed up by US immigration this should speedup as we go along the years.

Once the project is approved then it can be expected that all the investors in that approved project will be sequentially proceed from there. It’s the backlog of pending projects submitted for approvals which is taking time.

Both the approvals that is person and project are essential, once these two approvals happen from different departments’ simultaneously the applicant gets an email from the US Immigration stating that you have been approved subject to a consulate interview. After this letter it may take up to three months to get an interview with the US Embassy or Consulate, after which you get the permission to enter US. The day you enter US your green card is activated.

So, it can take anywhere from 18-24 months depending on how soon the investor invests the money and how soon the documents are submitted and after that it’s up to the US immigration (USCIS).

Once Green Card is received, does the investor becomes an American citizen for any and other reasons?

Once the investor receives the Green Card, He/she becomes an American Resident. The initial Green Card received is a conditional Green Card for the first two years, this means that the applicant has to file another petition called the I-829 to establish permanent residency. For this he needs to show proof of residency in that time period, needs to maintain a crime free record, the investment made also needs to create 10 direct or indirect jobs. Investment related criteria’s will be taken care by USFC and the petition will be filed by the law firm engaged in the initial stage. Once the conditions are removed the applicant gets a permeant Green Card or becomes a Permeant Resident of America.

For anyone to become a citizen they have to legally stay in the US for a minimum of 5 years, the count starts from the day you land in US. Some other criteria’s include staying a minimum 1000 days physically in US, plus giving a history and Civics test in English, not committing any crimes, etc. This is common for all other residents of US who are not born in the US.

The permanent residency that you receive should be renewed every 10 years as required, but to become a citizen there is a separate process as mentioned above which does not get covered in the EB-5 process.

These timelines are all subject to change depending on USCIS processing times, changes in regulations and may be further impacted by backlog in vis availability for certain jurisdictions (often referred as retrogression).

How genuine is US freedom Capital?

USFC is a registered Regional Center covering extensive geographic regions in Texas, United States (including Dallas, Houston and Austin) which is authorized by the USCIS to sponsor projects for job creation. Apart from that US Freedom Capital is also subject to FINRA and SEC regulation. Further the USFC team is a first-rate team which includes the 3 Top Immigration Officials who served under former President George W. Bush.

Is he allowed to work in USA thereafter?

Once an EB-5 Investor is admitted to the United States, he or she can work, invest, and buy property, etc. He or she will receive all rights that are available to a normal US green card holder which are similar to the rights of a citizen. There are only a few things he can’t do for example he can’t vote, he can’t run for certain public positions or serve in the army, apart for these few things he has all rights of a US citizen.

The amount which is initially invested how long it will take to get back?

Five years is the term loan written in the agreement, beyond 5 years there is a 90-180-day grace period given to the developer of the project in case there are some exceptional delays. If the delay is caused by negligence 5 years is the maximum time given, beyond which a penalty cause gets activated and interest is calculated with penalties. Hence the developer will have to return the money along with the penalties attached.

There are certain indirect collaterals available, in case the developer defaults, USFC can take over the collaterals and start paying the EB-5 investors. This is only in an exceptional case. In most cases the investor will start receiving his money between 4-5 years. Four years being the minimum period of getting the investment to 5 years which is the maximum.

What is the return on that investment on Eb-5 Investment?

The investment in not for financial benefit, it is to minimize the risk, USFC does not invest in fancy projects which give high returns because they are risker. To minimize this risk, the returns on investment is kept to a minimal 0.5% per annum. We also have 1 million Eb-5 which provides 6% - 8% return per annum.

If the Return has to be filed there as well, what is the tax payable there and how to avoid the double taxation

The US IRS is a complicated system just like the Indian Taxation Law. Specific Tax advisers have to be contacted to manage your taxation requirements, we will be happy to give recommendations

Why are these projects better than others? Construction of a hotel for example

These projects are already receiving funding even if the EB-5 money does not go into it, the developer has already raised the capital and the bank loan. These projects are safer as there is already an exit option given to the investor. So that $500,000 can be returned safely to the applicant.

How long does the investor keep his money in the investment?

The investor has to hold the investment till I829 is approved, that takes about 4-5 years since the day the money is invested. This may be impacted by delays in USCIS processing or availability of visas

Who is eligible for the Green Card?

Applicant his/her spouse and dependent children below 21 years, who does not have a criminal record and can invest $500,000 legally in the EB-5 is eligible for the Green Card

How many people have received permanent residency? (Number must be verified again)

The total number of people who have been approved for I-526 through USFC are 87, and another 67 investors are in the pipeline. Most of these investors are from India, China, Brazil, etc.

How long should the investor stay in the country?

A resident is ideally not allowed to be out of the country for more than 6 months at a stretch and if he has plans to do that he is required to intimate the US immigration beforehand, which is also allowed only once in 3 years.

If I-526 is approved but US Embassy rejects during interview, then how much fund will get back?

In the event that an application is rejected by reason of the business plan or underlying investment, then USFC will refund the entire investment and the administrative fee less expenses. Rejection of an application for other reasons, will make the administrative fee non-refundable and the investment amount will be returned as per the normal course of the investment lifecycle.

Legal fees and USCIS governmental fees will not be refunded in any case.

Does US Freedom Capital have their own attorneys?

US Freedom Capital has its own inhouse legal staff to service the legal needs of the company, but it does not provide immigration legal services. However, USFC works closely with some of the leading law firms in the EB-5 sector, such as, “Greenberg Traurig” and “Vaughan De Kirby” who have a 100% success rate in EB-5 petition. USFC will work with investors to facilitate its dealing with its selected law firm of choice and provide support as necessary through the entire process.

Can we stay in any part of US even if the amount invested is in Texas?

There is no restriction as to where an EB-5 investor can live or work in the United States once they are admitted into the country under the EB-5 program. With that, an EB-5 investor who invested in Texas, for example, can still live and work anywhere in the United States once they enter on a Green Card.

Under what circumstances PR status can be revoked?

The permanent residency status can be removed under certain condition

  • If the investor commits any crime
  • If the investor fails to establish its residency
  • If the investor fails to stay in US for the required period of time as mentioned by USCIS which is 180 days
  • In the death of the primary applicant

Why investment via regional center is more viable then direct investments?

The main advantage of investment via regional center is that the investor is not required to worry about the job creation as Regional center can take into account the indirect jobs as well which is calculated by an existing economic formula

What are the conditions attached with I-526 visa?

The conditions attached with I-526 are:

  • The investor has to establish residency in US
  • The investor must not commit any crimes
  • The investor must stay in US for the required period of time as mentioned by USCIS which is 180 days

If the Return has to be filed there as well, what is the tax payable there and how to avoid the double taxation

The US IRS is a complicated system just like the Indian Taxation Law. Specific Tax advisers have to be contacted to manage your taxation requirements, we will be happy to give recommendations

Would the investor get a Receipt of the funds or any documentation for such investment and such citizenship visa to the investor?

Yes, the receipt is the private placement memorandum and the subscription document which will walk an investor through all the pointers discussed above. The subscription agreement puts it into writing that this money is being invested in a particular project that the investor chooses and it also states the risk involved.

This agreement mentions the EB-5 program and your entitled rights to get the entire investment amount of your $500,000 if at any point your EB-5 application is rejected due to the failure of the Business Plan to support your case, you will also receive the administration fees of 50,000$ after deducting actual expenditure in the processing of your case.

This subscription agreement is a legal document upon which, if there is any default the investor can take legal action

What is the EB-5 timeline

The EB-5 timeline generally is as follows:

  • Inform US Freedom Capital and engage an immigration attorney. Pay their first instalment of legal fee ($6,000 + 6% taxes). Fees may vary depending on legal counsel selection.
  • 15 to 30 days to assemble your personal documents for the application; then
  • 15 to 30 days for: (i) Attorney reviews documents and prepares EB-5 application (Form I-526); then (ii) Wire funds for investment ($500,000), administrative fee ($50,000), second instalment of legal fee ($6,000 + 6% taxes), I-526 Filing Fee with USCIS ($3,675) : Total ± $560,000, then (iii) File I-526 application; then
  • Approximately 12-24 months for US Immigration (USCIS) to review and approve application; then
  • Attorney receives notice of approval from USCIS and informs investor; then
  • Investor files Immigrant Visa application ($345 to USCIS per person) through law firm (legal fees of $1500 for petitioner + $500 for each additional family member + 6% taxes), takes an appointment with their local US consulate or embassy for an interview with their family; then
  • Waiting time for the interview varies by country, but usually take 1 to 3 months; then
  • At the end of the interview, the US official provides the family with an entry visa to the US and an immigration kit. Your family then has six months to enter the US under the entry permit. When you arrive at the US airport's immigration desk, the officer will cancel the entry permit and replace it with an EB-5 visa in each passport. This is the date your green card is official.
  • A physical EB-5 green card will be mailed to your attorney 3 to 4 weeks later.
  • Two years later, US Freedom Capital and your attorney will file Form I-829 (USCIS I-829 Filing Fee of $4,100 plus legal fees of $3,000 + 6%) to prove that (i) you have taken up residence in the US, and (ii) the investment been made, and (iii) the investment project has created the required jobs for the visa. Additional legal fees may be due based on your family's complexity.
  • Approximately two years later, your I-829 will be approved and your green card will be reissued with a ten-year validity (similar to a passport).
  • Once you have (i) held a green card for five years, and (ii) have been physically in the US for at least three years, and (iii) speak English, you are eligible for US citizenship. There is no requirement to become a US citizen as you can hold a green card for the rest of your life.

Can USFC help the investor find a job?

USFC can recommend recruitment agencies and help you get in touch with them. However, they cannot directly help you find a job

What are the USFC projects?

USFC typically invests in low risk projects like skilled nursing homes as well as residential apartments. In the future they might look into investing in hotels.

Why are these projects better than others? Construction of a hotel for example

These projects are already receiving funding even if the EB-5 money does not go into it, the developer has already raised the capital and the bank loan. These projects are safer as there is already an exit option given to the investor. So their $500,000 can be returned safely to him.

In most cases the money will come back to the EB-5 LLC even before the investor is eligible to receive the money

What other products does US freedom Capital have?

The product line of USFC is divided into two parts

  • Investment in Offshore Dollar-Denominated Debt Fund
  • EB-5 Investment for Green Card

How can I apply for Eb-5 investor visa?

There are two ways for applying to Eb-5 investor Visa:

  • Direct Investment: where the investor has to establish business unit in USA and create 10 permanent jobs to become eligible for EB-5
  • Investment through Regional Center: Investment in the active project of regional center which takes care of all the requirements of green card

The Indian Government anyway, taxed on the income generated in India, presently the highest income tax slab is almost 34% which includes basic and others.

USFC cannot offer and does not provide tax advice. However, typically, an indian resident who is paying taxes in India may be able to avail him or herself of the benefits offered by exiting double tax treaties between India and the United States.A double tax treaty addresses, where you will be given exemption on the tax you are already paying on certain incomes. However, the ability of an investor to utilize such exemptions from case to case. Please seek tax advice in order to determine what tax treatment you may be eligible for.