The most important advantage of the Pilot Program or the original EB-5 program is that the requirements are far easier to satisfy.
Remember that, under the first program, the investor was required to create an entirely new commercial enterprise. This condition no longer exists under the pilot program. It’s enough to simply invest in an existing enterprise, as long as it was created after November 29, 1990.
What about creating 10 jobs? Though this is still required, the pilot program allows the jobs to be created indirectly. If the relevant statistics show that an investment of $500,000 will contribute to the regional economy in a way that will likely create or save at least 10 jobs, then this requirement will be satisfied.
Next, the “active management” requirement.” While the pilot program still technically requires the investor to participate in management or policymaking, this participation need not be anything more than symbolic. Many regional centers make investors into limited partners, which is enough to demonstrate that they are sufficiently involved. The reality is that simply making the investment in an approved regional center is enough to satisfy the active management requirement. And this means that investors and their families can live anywhere they wish, regardless of what regional center they invest in. Investors have the freedom to live wherever is best for them and their families, giving their children better access to state universities.
And, finally, the “at risk” requirement. The pilot program continues to require that investors funds be “at risk,” before their applications can be considered. But this condition can be satisfied in a way that offers more flexibility and security. The investor’s capital need not actually be invested for this requirement to be satisfied —it can be held “in escrow” until the investor’s Green Card application is approved.