Details about EB-5 Financing from a Hotel Lawyers Perspective


What is this EB-5 Program and is it right for the Downtown Evansville Hotel Project

The City County Observer has done some searching regarding the details of the EB-5 Program that has been proposed by Prime Lodging LLC as a primary financing source for the new downtown hotel. Excerpts from the article and a link to the discussion follow:

“Although it has been around for many years, the U.S. EB-5 visa immigrant investor program is now becoming an exciting potential source of capital for hotel development, acquisition and renovation projects. Some high-profile hotel projects are now being funded using this program, such as portions of the W Hotel and Residences Hollywood, one of the largest public-private partnership in California”

“approximately $118 million in financing is now being raised using the EB-5 investment program to finance construction of a 377-room hotel tower now being developed adjacent to L.A. LIVE to house both a Courtyard by Marriott® and Residence Inn by Marriott. In New York, another EB-5 investment program is seeking to finance a new Westin Hotel in the Flushing area of New York City”

“The good news for hotel developers and owners is these EB-5 investors are most interested in real estate development projects. And hotel development is one of the best investment options for the EB-5 investment program. That is because hotels create jobs in the U.S. (which is one of the key criteria for an EB-5 investment), and because hotels are an attractive asset class to the Chinese investors that currently are the majority of all applicants for the EB-5 visa program.”

“EB-5 is an immigrant investor visa category created in 1990 for foreign nationals who invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. The name comes from the fact that this visa is the 5th category of employment based (EB) visas. Ten thousand visas are set aside annually for investors and their immediate family members under the EB-5 visa program. An EB-5 applicant will receive a visa for himself or herself, his or her spouse, and all of their children under the age of 21.”

“In order to qualify for an EB-5 Visa, an investor must invest at least $1,000,000, or $500,000 for a project in a “targeted employment area” (as discussed below), in an enterprise that will create at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens and legal residents.”


  1. Is this a way to speed up the immigration process? How much “vetting” of the investors takes place? Sounds shady to me. Why do they need to buy their way into a visa?

    Kind of like buying a night in the Lincoln bedroom . . . .

    • USCIS vets the investors. Many educated and productive taxpayers have come to America over the last 20+ years through the EB-5 program. There are restrictions on the investors with respect to their skills and their character. This is a program that allows us to fast track highly skilled people of wealth into this country.

      Is it shady? No! Do they have to buy their way in? No! This enables the USA to screen immigrants to the type that we want as opposed to the type that want what we have to give.

      Is it like buying a night in the Lincoln bedroom? Maybe a little but at least with the EB-5 program the people of the United States get the bribe as opposed to the President of the United States.

      • We are only talking about 1,800 people for the whole country in 2011. Those 1,800 people represent a good deal of foreign capital investment at a minimum of $500,000. each.

        With that investment they are allowed visas for the investor, their spouse, and any children under the age of 21, and permanent resident status. If the business sustains for 5 years, they can apply for citizenship.


        • I have no problem with the EB-5 program. I think it is great and when I was living in California knew several businesses that started and people who came to America through the program. Believe me if Evansville could get all 1,800 of these people and their families along with their investments (roughly $1 Billion per year) this would be a better place.

          It is just frustrating that the local investor class and banks do so little that is even outside of the darkest depths of the box. Evansville is in the smallest box in a box in a box in a box and so on.

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