Congress created the EB-5 investor visa program to ensure that foreign investments continue trickling into the United States, helping create more U.S. employment and grow local economies. Investors from South Korea can take advantage of this visa program. However, EB-5 cases for South Korean nationals may present unique issues. Applicants will require the assistance and the guidance of an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney to help overcome these issues and obtain a positive outcome.
First and foremost, South Korean laws are very specific when it comes to allowing EB-5 investors to wire funds for investments into EB-5 accounts. These funds are necessary to obtain what is known as an I-526 immigrant petition approval notice. Such a notice is required for fund transfer to the U.S., but the notice will not be issued until the funds are already in the EB-5 accounts in the United States. This Catch-22 situation does put South Korean investors at a disadvantage compared to their Chinese counterparts who don’t have a problem wiring funds prior to the I-526 petition approval.
South Korean nationals also have issues pertaining to documentation. It is important for South Korean EB-5 applicants to ensure that the documentation is in English to avoid delays and translation costs. Also, EB-5 applicants in South Korea are not able to take their attorneys into the Embassy building to the interview. So, it is crucial that attorneys prepare their clients well for the interview.
There are a number of unique challenges South Korean investors face when it comes to EB-5 applications. An experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer will be able to guide applicants through what can be a complex process.