EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 | Page 10

How COVID-19 has Affected EB-5 Projects While direct EB-5 investors have taken the brunt of the economic effects of the pandemic, many EB-5 regional centers have been impacted hard when it comes to new sales of projects. By Fredrick W. Voigtmann T he catastrophic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of loss of life, economic devastation, societal disturbance, and chaos on a personal, familial, national, and international scale cannot be understated and likely will never be fully measured. The pandemic’s long-term effects on EB-5 regional center projects and direct EB-5 projects are similarly difficult to appreciate and measure on a comprehensive level. There are a few areas, however, in which EB-5 cases clearly have been affected, at least in the short term. At its heart, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Law is an investment and job creation program. The U.S. government has a significant interest, in good and bad economic times, to 10 EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE promote foreign investment in the United States and to foster job growth for qualifying U.S. workers, particularly in areas with high unemployment. EB-5 is a perfect “quid pro quo” in that the foreign investor receives significant U.S. immigration benefits in exchange for making an at-risk investment and creating 10 full-time positions for U.S. workers. Who are these EB -5 investors? They are essentially businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, and drivers of economic activity 1 . Therefore, since the pandemic created havoc for large and small businesses worldwide, not just in the United States, it stands to reason that the pandemic had similar effects on EB-5 investors’