International Dallas

Dallas, which has gradually gained a strong reputation across the globe, is also building an increasingly international population here at home.

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The City of Dallas Regional Center (CDRC) has been central to this progress.

Approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the fall of 2009, the CDRC enables the City to attract foreign capital to job-creating enterprises within the City of Dallas. It is an important asset in the City’s economic development program that helps ensure the continuing growth and vitality of the Dallas economy, and that builds Dallas’ brand internationally in order to attract additional capital, businesses, business owners and investors to the City.

CDRC projects create thousands of new, full-time jobs in the City of Dallas. In return for investing in the Dallas and creating these jobs, EB-5 investors get a lifetime of economic, educational and retirement opportunity in the U.S.

The relatively new program has already given Dallas a new, bright spotlight in the global scene.

This upsurge of international attention has been mounting for years. Dallas-Forth Worth’s “can-do” spirit and favorable business climate have drawn 2,250 international companies including 24 Fortune 500 headquarters and 7 Global 500 headquarters. Home to the third busiest airport in the world, the Metroplex boasts convenient access to nearly every major world market. Due to these factors, total global trade in D-FW now totals more than $58.2 billion, which represents exchanges with 227 other countries or regions.

Today, with the help of the CDRC and other City of Dallas initiatives, more and more foreign investors and individuals are catching sight of Dallas’ high quality of life ratings, affordable housing, nationally-ranked schools and expanding job market: compelling features that are tough to ignore. It’s no wonder that last year the Dallas-Fort Worth population grew more than any other U.S. city.

In terms of real estate, the influx of homebuyers from abroad is steadily driving up demand, thus helping boost home prices and further balance the local market. Hiring a real estate brokerage that markets to and effectively captures international homebuyers and sellers is imperative, as overlooking this sector means countless missed opportunities to make the optimum home sale.

For this reason, CEO Robbie Briggs of Briggs Freeman Real Estate recently joined forces with Sotheby’s International Realty, a strategic move that aligns his Dallas-based firm with a global powerhouse. While Briggs still independently owns and operates his company, he can now give Dallas properties worldwide exposure like never before.

“The latest data proves that Dallas is now a global village, and our firm realized that we needed to further engage with a bold step forward,” said Briggs. “We live in a global economy, and as people are traveling around the world looking for quality, they are going to look to Sotheby’s first.”

EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors is a United States visa created by the Immigration Act of 1990. This visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest at least $500,000, creating at least 10 jobs.

By investing in certain qualified investments or regional centers with high unemployment rates, the required investment amount is $500,000. The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 on October 6, 1992. This was in accordance to a Congressional mandate aimed at stimulating economic activity and job growth, while allowing eligible aliens the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents. This “Pilot Program” required only $500,000 of investment in exchange for permanent resident status. The investment could only be received by an economic unit defined as a Regional Center.

A Regional Center is defined by any economic unit, public or private, engaged in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment. Prior law required the investment in the Regional Center to generate an increase in export sales, however statutory amendments in 2000 and 2002 no longer require this increase. The individual receiving the visa is not required to actively manage the business invested in. For investors who wish to invest in a new or existing business, have an active role in the management of the operation (although simply being a Limited partner in the organization that owns the business qualifies as “AN ACTIVE ROLE.”), and have at least one million US dollars to invest ($500,000 if the business is located in certain areas deemed as Rural or with very high unemployment), then the traditional EB-5 visa is the best option.

EB-5 Visa Permanent Residency – in Brief

Drawbacks of other visas: Work visas tie you to a specific job, location and/or career. E-2 visas can be difficult to renew and force children over the age of 21 to leave the country. Student visas allow very limited or no work.

It’s fair to say that no-one wants to invest $500,000, plus nearly $50,000 in related costs, to secure a green card. The fact that so many do so is a strong indication of how hard it is to obtain Permanent Residency in the US.

Advantages of the EB-5 visa

  • Permanent Residence for the whole family with one investment.
  • Husband, wife and all unmarried children under 21 receive Green Cards.
  • Live anywhere in USA.
  • Take any job, run or start any business, even retire.
  • Any nationality may apply.
  • No language requirement.
  • Wider job market for your children in the future.
  • Property tax savings in some states like Florida.
  • Citizenship after five years.

Requirements of the EB-5 visa

  • Net worth of $1 million, or high annual income
  • Minimum investment of $500,000
  • Associated costs almost $50,000, including: Specialist EB-5 attorney, Medical check, Filing fees to the USCIS
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificate
  • Police Record check
  • No previous US immigration violations
  • Detailed documentation for source of funds
  • Time to obtain Conditional Green Card, almost 12 months but getting less.
  • Time to secure Permanent Green Card, circa 3.5 years

Civitas

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Civitas Capital Management, LLC, is a specialty asset management and financial services firm formed in 2008 specifically to manage the CDRC. Civitas is the exclusive manager of the CDRC and is responsible for all aspects of the regional center’s operations, including investment sourcing and evaluation and marketing to EB-5 investors worldwide. Civitas’ mission is to ensure that the CDRC is the leading Designated Regional Center in the United States.

Read about Civitas in Chinese.

mindWireless

mindWireless provides wireless management solutions – software and outsourcing – to the Fortune 1000. Clients such as Coke, BMW, Toys R Us and John Deere trust mindWireless to manage all aspects of their wireless including procurement, inventory, bill payment and end-user help desk.

For More information, contact Bob McClaren at robert.mcclaren@mcclarenpartners.com.

Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty
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