What is US Freedom Capital?
US Freedom Capital is a group of companies offering investments and Investment Management services, headquartered out of Dallas, Texas. With close to $280 Million in Investment Management experience, US Freedom Capital provides Dollar-denominated investments to global investors.
The management team at US Freedom Capital have a stellar track record and decades of Investment Structuring and Offerings, Asset Management & Real Estate experience.
Why is SEC Securities registration required?
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) is a United States regulatory authority which oversees brokerage firms and registered securities representatives. The mission of FINRA is to protect investors by making sure the US securities industry operates fairly and honestly. In order to sell any kind of security or investment products, one must be either be a registered Broker-Dealer or be a registered securities representative with a Broker Dealer. Broker-Dealers and their registered representatives are held to high compliance standards in accordance with the requirements of FINRA. In addition, they are expected to comply with the requirements of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), which is the ultimate governmental body which oversees the promotion and sales of securities in the US.
EB-5 is both an immigration product as well as a financial product. Currently, it is not mandatory to be licensed under USCIS to sell this immigration product. However, as it is a financial product as well it is mandatory to have a license under SEC or FINRA to sell EB-5 investments. Companies that are not registered with the SEC or FINRA are rapidly being cracked down upon.
US Freedom Capital top management members are registered with FINRA as registered representatives and they work with a broker-dealer to ensure that all sales of securities, including all EB-5 investments, are done in accordance with FINRA and SEC requirements.
What US Government controls are placed upon US Freedom Capital?
USCIS is a government body which oversees lawful immigration to the United States. Regional Centers are independent companies that have been approved by USCIS after an extensive application process similar to obtaining a license. Once USCIS confirms a company’s credibility and issues a license they do not oversee day to day operations however, they review each submitted project as well as each investor application. This is how US immigration keeps track of the project as well as regional center. Further, the regional center is subjected to annual compliance and spot audits by USCIS.
While the investment products offered by US Freedom Capital are private in nature and not required to be registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), US Freedom Capital works with a Broker Dealer who must meet compliance requirements of FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). The Broker-Dealer reviews all documents as they pertain to the promotion and sale of securities to ensure compliance with US Securities regulation. In addition, US Freedom Capital Advisors LLC, a registered investment advisory firm providing investment management services, is required to perform its own compliance at the State level when providing its services whether to any fund created by US Freedom Capital or individual investors themselves.
A subscription agreement is the agreement signed between the investor and USFC and will govern the terms of the investment with US Freedom Capital. The Broker-Dealer will review all subscription agreements and if the Broker Dealer feels there is a discrepancy in the agreement, they can raise questions and use appropriate methods to prevent fraudulent activities.
The same scrutiny is applied to the payment of fees. All of these activities are subject to FINRA and SEC oversight. At any point, if the investor feels their money has been misused or has been wrongly placed into something they did not sign up for in the agreement, a complaint can be filed with the SEC, who will investigate the matter.
What is the timeline for investments?
Once you have made your decision to move forward with EB-5 the next step is to gather all the required information to prepare your I-526 petition. The investment of $500,000 must be made after the source of funds documentation has been approved by your immigration attorney and prior to filing your I-526 petition. After the investment is made your attorney files the I-526 which can take 18-24 months for approval by USCIS.
After approval of the I-526 the next step is a consular interview. Depending upon the consulate waitlist which is often 1-3 months an interview is set up by the applicant, where the investor is provided with an immigration kit and entry permit.
Thereafter a six-month timeline is provided to the investor to move to the USA. Upon reaching the United States the investor receives a conditional green card. The Investor establishes his residency in the US and after residing there for 24 months, the I-829 petition is filled by the attorney. Depending upon the waitlist which is presently about 18-24 months the I-829 is approved, and the conditions are removed. Thus, making the investor and his family are now permanent Green Card holders.
These timelines are all subject to change depending on USCIS processing times, changes in regulations and may be further impacted by the backlog in visa availability for certain jurisdictions (often referred to as retrogression).
Who issues the Green Card, - US Government or US Freedom Capital on behalf of the Government?
The Green Card is always issued by the US Government. No independent company can issue a US Green Card. Even in the case of company-sponsored visa to the US, the Green card will only be issued by the US Government and they will always be the final authority on this. US Freedom Capital is not a governmental agent or authority.
How long does it take to get the Green Card once invested?
Once your I-526 is filed with USCIS by your immigration attorney you will receive a receipt notice and your case will be assigned a case number. There can be a significant delay after filing while you wait for USCIS to review and approve your petition. This delay is caused by limitations in the number of case officers at USCIS who have to review the entire petition. As the staff at USCIS is being ramped up by US immigration this wait period should lessen in the future.
If the Regional Center has filed an exemplar for the project, individual investor I-526 petitions will be held until review of the exemplar. Once the project exemplar is approved then it can be expected that all investor I-526 petitions for that approved project will sequentially proceed from there.
Once your I-526 petition has been approved you or your attorney will receive an email from the US Immigration stating that you have been approved subject to a consulate interview. After this letter, it may take up to three months to schedule an interview with the US Embassy or Consulate, after which you are granted permission to enter the US. The day you enter the US your green card is activated.
So, it can take anywhere from 18-24 months from the day you submit your I-526 petition until the time you have entered the US and received a US Green Card.
Once Green Card is received, does the investor become an American citizen?
Once the investor receives a US Green Card, he becomes a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). The initial Green Card received is a conditional Green Card valid for two years. Prior to its expiration the applicant will file another petition called the I-829 to establish unconditional permanent residency. For this he needs to show proof of residency in that two-year time period, needs to maintain a crime-free record, and the investment made needs to have created 10 direct or indirect jobs. Investment related criteria will be taken care of by USFC and the petition will be filed by your immigration attorney. Upon approval the conditions are removed, and the applicant receives a permanent Green Card and becomes a Permanent resident of the United States.
To become a citizen of the United States a Legal Permanent Resident (a Green Card holder) must legally reside in the US for a minimum of five years. For the EB-5 investor this five-year period begins the day you enter the US on your EB-5 visa. There are other criteria involved in qualifying for US citizenship which include staying a minimum of 1000 days physically in the US, passing a US history and Civics test in English, no criminal activity, etc. This standard is common for all US citizenship applicants from any visa class.
The permanent residency you receive with the Green Card should be renewed every 10 years as required, but to become a citizen there is a separate process as mentioned above which does not get covered in the EB-5 process.
These timelines are all subject to change depending on USCIS processing times, changes in regulations and may be further impacted by the backlog in visa availability for certain jurisdictions (often referred to as retrogression).
Is US freedom Capital a credible company?
USFC is a USCIS registered and approved EB-5 Regional Center covering extensive geographic regions in Texas authorized by the USCIS to sponsor projects for job creation. Apart from that US Freedom Capital is also subject to FINRA and SEC regulation. Further, the USFC team is a first-rate team which includes the 3 Top Immigration Officials who served under former President George W. Bush.
Can I work in USA with EB-5?
Once an EB-5 Investor is admitted to the United States, he or she can work, invest, and buy property, etc. He or she will receive all rights that are available to a normal US green card holder which are similar to the rights of a citizen. There are only a few things he can’t do for example he can’t vote, he can’t run for certain public positions or serve as an officer in the military, apart for these few things he has all rights of a US citizen.
When do I get my investment back?
The average term of your EB-5 investment is designed to be five years.
What is the return on that investment on Eb-5 Investment?
The EB-5 investment return is primarily the Legal Permanent Residency benefit for the applicant and all qualified family members. Financial returns on investment are a minimal 0.5% per annum.
If a Green Card holder must file a US Tax Return what is the US tax payable and how may I avoid double taxation?
The Internal Revenue Service is the US governmental body responsible for federal income tax. The Tax system in the US is complex similar to Indian Taxation Law. Specific Tax advisers should be contacted to manage your taxation requirements, we will be happy to give recommendations.
Why are USFC projects better than others?
The US Freedom Capital group of companies is responsible for every aspect of the EB-5 project. USFC is the EB-5 Regional Center, the Offeror of the security offering, and the developer of the real estate project. With expertise in all of these roles, USFC is in control of the entire process from start to finish rather than relying on another company to execute on any part of this process. USFC projects are designed with the goals of the EB-5 investor in mind from the beginning, with full intention of returning the $500,000 investment safely to the applicant at the end of the process.
How long will my funds be in the investment?
The EB-5 investor must maintain their investment until their I-829 petition is approved which ordinarily takes about five years from the day the money is originally invested. Certain portions of this estimated timeframe are completely dependent upon USCIS processing times or availability of visas which are factors out of the control of USFC.
With the EB-5 investment who is eligible for a US Green Card?
With a single EB-5 investment the applicant, his/her spouse, and all dependent children under age 21 will receive US Green Cards.
How many USFC investors have received permanent residency through USFC EB-5 investments?
The number of people who have been approved for I-526 and received Green Cards through USFC is over 200, with another 100+ applicants in the pipeline for Green Cards. These investors are from India, China, Brazil, Mexico and more.
When I receive my Green Card, what are the requirements for being in the USA?
US immigration policy does not dictate a precise answer to this question, immigration officers have discretion when evaluating a case with the basic underlying principle being determination of intent. A Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) should demonstrate the intent of having their primary residence in the US. Therefore, it is ideal to be in the US for more than half of each year (180+ days per year). This demonstrates intent of having the US as your primary residence. When there are personal or business reasons that a Green Card holder must be out of the US for more than 180 days in a year it is highly advisable to coordinate this activity with your immigration attorney so that you are prepared to provide proper explanation and documentation to US Immigration when departing or entering the US.
If my I-526 is approved but I am rejected by the US Embassy during the interview, how much of my investment will be returned?
In the event that an application is rejected by reason of the business plan or underlying investment, then USFC will refund the entire investment and the administrative fee minus expenses. Rejection of an application for other reasons will make the administrative fee non-refundable and the investment amount will be returned as per the normal course of the investment lifecycle. Attorney fees and USCIS filing fees will not be refunded in any case.
Does US Freedom Capital have their own attorneys?
US Freedom Capital has its own in-house legal staff to service the legal needs of the company, but it does not provide immigration legal services. However, USFC works closely with some of the leading law firms in the EB-5 sector who have deep experience with EB-5 filings and excellent track records of success with their clients. USFC will work with investors to facilitate its dealing with your selected law firm of choice and provide support as necessary through the entire process.
Where can we live in the US if our EB-5 investment is in Texas?
There is no restriction as to where an EB-5 investor can live or work in the United States once they are admitted into the country under the EB-5 program. With that, an EB-5 investor who invested in Texas, for example, can still live and work anywhere in the United States once they enter on a Green Card.
Under what circumstances may LPR status be revoked?
The permanent residency status can be removed under certain conditions:
- If the investor commits a serious crime
- If the investor fails to establish its residency
- If the investor fails to stay in US for the required period of time as mentioned by USCIS which is 180 days per year (approximately)
Why investment via regional center is more viable than direct investments?
A Regional Center has the advantage of counting both direct jobs as well as indirect and induced jobs to qualify for EB-5 job creation credit. This means that Regional Center sponsored projects involving real estate construction will generate a large job creation number simply based on the indirect and induced calculation of the construction budget. In other words, if the building is constructed, qualifying jobs created. Direct investments must count on direct employment and use payroll records for direct job documentation.
What are the conditions attached with I-526 visa?
The conditions attached with I-526 are:
- The investor has to establish residency in US
- The investor must not commit any serious crimes
- The investor must stay in US for the required period of time as mentioned by USCIS which 180 days per year (approximately)
How long does the EB-5 process take before I receive a Green Card?
The EB-5 timeline generally is as follows:
- After selecting an EB-5 investment you will engage a US immigration attorney. Pay their first installment of legal fee (approximately $6,000, fees may vary depending on legal counsel selection);
- 15 to 30 days to assemble your personal documents for the application;
15 to 30 days for:
- Attorney review of documents and preparation of EB-5 application (Form I-526);
Wire funds for
- investment ($500,000)
- administrative fee ($50,000)
- second installment of legal fee (approximately $6,000)
I-526 Filing Fee with USCIS ($3,675)
- Total ± $560,000
- Attorney files I-526 application
- Approximately 12-24 months for US Immigration (USCIS) to review and approve application
- Attorney receives notice of approval from USCIS and informs investor
Investor files Immigrant Visa application through your immigration attorney and makes an appointment with local US consulate or embassy for an interview with your family;
- Waiting time for the interview varies by country, but usually take 1 to 3 months; then
- At the end of your interview, the US official provides your family with an entry visa to the US and an immigration kit. Your family then has six months to enter the US under the entry permit. When you arrive at the US airport's immigration desk, a USCIS officer will cancel the entry permit and replace it with an EB-5 visa in each passport. This is the date your green card is official.
- A physical EB-5 green card will be mailed to your attorney 3 to 4 weeks later.
Can USFC help the investor find a job?
USFC can recommend US recruitment agencies and help you get in touch with them.
What are the USFC projects?
The primary return on investment for the EB-5 investor is rapid achievement of the US Green Card. Since the primary benefit is a non-monetary return USFC selects projects in more stable asset classes, less subject to normal swings of the economic cycle such as development of nursing homes and residential apartments in high population growth markets. Demand for these projects will be more stable as the US economy goes through up and down cycles. This results in safer investments for EB-5 investors more concerned about protection of invested funds.
What other products does US freedom Capital have?
USFC offers two separate products for the foreign investor:
- Investment in Offshore Dollar-Denominated Debt Fund
- EB-5 Investment for Green Card
How can I apply for Eb-5 investor visa?
There are two ways for applying to Eb-5 investor Visa:
- Direct Investment: where the investor has to establish a business unit in the USA and create 10 permanent jobs to become eligible for EB-5
- Investment through Regional Center where the job creation requirements of the green card are managed by the Regional Center.
What tax rate will I be subject to if I make the EB-5 investment?
USFC cannot offer and does not provide tax advice. However, typically, an Indian resident who is paying taxes in India may be able to avail himself or herself of the benefits offered by existing double tax treaties between India and the United States. A double tax treaty addresses where you will be given exemption on the tax you are already paying on certain incomes. However, the ability of an investor to utilize such exemptions will vary from case to case. Please seek tax advice from a qualified accountant or tax attorney in order to determine what tax treatment you may be eligible for.
Is an Indian resident allowed to invest in an offshore fund or security?
Yes, an Indian resident, according to the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (“LRS”) of Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) is legally allowed to invest in an offshore fund or security.
What is the legal way to route funds for making an offshore investment?
The simplest way to route funds for making an offshore fund/security investment is to comply with the LRS. This scheme sets permissible limits to invest in foreign currencies. You can thus transfer funds directly from your domestic account to the account of the fund.
Those who already have or wish to open foreign currency accounts with a bank outside of India may not necessarily be subject to the limitations of the LRS and can make investments without prior approval of RBI.
What is the permissible limit for offshore investments under the LRS of RBI?
Currently, RBI has set the annual limit per financial year per person to be US$ 250,000.
What will be the currency denomination of my investment?
Your investment will remain in USD at all times, unless a specific non-USD opportunity is presented prior to the investment.
What are the available hedging facilities?
US Freedom Capital currently does not offer hedging options but there are no restrictions on carrying out hedging externally. In the future, if USFC offers hedging services, you will be informed about the same.
Who will locally coordinate and manage the details of my non-EB5 offshore investments?
Your investment with US Freedom Capital would be managed by a SEBI-registered PMS company in the form of non-binding advisory services.
Where is my money being invested?
All portfolios have underlying assets in the United States of America, and are in the healthcare, real estate and finance sectors.
What is the underlying security of my investment?
Regarding USFC non-EB5 investments you will be subscribing to a Cayman Islands based fund, which is organized as a Segregated Portfolio Company. At the time of subscription, you can choose an investment strategy based on risk and return preferences.
Kindly refer to the fund presentation for further details of key aspects (including underlying investments and securities).
How will the fund generate returns?
The fund generates returns by identifying two opportunities. One is within the healthcare sector, which requires funding avenues for different purposes against a highly securitized asset base. The other provides arbitrage through off-market acquisitions and selling to institutional buyers.
Kindly refer to the fund presentation for further details.
If I invest in an offshore fund through the LRS, what is the taxation impact on my investments?
USFC has constructed its fund utilizing a US Tax Code provision on Portfolio Interest Exemption (in existence since the 1980s), which allows the income of these fund investments to be tax-free in US & Cayman Islands for non-US investors. This leaves you to manage tax impact only in your country of residence. For specific tax advice we recommend you seek professional counsel for all tax-related matters.
Who will help me fulfill my LRS requirements?
To carry out a money transfer under the LRS, certain additional forms must be filled out. A US Freedom Capital representative along with bank representatives will be available for assistance in completing all the necessary formalities.
What if I want to send money back to India, can I do so?
Yes. Funds can be returned to the same account from which the investment was made, whether in India or any other jurisdiction (s). On request, the funds can even be returned to a different bank account, as long as the account owner of the receiving bank is the same as the account owner of the original sending bank.
What are the investment timelines and processes?
- You will have to undertake a non-binding advisory agreement with Buoyant Capital Private Limited (India-based PMS provider). Buoyant Capital will advise on investing in offshore investment products.
- Post that, you need to approach an authorized dealer i.e. the local bank, and apply for the LRS facility to remit funds up to US$ 250,000 outside India.
- Once the application is processed, US Freedom Capital and the PMS representatives will facilitate documentation and other operational aspects for subscribing to the underlying foreign fund/security
- As soon as operational formalities are completed (typically in less than 15 days), you can directly remit money to US Freedom Capital Fund.
The process flow of the same is given below:
Do I need to do tax-compliant offshore planning?
No, there is no tax compliance to be carried out in any jurisdiction other than that of the jurisdiction in which you hold your tax residence.
How will I know how my investment is performing?
You will receive a quarterly report, which will keep you informed as to the amount of investment and the performance of the investment depending on the chosen strategy.
What happens to my maturity proceeds?
On maturity, the investments may be redeemed as per the offering documents and any accrued and unpaid returns may be withdrawn. You may also have the option to re-invest a chosen amount into another portfolio.
Portfolio Management Services (PMS)
Why do I need a domestic PMS provider i.e. Buoyant Capital Private Limited?
US Freedom Capital Fund is a Private Fund and as per SEBI regulations cannot solicit investments directly from investors in India. To comply with SEBI norms, US Freedom Capital Fund offers its products through Buoyant Capital Private Limited (BCPL), an independent SEBI-registered PMS. BCPL will ensure that you are protected and have recourse available within India through SEBI, over and above the recourse available through USA & Cayman Islands authorities.
Who is Buoyant Capital PMS?
BCPL is a SEBI-registered Portfolio Management Service provider. BCPL’s Principal Officer has more than 18 years of experience in the investment sector.
What is the nature of my agreement with Buoyant Capital PMS provider?
BCPL would be providing its non-binding advisory services to you, giving out potential overseas investment opportunities considering your risk profile, investment objectives, and other relevant factors. Based on the inputs available, you can then decide your investment.
What is the fee structure, if any, that I have to pay Buoyant Capital?
BCPL will charge a one-time nominal advisory fee to provide investment opportunities as a percentage of the amount invested. The amount will be specified in the Advisory Services Agreement.
What responsibilities will Buoyant Capital fulfill?
BCPL would be responsible for providing investment options. They do not guarantee any returns. BCPL will be responsible for ensuring compliance with SEBI is fulfilled on behalf of the funds that you are investing in, and will assist with any required fund documentation.
How will Buoyant Capital help me send money outside India?
BCPL and/or US Freedom Capital Fund would introduce you to independent representatives for sending funds outside India from a bank or financial institution as per RBI regulations.
Global Education Strategy
What is the Global Education Strategy (GES)?
GES is India’s only strategy aimed at financially securing the goal of funding expensive foreign education. Under this strategy, the investor makes systematic investments in US Dollar instruments. This enables the investor to earn higher net returns in dollar terms vs investments in their domestic currency. The important concept of this strategy is to gradually over time begin to invest outside of India in the US Dollar which is the currency you will need when ultimately paying for foreign education and living expenses. The central theme of this strategy is to play the inherent strength of US dollar vs. emerging market currencies over medium to long term.
Where are the investments made?
Investments are made into operational/existing and cash flowing commercial real estate facilities in a variety of asset classes.
What is the quantum of investment?
The strategy involves starting with a minimum investment amount of US$100,000. The total investment amount is flexible and is a direct function of the final intended foreign education corpus and the pay-out years of the same. Typically plans are made with the corpus from US$250,000 - 300,000 for Under-graduate (UG) to US$100,000 - 175,000 for Post-Graduate (PG) programs in the top countries like USA, UK, Australia and so on.
How are the investments made? Are they made lump-sum or in installments?
Depending on your target corpus, investments are made through a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) model. An investor starts his portfolio with a minimum investment of US$100,000. The remaining SIP amounts are planned as per your target corpus and duration with a minimum installment of US$25,000.
How long is the tenor of investment? When can I start investing?
The tenor is flexible and can be set by the investor depending on when he anticipates the burden of foreign education. However, the investor needs to start investing in at least 3 years prior to the start of the child’s college.
The central premise of the Strategy is the inherent strength in US$ which typically plays out over the medium to long-term. Hence, the earlier a parent plans for the same, the higher the expected pay-out which would result in a substantial saving of the overall cost of foreign education in Rupee terms.
How secure are my investments?
The investments are only made in non-cyclical underlying asset classes.
Investments are made into operational and cash-flowing commercial real estate assets which are less risky in general.
Do I have oversight over my investment? How do I track my investment’s performance?
Our investor reporting norms are as follows:
- Monthly email and con-call with Fund Manager about investment performance
- Quarterly report to each investor
- Monthly Redemption option available
Is the GES only for US education? What if my child gets into a non-US university abroad?
The strategy can be used for any undergraduate or postgraduate program in any country. The idea is to lock your savings and investment growth in US$ at current market rate and let US Dollar strength play out over several years until it is time to begin with college expenses.
How frequently are the pay-outs made to the investor?
The Fund is designed for long term growth accumulation in anticipation of education expenses years in the future. Therefore, there are no predesigned distributions and all earnings of the portfolio are continuously reinvested.
You may request redemption of funds at any time. Redemption requests will be processed monthly and this is the method that is utilized for periodic education expense requirements.
What if I invest in the GES and my child decides to stay back in India?
If your child doesn’t proceed to study abroad as was previously planned, the US$ SIP plan you invested in comes back to you as a traditional investment & you will still own a USD denominated investment that remains yours. The US$ denominated nature of this investment still enables you to earn highly competitive returns.
Is this a permissible investment under RBI’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS)? How will the remittance be made considering RBI has restrictions on overseas remittance?
Yes. This fund is a permitted investment under LRS. RBI permits an annual remittance of US$250,000 per individual, who is a resident in India.
What is the tax liability on my investment?
The returns will be treated as Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) and are subject to taxation in India. The investor must consult his/her tax advisor for their tax implications in India.
What happens if I decide that I do not want to continue with GES midway through my investment?
In case your priority changes and you decide to opt out, one of the two things are offered to you
- Your money stays in the fund as a traditional investment earning US$ returns. US$ strength over time coupled with the coupon we provide results in highly competitive returns
- You may request redemption of your investment at any time. Redemption requests are processed monthly by the fund administrator. The redemption will be made as per available free cash with the fund and will be paid out on first-in-first-out basis to the clients based on the timing of their redemption requests
Cheque to be drawn in favor of which party?
Wiring instructions to make a bank transfer for the specific fund offering will be a part of the Investor Kit. Funds may be returned to the original sending account or to another account owned by the same initial investor, subject to banking regulations at the time of request.
Where do I update wiring details of the receiving party?
At the time of investment, your bank account details wherein the funds will be sent after redemption will be updated in the system. The wiring instructions can be amended with US Freedom Capital Fund at any point, even after the investment is made.
Do I need to fill out the offshore fund form as well? Who will help me undertake this activity?
Yes, in order for the fund to comply with applicable laws across jurisdictions, including anti-money laundering and FATCA/CRS laws, you may need to fill out multiple forms. You will be provided all of the documents as part of the Investor Kit, and a US Freedom Capital representative will assist in all the necessary formalities.