The return has to be on the investment not of the investment principal amount. For example, if the EB-5 project is associated with a regional center then more likely than not the investment funds are then subsequently loaned to the job creating energy. The job creating entity then pays interest on the loan payment and that interest is usually paid to the new commercial enterprise,which is commonly called the fund which was a source of the foreign investors funds being loaned to the Joe creating entity. The interest on the loan repayment can be low and as an example can be 1%. The investor has to be cautious by not accepting unrealistic representations from the owners of the EB-5 project that a higher interest will be paid on the loan proceeds, especially when the written documentation clearly shows that there are no guarantees as to the exact amount of the interest or what will be the return on the investment. Furthermore, there is no process for expedited adjudication of the I-526 petition unless under certain statutory allowances for expedited processing.
To answer your questions:
1. Generally, the return is 5% or less, but there may indeed be regional centers offering 50% returns. If so, I have not heard of it.
2. The processing times, unfortunately, are 12 months in most cases, and sometimes more. Filing an I-526 through an established regional center may help, but there is really no way to guarantee it will be approved in 6 months or less. There are some instances where you can request for expedited processing on an investor’s petition, but it is not the same as “premium processing” offered for other forms.
For these issues, we definitely recommend retaining experienced EB-5 and Immigration counsel, like the attorneys at our law firm.