EB-5: The Million Dollar Visa
The purpose of the EB-5 Program is to promote the immigration of people who can help create jobs for U.S. workers through their investment of capital into the U.S. economy.
To get a green card through the EB-5 program, there are 2 basic requirements.
1)Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
2) Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
To obtain an EB-5 Visa through Direct Investment, the necessary investment amount is $1,000,000 or at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area. The investment must create at least 10 full time jobs for U.S. workers.
A targeted employment area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.
A rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.
The investment money can be used to start a new business or purchase an existing U.S. business. If you choose to purchase an existing business, it must be restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs
10 Permanent Full Time Jobs. Each job must provide a minimum of 35 work hours per week to either U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States. Neither the investor nor the investor’s spouse and children count toward the 10-employee minimum. Nonimmigrants are also excluded.
Alternatively, you can invest through an EB-5 Regional Center. A Regional Center is – a 3rd party-managed investment vehicle, which assumes the responsibility of operating the investment business and creating the required 10 jobs. There are different Regional Centers throughout the U.S. Each Regional Centers has different projects and different requirements for the investor. More recently, Regional Centers are becoming increasingly large, covering
entire states, or sometimes, even covering several states. The benefit of a Regional Center is that indirect job creation counts.
After the investor determines his investment vehicle and commits the funds, the investor can file their Form I-526 petition. If approved, the investor will receive conditional permanent resident status for a period of two years. The biggest hurdle most investors face at the I-526 stage is proving the legal source of the funds invested.
Between 21 months and 24 months after the issuance of the conditional green card, the investor will file with USCIS a Form I- 829 application to remove the conditions. The biggest hurdle at this phase will
There is an annual cap of 10,000 visas that may be issued under the EB-5 Program. Check the current visa bulletin HERE.
The EB-5 visa is available, not only to the investor, but also to his or her spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21. The annual limit applies to the investor and his/her derivative family members. Additionally, if the 10,000 annual quota has been reached, no more than 7% of all EB-5 investor visas can be issued to immigrants from a single country in a given year.