Foreign investors must meet specific United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) requirements to obtain their permanent residency through the EB-5 visa program. In general, the investor must meet capital investment amount requirements, job creation requirements, and ensure that the business receiving the investment qualifies for the EB-5 program. EB-5 visa applicants, their spouse, and their children under 21 will obtain their permanent residency green card once all requirements have been successfully met and approved by the USCIS.
EB-5 Visa Requirements Summary
- $1 million capital investment, $500,000 in a TEA
- The investment must be made in a for-profit U.S. commercial entity
- The investment must create 10 full-time U.S. jobs for two years
Required EB-5 Investment Amount
EB-5 visa applicants are typically required to make either a $500,000 or $1 million capital investment amount into a U.S. commercial enterprise. The EB-5 investment can take the form of cash, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness, tangible property, or cash equivalents and is valuated based on U.S. dollar fair-market value.
The minimum amount of capital required for the EB-5 visa program may be decreased from $1 million to $500,000 if the investment is made in a commercial entity that is located in a targeted employment area (TEA). The EB-5 project must either be in a rural area or in an area that has high unemployment in order to qualify for TEA designation.
High unemployment areas are geographic locations with an unemployment rate that is at least 150 percent of the national unemployment rate at the time of the EB-5 investment. Rural areas are geographic regions that are outside of a city with a population of 20,000 or more. Rural areas can also be geographic regions that are outside of what the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has designated as metropolitan statistical areas.
EB-5 Job Creation Requirements
The USCIS requires that EB-5 investments result in the creation of 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. These jobs must be created within the two year period after the investor has received their conditional permanent residency. In some cases, the investor must be able to prove that their investment led to the creation of direct jobs for employees who work directly within the commercial entity that received the investment. However, the EB-5 investor may only have to show that 10 full-time indirect or induced jobs were created if the investment was made in a regional center. Indirect jobs are those created in businesses that supply goods or services to the EB-5 project. Induced jobs are jobs created within the greater community as a result of income being spent by EB-5 project employees.
EB-5 Business Entities
There are several types of business entities in which an EB-5 visa applicant can invest. In general, the applicants can invest directly in a new commercial enterprise or in a regional center. New commercial enterprises are lawful for-profit entities that can take one of many different business structures. Such business structures include corporations, limited or general partnerships, sole proprietorship’s, business trusts, or other privately or publicly owned business structures. All new commercial enterprises must have been established after November 29, 1990.
However, older commercial enterprises may qualify if the investment leads to a 40-percent increase in the number of employees or net worth, or if an older business is restructured to such a degree that a new commercial enterprise results. In addition to individual business enterprises, EB-5 visa applicants can also invest in EB-5 Regional Centers. Regional centers administer EB-5 projects. It may be more advantageous for an investor to invest in a regional center-run project because the investor will not have to independently set up the EB-5 projects.
- What EB-5 Investors Need to Know About Retrogression
- Can Adopted Children immigrate with me on EB-5?
- Calculating Net Worth
- Types of EB-5 Protections & Guarantees in Behring and Berkeley Regional Center Projects
- What are the various forms and petitions for EB-5 investments?
- What is a I-485 Petition (EB-5 visa)
- What is an I-829 Petition? (EB-5 visa)
- What is a Target Employment Area (EB-5 investment)
- What is an EB-5 I-526 Petition?
- 5 Things EB-5 Investors Can Do Preparing for Their Source of Funds Report
- Reentry Permit (USCIS Form I-131)
- If an investor has EB-5 visa and conditional green card, does he/she need to stay in the US for a minimum number of days in the first 2 years in order to gain a permanent green card? How about his/her dependents?
- I-526 Petition - What is it?
- Source of Funds Report
- Translation - For the I-526 Petition and Source of Funds reports, what needs to be translated?
- What is the Minimum Investment for EB-5?
- Traveling Outside the US for Extended Periods After Receiving Permanent Residency
- How Long Should an EB-5 Investor Remain in the United States Each Year?
- Can an Investor Apply if They Have Been Rejected or Terminated in the Past by USCIS for a Previous Visa?
- What Can Disqualify an Investor from Participating in the EB-5 Program?
- May two or more investors qualify for immigration based upon a pooled investment in a single business?
- Must the entire amount of the investment be made at the time of applying for an immigrant visa?
- How long does it take to get a greencard with EB-5?
- How much are EB-5 immigration attorney fees?
- How much does EB-5 investment cost?
- Does EB-5 work for my project?
- I don't have $500K in cash, what are my options?
- Other than the $500,000 investment, how much does EB-5 cost?
- There is a background check required for EB-5 investment, what information is USCIS concerned with?
- How do jobs qualify for projects that are already under construction?