The EB-5 program is an opportunity to create jobs and stimulate the U.S. economy. To qualify, applicants must invest in new or at-risk commercial enterprises and create full-time positions for 10 qualifying employees. The U.S. economy benefits most when a place is at risk and the new investor can provide a working establishment with full time jobs.
To be eligible for an EB-5 investor visa, applicants must meet three main requirements:
Qualifications can be met as a stand-alone program or through a Regional Center Program.
There are many different ways applicants can make a contribution of capital including:
Capital assets must be denoted at fair market value according to the U.S. dollar system. An investor must prove the capital they provide is their own and has been obtained lawfully by providing:
In order for an investment to be approved, there cannot be a guarantee of return — the immigrant investor must place their capital at risk. Repayment is not guaranteed either, which is also known as impermissible debt.
EB-5 investments must be made with the investor’s own funds. If the applicant is the sole proprietor in a non-regional center, funds in their personal bank account do not count as capital for the new enterprise — funds must be in a business bank account.
As of November 21, 2019, a few changes have been made that have modernized the EB-5 program, including increasing investment amounts due to inflation.
If the petition filing date is before 11/21/2019
If your petition filing date is after 11/21/2019
A new commercial enterprise is any for-profit activity formed with the intent of conducting and continuing lawful business. You may be the sole proprietor, work in a partnership or joint venture, have a corporation, or invest in other private or public qualifying entities.
The new enterprise must be purchased after November 29, 1990. If it was purchased on or before that date, the business may qualify as a new business if it was a) reorganized into a new enterprise or b) expanded through your EB-5 investment with a 40% increase in net worth or number of employees. If you invest in a troubled business, the company must have been around for at least two years and collected a net loss 12-24 months before your priority date.
TEAs were implemented into the investor visa program to encourage investing in places with the greatest need. TEAs can be rural areas or areas that experience high unemployment.
A rural area is:
A high unemployment area:
An EB-5 regional center can be a public or private economic unit that promotes economic growth. These centers allow EB-5 investors to establish indirect job creation, focusing attention on job creation rather than the enterprise itself. The regional center must conduct business within a TEA to qualify for lower investment amounts.
Your investment means you must be a participant in the new enterprise to qualify for an EB-5 visa. You must be managing your new commercial enterprise.
Your new commercial enterprise needs to create 10 full-time jobs for qualified employees. Full-time employment has a minimum of 35 hours per week.
If the investment is through a troubled business, you must maintain the number of pre-investment employees. Through a regional center, job creation includes direct and indirect jobs. A job-sharing agreement (in the same position with the same tasks) counts as a full-time position if the hour requirement is met.
To petition for the investment green card, you must complete the following steps:
All EB-5 visa requirements must be submitted with your Form I-526:
The following must be submitted along with your I-829 Petition:
Submitting a comprehensive business plan may also be to your benefit. The more detail explaining your business, the more likely you are to be considered as having a comprehensive and credible business for an investor visa in the USA.
We understand that the process of petitioning for an EB-5 visa is a task with many specifications and requirements. The lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates have over 30 combined years of experience in immigration law. If you have any questions about the EB-5 visa or any immigration process, contact us at (312) 444-1940.