EB-5 Entrepreneurs Generating Employment (Job Creator)

Employment-Based, Fifth Preference (EB-5) Visa

What is the EB-5 visa?
The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa that allows entrepreneurs to gain admission to the U.S., and eventually obtain a green card, if they invest in a new U.S. business and create jobs for U.S. workers.

What are the requirements for an EB-5 visa?

  • Anyone can invest, as there is no requirement of a treaty between the U.S. and your country of nationality.
  • Your investment must create at least 10 full-time permanent jobs for U.S. workers within two years of admission to the U.S. as a conditional green-card holder.
  • You must invest in a “new commercial enterprise,” which is a for-profit business established after November 29, 1990.
  • The money you invest in the new commercial enterprise must have been earned lawfully.
  • The money that you invest must be “at risk,” meaning that you could lose all of the money if the business fails.

What strategic considerations should I keep in mind?

  • There are two models of investment: direct and regional center. The “direct” model requires you, as the investor, to be more actively involved in the business. The “regional center” model allows you to be a more passive investor in the business. Research these, and other differences, carefully before you decide how to invest your money.
  • You can invest in a high-unemployment targeted employment area (“TEA”) or a non-TEA. If you invest in a TEA, you must invest at least $500,000 in the new business. If you invest in a non-TEA, you must invest at least $1,000,000 in the new business.
  • Make sure that the project developer is honest, and the project is stable and likely to be approved by USCIS.
  • Remember that you must show that the money you invested was lawfully earned.

The EB-5 program is in a state of flux, and may change significantly after September 30, 2016.

The EB-5 visa was created to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. As such, certain requirements are necessary:

  1. All EB-5 investors must place their money at risk by investing it in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise:
    • Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
    • Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:
      1. Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
      2. Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the company’s net worth or number of employees occurs
  2. Job Creation Requirements
    • Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.
    • Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs:
      1. Direct jobs are actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise into which the EB-5 investor has directly invested his or her capital.
      2. Indirect jobs are those jobs shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an EB-5 investor. A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a regional center.
  3. Required minimum investments are:
    • General. The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.
    • Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.