EB-5 Employment Based Fifth Preference United States Visa for Immigrant Investors
Immigrant Investor visa categories are for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide job creation.
Am I eligible for the EB-5 U.S. Investor Visa?
USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise. The commercial enterprise must:
- Be established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
- if established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, the investor must have been:
1. Purchased and the existing business 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 net worth or number of employees occurs, and in that manner, function like a new enterprise.
For help in assessing if an EB-5 visa or green card is the right choice for you, please call or email JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office. Our experienced immigration attorneys can help you today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
What is the USCIS definition of a “Commercial Enterprise”?
Commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:
- A sole proprietorship
- Partnership (whether limited or general)
- Holding company
- Joint venture
- Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned
This definition includes a commercial enterprise consisting of a holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries, provided that each such subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business. This definition does not include noncommercial activity such as owning and operating a personal residence.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Note: Investors may only be credited with preserving jobs in a troubled business. For more information on the specific requirements and for definitions of the terms used by USCIS in assessing EB-5 visa applications, please read more here. [EB-5 DEFS]
Capital Investment Requirements
Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur, provided that the alien entrepreneur is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness. All capital shall be valued at fair-market value in United States dollars. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered capital. Investment capital cannot be borrowed.
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. For more information on starting a business and obtaining an EB-5 visa with $500,000 as your capital investment money, please read more here. [LINK TO EB-5 W/$500K]
For more information and for definitions of the terms used by USCIS in assessing EB-5 visa applications, please read more here. [EB-5 DEFS]
EB-5 Investors are required to prove that the investment funds come from a lawful source
USCIS will expect the investor to provide proof that the investment funds come from a lawful source. No matter where the investment funds come from, the investor must provide detailed proof that the investment funds did not come from an unlawful source.
Can I bring my family to the U.S. with an EB-5 visa?
The qualifying investors under the EB-5 program will also be able to bring their immediate family (spouse and children) to the United States as permanent resident. For assistance in bringing your family to the U.S. after you obtain an EB-5 visa or green card, please call or email JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office. Our experienced immigration attorneys can help you today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]