The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa provides a pathway to lawful U.S. permanent residency for foreign nationals who make a capital investment in a new commercial enterprise and create jobs. If the business is located in a “Targeted Employment Area” (TEA), the minimum investment amount decreases to $800,000.
EB-5 visa holders must demonstrate that their investments are made from lawfully sourced funds. Understanding the basic requirements can help you navigate this process.
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EB-5 Investment Requirements
Investors who make sizable investments in brand-new commercial firms are eligible for permanent residency in the United States under the EB-5 program. US EB5 visa requirements state that within two years of the date the EB-5 petition is filed, at least ten full-time jobs must be created for Americans through investments. By funding the new commercial enterprise (NCE), these jobs must be genre both directly and indirectly.
In addition, all EB-5 investments must be made with lawfully obtained funds. These funds can come from earnings from legal employment, private businesses, real estate, stocks, bonds, or inheritance. In some cases, it may be possible for the investor to pool money with other EB-5 investors.
EB-5 visa applicants must also demonstrate that the NCE in which they invest has been operating for at least two years before filing the EB-5 petition. Moreover, the NCE must have generated at least ten jobs in the United States for every EB-5 investor.
Investors can either invest in an NCE sponsored by a regional center or a “direct” NCE. Direct NCE investments can be made by individuals who invest in a business of their choosing or by investing in a TEA-designated project such as a franchised restaurant or hotel.
Investors who select to invest in a regional center-sponsored project can avoid the difficult task of finding a viable NCE to invest in on their own. However, the decision to invest in a regional center-sponsored NCE has risks.
EB-5 Regional Centers
EB-5 regional centers act as intermediaries between investors and projects in the United States. The USCIS must approve them and offer to take care of all the requirements that need to be met for an investor to get their initial, conditional green card. Most people invest in a regional center because it allows them to bypass the process of setting up their own business.
To become an EB-5 regional center, the organization must apply to USCIS and describe its policies and procedures as “reasonably designed” to monitor new commercial enterprises and their job creation activities. The EB-5 regional center must also establish a “policy and procedure manual” demonstrating how it will comply with the new rules established under EB-5 reform.
It is important to note that EB-5 investors are still required to create ten full-time jobs due to their investment. However, a significant benefit of investing in a regional center is the ability to count indirect and induced jobs in addition to direct jobs.
The US EB-5 program was created in 1990 to attract foreign investment and promote economic growth by offering a path to permanent resident status for foreign nationals who invest in the nation’s economy. The EB-5 visa has become famous for high-net-worth individuals who wish to live and work in the United States.
EB-5 Job Creation Requirements
The US EB-5 visa is an investment green card, meaning you must make a substantial financial commitment to create additional employment in the United States. The minimum capital investment required is U.S. $1,050,000 or $800,000 if the project is in a targeted employment area (TEA). The new commercial enterprise must directly or indirectly create at least ten full-time jobs for qualifying employees. Qualifying employees include citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those allowed to work in the U.S. on other types of work visas. Family members of the EB-5 investor cannot count toward these job creation requirements.
The ten job creation requirement is a vital part of the EB-5 program. Congress has established this requirement because it is believed that the U.S. economy benefits just as much from creating new jobs as it does from preserving existing ones. The ten-job requirement can be satisfied by creating new jobs or by preserving troubled businesses that would not otherwise exist.
Jobs can be created in many ways, but they all must lead to increased direct and indirect employment of U.S. workers. It can be achieved through a new for-profit business or an existing business that has been changed to meet the EB-5 requirements. Many people invest in a regional center, an organization the government has approved to take care of the EB-5 requirements.
EB-5 Business Ownership Requirements
The EB-5 visa requires you to invest in a new business or help restructure or expand an existing business. The investment must be made through funds from a lawful source, such as salary, investments, sale of lawfully obtained assets, cash, or indebtedness secured by property you own. You can’t share the investment with others and expect them to get their green cards. USCIS will examine your assets and bank statements to prove your financial backing.
Generally, you can use equipment and inventory from your old business to meet the capital investment requirement of your new EB-5 project. However, buying a new business previously closed and opening it up again isn’t a job creation project because the same employees would still work in the same places.
With a US EB-5 Visa, you can live and work in the United States and eventually become an American citizen. You also have access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world and can travel visa-free to nine countries around the globe. However, you must be prepared to invest a substantial amount of money and remain invested in the U.S. for at least two years before you can apply for citizenship. The EB-5 program was created in 1990 to encourage immigration by foreign investors and stimulate the U.S. economy.