The EB-5 visa program is a popular immigration program that offers foreign investors the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in the United States. In exchange for investing a significant amount of capital in a new or existing American business, the program enables investors and their families to gain permanent residency status in the US.
Investors who want to apply for the EB-5 visa program must meet certain investment requirements. These requirements are established to ensure that the program’s primary objective, job creation, is met.
The first requirement that investors must meet is the minimum investment amount. The minimum investment amount for the EB-5 program is $1.8 million for non-Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs). In contrast, for Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), the minimum investment amount is $900,000.
A Targeted Employment Area is defined as an area that has an unemployment rate that is at least 150% of the national average or is a rural area. By investing in a TEA, investors can access the program’s lower investment threshold of $900,000, which makes the program more accessible to a broader range of investors.
The second requirement is that the investment must be made in a new commercial enterprise. A new commercial enterprise is defined as a business that was established after November 29, 1990, or an existing business that has been restructured or expanded in a way that results in a 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees.
The new commercial enterprise must also be engaged in a for-profit business that is legal under US law. The business can be involved in any industry, as long as it is lawful and not involved in any illegal activity.
The third requirement is that the investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the United States. These jobs must be direct jobs, meaning that they must be created within the new commercial enterprise. Alternatively, they can be indirect jobs created through the business’s use of goods or services from other US businesses.
The jobs must be full-time and be held by US citizens, permanent residents, or other authorized workers. The investment must also be maintained for a period of at least two years after the investor’s admission to the United States.
The fourth requirement is that the investor’s capital must be “at risk.” This means that the investor must demonstrate that their investment is not a loan and that there is a risk of losing the investment capital. The investor’s capital must also be invested in the new commercial enterprise before the investor’s conditional residency status is granted.
The fifth requirement is that the investor’s investment must be made using lawful funds. The investor must provide evidence that the funds used for investment were obtained through lawful means, such as employment income, business profits, sale of assets, or gifts.
If the funds are obtained through gifts, the investor must provide evidence that the gift-giver obtained the funds through lawful means. If the funds are obtained through a loan, the investor must provide evidence that the loan was secured by assets owned by the investor, and the investor is personally liable for the loan.
Foreign investors looking to participate in the EB-5 visa program have two primary options for making their investment: direct investment and investment through a regional center.
The investment application process for the EB-5 visa program is as follows: