The EB-5 visa program is a popular option for foreign investors seeking to obtain permanent residency in the United States. To qualify for the program, investors must make a significant investment in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise that creates at least ten jobs for U.S. workers. One of the key requirements of the program is the minimum investment amount.
In this article, we will discuss the minimum investment amount for the EB-5 visa program, including how it has changed over time, and how investors can ensure that they meet this requirement.
The minimum investment amount for the EB-5 visa program has changed over time. When the program was first established in 1990, the minimum investment amount was set at $1 million. However, in 1992, Congress created a new investment category for “targeted employment areas,” which are areas with high unemployment or rural areas. Investors who make an investment in a targeted employment area are eligible for a reduced minimum investment amount of $500,000.
The minimum investment amount has remained at $500,000 for investments made in targeted employment areas ever since. For investments made outside of targeted employment areas, the minimum investment amount has increased to $1.8 million as of November 2020.
Investors who wish to take advantage of the reduced minimum investment amount for investments made in targeted employment areas must first determine whether the investment qualifies as such. This can be done by reviewing the guidelines provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The USCIS defines a targeted employment area as a rural area or an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average. Investors can use a variety of sources to determine whether a particular area qualifies as a targeted employment area, including government statistics and data from economic development organizations.
Investors must ensure that they meet the minimum investment amount requirement in order to qualify for the EB-5 visa program. For investments made in targeted employment areas, the minimum investment amount is $500,000. For investments made outside of targeted employment areas, the minimum investment amount is $1.8 million.
Investors must provide documentation to demonstrate that they have made the required investment. This can include bank statements, wire transfer records, and investment account statements. Investors should also be prepared to provide documentation to demonstrate that the investment is at risk, meaning that the investor stands to lose their investment if the commercial enterprise is not successful.
In order to ensure compliance with USCIS requirements, investors must work with a regional center or directly with a commercial enterprise that has been designated by the USCIS to participate in the EB-5 visa program. These entities must comply with a variety of requirements, including requirements related to job creation and reporting.
Investors must also ensure that they are in compliance with USCIS regulations related to the source of funds for their investment. This includes providing documentation to demonstrate that the investment capital was lawfully obtained.
Investors may wish to seek professional assistance to ensure that they meet the minimum investment amount requirement and comply with all USCIS requirements. Attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors can provide guidance on the legal and financial aspects of the EB-5 visa program.
In addition, investors should conduct thorough due diligence when selecting a regional center or commercial enterprise to work with. This includes reviewing the entity’s track record, financial projections, and compliance history, as well as conducting site visits and meeting with key personnel.
The minimum investment amount for the EB-5 visa program has changed over time, and there is always the possibility of future changes. Investors should stay informed about potential changes to the minimum investment amount in order to make informed decisions about their investments.
For example, there have been proposals in Congress to increase the minimum investment amount for investments made outside of targeted employment areas. In 2019, a bill was introduced in Congress that would have increased the minimum investment amount to $1.35 million for investments made outside of targeted employment areas. However, this bill did not become law.