EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa
INTENDED PURPOSE OF VISA
Many countries around the world have immigrant investor programs. The most successful countries attracting immigrant investment are United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa is available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. There are three ways to invest which you may use within the EB-5 category: 1) Creating a new commercial enterprise 2) Investing in a troubled business or 3) Investing in a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approved Regional Center.
EB-5 (IMMIGRANT INVESTOR VISA)
The EB-5 immigrant investor visa program offers more advantages and fewer constraints than any other visa program in the world. The U.S. has no requirements as to age, business training, management skills, language skills or other experience. The EB-5 visa requires no future re-qualification. However, initially, residence is granted on a two year conditional basis. By the end of that two year period, the investor makes an application to remove the conditions on residency showing that the promised funds were invested and that the required jobs were created. The investors have no obligation or requirement to accept employment themselves. The investor, their spouse and unmarried children, who are less than 21 years of age, are all granted U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency (Green Card) upon the successful creation of ten full-time jobs and investment of the required capital.
IN ORDER TO QUALIFY
New Business Enterprise
To qualify you must:
- Invest or be in the process of investing at least $1,000,000. If your investment is in a designated targeted employment area then the minimum investment requirement is $500,000. Targeted Employment Area is considered as a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 % of the national average.
- Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets.
- Create full-time employment for at least ten U.S. workers. This includes U.S. citizens, Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. (however it does not include you (the immigrant), or your spouse, sons or daughters).
- Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy. The investor may assume the position of a corporate officer or board member of the business in order to fulfill this last requirement. It does not require daily presence to supervise the business operations.
- The investor’s source of funds to fund the investment must be from a lawful source.
To qualify you must:
- Invest in a business that has existed for at least two years.
- Invest in a business that has incurred a net loss, based on generally accepted accounting principles, for the 12 to 24 month period prior to filing the petition for an Immigrant Investor Visa.
- Maintain the number of jobs at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years.
- Be involved in the day-to-day management of the troubled business or directly manage it through formulating business policy.
- The same investment requirements of the new commercial enterprise investment apply to a troubled business investment ($1,000,000 or $500,000 in a targeted employment area).
REGIONAL CENTER INVESTMENT
A Regional Center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.
A foreign citizen investing in a Regional Center is not expected to personally create and maintain the full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This requirement is fulfilled by a showing of indirect job creation by the Regional Center itself.
To qualify you must provide:
- Evidence that you have invested in a designated Regional Center according to the approved regional center business plan.
- Evidence, if applicable, that your business has been established in a targeted employment area.
- Evidence that you have invested or are in the process of investing the amount required ($1,000,000 or $500,000).
- Evidence that the investment funds were obtained through lawful means.
- Evidence that your investment in the Regional Center will create at least ten direct or indirect full-time.
EB-5 REGIONAL CENTER ADVANTAGES
- Investors may work, live, or own their own proprietary businesses anywhere in the U.S.
- The EB-5 investment program does not require immigrant investors to manage their investment on a daily basis, but rather they are allowed to “actively engage” in a business enterprise, meaning they can be limited partners and pursue other professional or personal ventures.
As a permanent resident, the investor and his or her family are free to return to their homeland for visits or business purposes, as long as a residence is maintained in the United States.
- Should the investor and his or her family elect to become U.S. citizens, the time spent as conditional permanent residents is credited towards the five-year lawful permanent residency requirement for U.S. citizenship.
The investor must first choose whether to invest in a new enterprise, a troubled business, or a USCIS approved regional center. After the choice is made, the attorney begins the process of gathering the necessary documentation to complete and submit the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. After petition is approved, overseas investors must attend an interview at the US Embassy in their country to ensure that the investor and his or her family undergo medical, police, security and immigration history checks before the conditional permanent resident visas are issued. If the investor and his or her family are legally based in the United States at the time of approval, then applications for adjustment of status to permanent residence may be filed at the appropriate service center of the USCIS.
This entire process takes from nine to fifteen months. A conditional Green Card is then issued allowing the investor to emigrate with immediate family (spouse and children under 21 at the time of application). The first requirement of any investor after they receive the visa at the United States overseas consulate office is to enter into the United States within 180 days of visa issuance from the consulate. The investor must then establish residency in the United States. Evidence of intent to reside includes opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver’s license or social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, renting or buying a home. The resident may work overseas if required based upon the nature of the business or profession.