About our services: EB-5 Visas
For Immigrant InvestorsJust because a visa is available or seems right for you, it doesn't mean it's possible for you to get it. That's sometimes the case with the EB-5 visa, which is designed for immigrant investors. Congress created this visa in 1990, but the INS has taken a series of steps severely limiting its use.
In 1998, for instance, the INS restricted some methods of investing in US businesses. What's more, the INS launched a series of investigations against companies assisting people in establishing investments for the purpose of immigrating to the US under the EB-5 visa. Given all this, is it possible to get an EB-5 visa? It is, but only with careful planning.
Congress created the EB-5 visa category as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, hoping to attract foreign capital to the US and create jobs for American workers. Under the program, 10,000 visas are available each year, and 3,000 of them are reserved for people who participate in a pilot program designed to target low-employment areas.
- Applicants must meet three basic requirements to obtain an EB-5 visa: Establishment of a business.
- Investment of at least $1 million in the business (though $500,000 is acceptable in certain cases).
- Creation of full-time employment for at least 10 US workers.
Ways to Establish a BusinessTo establish a business, you can create an original enterprise, purchase one and restructure or reorganize it, or expand an existing business through investment. You must be actively involved in the business, not just an investor.
Investment EssentialsAs for the investment, it can be made in a number of forms, including cash, equipment, inventory and other property. A $1 million investment is typically required, but $500,000 is acceptable if the business is established in a "targeted employment area." Targeted employment areas include rural areas and regions with an unemployment rate that's 150 percent of the national average.
An individual may invest the required amount alone, create the business with another immigrant investor, or even US citizens or others not seeking EB-5 visas. If the investment is being made with others, each person who is seeking classification as an immigrant investor must have invested the required $500,000 or $1 million.
Job CreationThe investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs. Spouses or children may not be included in calculating the job-creation requirement. What's more, part-timers may not be used in the calculations.
Conditional Permanent ResidenceIn order to deter fraud, immigrant investors, their spouses and dependent children are subject to "conditional" permanent residence for a two-year period. After two years, the entrepreneur is eligible to file to end the conditional status. To do that, the entrepreneur must have continuously maintained the investment during the conditional residence period. The entrepreneur's residence may be terminated if it is found the business was not established or was established solely to evade immigration laws. The INS will examine the business at the end of the two-year period to determine whether or not the individual has complied with all of the EB-5 visa's requirements.