The following is a list of the requirements for the EB-5 “immigrant investor” green card with an investment of $900,000 to $1.8 million:

To qualify for the immigrant investor green card, the foreign investor must meet each of the following requirements at the time of making the application:

The “investment” can be in the form of cash, cash equivalents (e.g. certificates of deposits, treasury bonds), equipment, inventory, other tangible property, or money obtained through a loan (the loan must be secured by assets owned by the foreign investor not including the investment being used for the green card).

The government will consider an application with an investment of $900,000 if the business is located in a “targeted employment area,” which is generally considered to be an agricultural area or high unemployment area. We can provide a list of rural areas in Florida; the U.S. government determines what is a high unemployment area on a case-by-case basis.

To prove this requirement, we must provide extremely detailed information and documentation about how the investor acquired the money to invest and how the money was brought to the US.

We must provide evidence that the new commercial enterprise will create at least 10 full-time positions in the U.S.—not including yourself, your spouse, sons or daughters, or any temporary or nonimmigrant workers, or individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States.

You will need to submit a comprehensive business plan with personnel projections showing that, due to the nature and projected size of the new commercial enterprise, the need for not fewer than 10 employees will result. The projections must include the approximate dates, within the next two years, and when each employee will be hired, their job title, projected hours of employment and projected wage.

There is an exception to this rule.  The investor does not need to show that he or she has created 10 new full-time jobs if the investment is in a “troubled business” (this term in defined below).  If the investor makes an investment in a “troubled business,” then the investor only must show that the number of employees will stay the same after the investment is made.  We still must provide a business plan with personnel projections as well as Photocopies of tax records, Forms I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), or other relevant documents for the qualifying employees.

A “troubled business” means a business that:

  1. has been in existence for at least two years,
  2. has incurred a net loss for accounting purposes during the 12 or 24 month period prior to the date of making the green card application, and
  3. the loss for the 12 or 24 month period is at least equal to 20% of the business’ net worth prior to the period of losing money.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines a new commercial enterprise as a commercial enterprise that was

  1. established after November 29, 1990, or
  2. established on or before November 29, 1990, that is:
    1. purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such as way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
    2. expanded through the investment so that a 40 percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs (note that this may require having more than 10 new positions).

Essentially, this means that the investor should be either an officer or a director of the business.  If the business is structured as a limited partnership with the rights, powers, and duties normally granted to limited partners under the Uniform Limited Partnership Act, the petitioner will be considered sufficiently engaged in the management of the new commercial enterprise.

SPECIAL NOTE RE REGIONAL CENTERS: In addition to investing in your own business, an EB-5 investor can invest in a “Regional Center.”  With a regional center investment, the investor’s funds are pooled with other investors for one large project.  The regional center manages the investment project and makes the job creating economic impact.  The USCIS will consider direct employment and indirect employment for the job creation requirement.  This reduces the amount of work for the investor.  More information can be provided about regional center investments.

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