EB5 investors are those who invest $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise and create 10 jobs for U.S. workers. However, if the enterprise is located in either a rural or a high-employment area, the amount of funds which needs to be invested is reduced to $900,000.
Over 90% of all EB5 investors do not start their own businesses. Instead, they invest $900,000 in one of over 600 Regional Centers.
However, on June 30, 2021, the EB-5 regional center program expired. Although the bipartisan EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2021 was introduced in the U.S. Senate, there has yet to be a vote on this legislation. The bill, if enacted into law, would extend the EB-5 regional center program until 2026.
10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking EB5 investor green cards.
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A Regional Center
- Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service;
- Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and,
- Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.
EB5 Investors must
- Demonstrate that a “qualified investment” (see below) is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center; and, show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program.
On this Page:
- How Do I Seek Status as an EB-5 Investor?
- How Do I Obtain Status as a Conditional Resident?
- How Do I Remove the Two-Year Condition on my Green Card?
EB5 Investor Eligibility
The investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.
In general, “eligible individuals” include those
- Who establish a new commercial enterprise by:
- Creating an original business;
- Purchasing an existing business and simultaneously or subsequently restructuring or reorganizing the business such that a new commercial enterprise results; or
- Expanding an existing business by 140 percent of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or retaining all existing jobs in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and
- Who have invested — or who are actively in the process of investing — in a new commercial enterprise:
- At least $1,800,000, or
- At least $900,000 where the investment is being made in a “targeted employment area,” which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a rural area as designated by OMB; and
- Whose engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the United States economy and
- Create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals; or
- Maintain the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years, where the capital investment is being made in a “troubled business,” which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.
How do I Seek Status as an EB5 Investor?
In order to seek status as an immigrant investor, you must file USCIS Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The Form I-526 must be filed with supporting documentation which clearly demonstrates that the individual’s investment meets all requirements, such as:
- Establishing a new commercial enterprise,
- Investing the requisite capital amount,
- Proving the investment comes from a lawful source of funds,
- Creating the requisite number of jobs,
- Demonstrating that the investor is actively participating in the business; and, where applicable,
- Creating employment within a targeted employment area.
How do I Obtain Status as a Conditional Resident?
Once the Form I-526 is approved, EB-5 investors may obtain status as a conditional resident by:
- Filing Immigration Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if residing within the United States; or, by applying for an immigrant visa abroad.
How do I Remove the Two-Year Condition on my Green Card?
In order to remove the two-year condition, eligible EB-5 investors must file a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Form I-829 must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of an Alien Investor’s admission to the United States as a conditional resident.
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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