EB5 investor green cards are granted to those who invest $1 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 $500,000.
Over 90% of all EB5 investors do not start their own businesses. Instead, they invest $500,000 in one of over 800 Regional Centers.
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.
EB-5 Investor Green Cards is divided into the following categories:
- How Do I Seek Status as an EB5 Investor?
- How Do I Obtain Status as a Conditional Resident?
- How Do I Remove the Two-Year Condition on my Green Card?
- Success Stories – EB-5 Investors
- In The News – EB-5 Investors
- EB-5 Green Cards: Additional Resources
EB5 Investor Eligibility
Lawful permanent residence based on EB5 investor eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children. Eligible aliens are those who have invested — or are actively in the process of investing — the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. They must further demonstrate that this 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 $1,000,000, or
- At least $500,000 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 a Green Card as an EB5 Investor?
In order to seek a green card as an immigrant investor, you must start by filing a Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The Form I-526 must be filed with supporting documentation which clearly demonstrates that your investment meets each of the following requirements:
- 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, EB5 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 EB5 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.
Success Stories – EB-5 Investors
In The News – EB5 Investors
- EB-5 Regional Center Termination Notices (USCIS)
- $150 Million Settlement Announced in Vermont Ski Resort Fraud Case (4-13-17)
- San Gabriel Valley Raids Target Scammers Who Helped Wealthy Chinese Get US Visas, Feds Say (4-05-17)
- USCIS Launches EB-5 Regional Center Compliance Audit Program (3-21-17)
- Final Rule on Parole for Start-Up Entrepreneurs (1-17-17)
- Proposed New EB-5 Regulation (1-11-17)
- Advance Copy of Proposed New EB-5 Regulation (1-10-17)
- GAO Report: Progress Made to Detect and Prevent Fraud in the EB-5 Program (9-13-16)
- 3 Immigration Lawyers Sanctioned by the SEC for Brokering EB-5 Investments (8-24-16)
- CRS Report on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program (5-5-16)
- How Jay Peak’s Alleged Ponzi Scheme Exploited A Growth Plan Once Championed By Bernie Sanders (4-21-16)
- Enjoying and Protecting your EB-5 Green Card (2-19-16)
- Is the EB-5 Program an Underperforming Asset? (2-11-16)
- EB-5 Regional Center Update: Deadline for Expiration Approaches, Congressional Action Likely (12-07-15)
- EB-5 Program Extended Through December 11, 2015 (9-30-15)
- Senators Leahy & Grassley Introduce Legislation To Improve & Extend the EB5 Investor Program (6-04-15)
- Congressional Hearing on EB5 Program (3-25-15)
- SEC to Target Deals Giving Visas to Rich Foreign Investors (2-13-15)
- US Department of State Announces EB5 Visas for China Unavailable Until October 1, 2014 (8-23-14)
- Number of I-526 Immigrant Petitions by Alien Entrepreneurs by Fiscal Year, Quarter, and Case Status (2008-2013)
- Number of I-829 Petitions by Entrepreneurs to Remove Conditions by Fiscal Year, Quarter, and Case Status (2008-2013)
- USCIS and the SEC Combat Immigrant Investor Fraud (10-7-13)
- New Policy Memo Regarding EB5 Investments (USCIS) (5-30-13)
- USCIS Online Resource for Immigrant Entrepreneurs
- Immigrant Investor (EB5) Regional Centers
- USCIS EB-5 Statistics from FY2005 to FY2012 (7-19-12)
- New EB5 Program Office (7-18-12)
- USCIS Proposes Changes to EB5 Processing (5-19-11)
- USCIS EB5 Immigrant Investor Program Stakeholder Meeting (12-16-10)
- What Explains the Explosive Growth of EB5 Regional Centers? (2010)
- Adjudication of EB5 Regional Center Proposals and Affiliated Form I-526 and I-829 Petitions (USCIS) (12-11-09)
- EB5 Investors – Job Creation and Full-Time Positions (USCIS) (6-17-09)
EB-5 Green Cards: Additional Resources
- AAO Non-Precedent Decision on Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions
- AAO Non-Precedent Decision on Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
- AAO Non-Precedent Decision on Termination of Participation as Regional Center
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening an 8 attorney firm specializing in immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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