The EB-5 visa category was created by Congress in the Immigration Act of 1990 to encourage the flow of foreign capital into the U.S. economy and to create jobs for U.S. workers. There are 10,000 available visas in the EB-5 visa category annually, 3,000 of which are reserved for foreign investors who want to participate in an EB-5 pilot program designed for targeted investments in approved regional areas.
The Benefits to the foreign investor are:
- The EB-5 Visa holder and their qualifying family members (spouse and unmarried, minor children) receive a “conditional” green card.
- After two years, if the investor has complied with the terms and conditions in the original EB-5 Investment Visa application, he or she can apply for an “unconditional” green card.
- EB-5 investors and their families can live anywhere in the U.S.
- The EB5 visa category allows investors to retire to the USA.
- In a Regional Center program the applicant does not need to manage the day-to-day affairs of a business and does not need to be sole investor.
The requirements are:
- The applicant must establish a business or invest in an existing business which was created or restructured after November 19, 1990.
- The foreign investor must have invested $1 million (or $500,000 if investing in a USCIS designated regional center) in the business.
- The business must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
- The EB-5 investor must demonstrate that the investment capital was “lawfully gained” and the required capital is at risk for investment purposes.
- The investor must enter the United States within 180 days of visa issuance.
- The EB-5 visa holder is not required to be physically in the U.S. for any given amount of time, but must demonstrate the “intent” to be a resident. This includes:
- Renting or buying a home
- Opening bank accounts
- Obtaining a social security number
- Obtaining a driver’s license
- Paying applicable taxes