EB-5 Immigrant Investor
The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
Additionally, under a pilot program, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in "Regional Centers" designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
1. New Commercial Enterprise
The investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise.
New means established after November 29, 1990; OR
if established on or before November 29, 1990, it is a) Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or b) Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs
Commercial Enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including joint venture, corporation, partnership, business trust, holding company and more.
Note: This does not include noncommercial activity such as owning and operating a personal residence.
2. Job Creation
The investor's investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.
Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs:
Direct jobs are actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the business into which the EB-5 investor has directly invested his or her capital.
Indirect jobs are those jobs shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested in a business affiliated with a regional center by an EB-5 investor. A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a Regional Center. Standalone EB-5 requires direct job creation.
Note: Investors may only be credited with preserving jobs in a troubled business.
A qualified employee is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other immigrant authorized to work in the United States. This definition does not include the investor; his or her spouse, sons, or daughters; or any foreign national in any nonimmigrant status (such as an H-1B visa holder) or who is not authorized to work in the United States.
Full-time employment means at least 35 hours per week.
3. Capital Investment
The Required minimum qualifying capital investments in the United States in $1 million.
Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.
A targeted employment area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.
A rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.
Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur, so long as he/she is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new business upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness.
All capital shall be valued at FMV in USD. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered capital.
Note: Investment capital cannot be borrowed.
For more information about Green Card Through Investment and the EB-5 program, please contact Attorney Ayda Aghnami for a consultation appointment.