What is EB-5?
Employment-Based Immigration, Fifth Preference (“EB-5”) was created in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and foreign capital infusion. Through the EB-5 program, foreign investors can obtain US green cards by satisfying the following criteria from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”)
1. Investing in a US-based project - either $500,000 if the project is located within a TEA, or $1,000,000 if otherwise;
2. Placing the invested capital at risk; and
3. Creating at least 10 full time equivalent jobs per investor.
Certain locations in the US qualify as Targeted Employment Areas (“TEA”s), which are defined as locations that are rural or, at the time of investment, experience unemployment that is 150% of the national average. A rural area is an area that is not within either a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more.
There are currently two job creation methodologies recognized by the USCIS:
1. Investment into a new commercial entity that creates jobs directly; or
2. Investment through a “ Regional Center" which allows the EB-5 project to count qualifying indirect and induced job creation.
Source of Funds
EB-5 investors must be able to prove the legality, source, and path of funding for their capital contribution. This is a crucial part of the USCIS adjudication process.
EB-5 Immigration Process
To qualify for an EB-5 visa, the immigrant investor must first select a qualifying EB-5 project and submit an I-526 petition to the USCIS for a temporary green card. After obtaining the I-526 approval, the investor must obtain the relevant visa to enter, or remain in the US. In order to receive a permanent green card, investors must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, 90 days before the two-year anniversary of the granting of the EB-5 investor’s conditional resident status (Green Card).
To read the official USCIS description of the EB-5 program, please visit the following links: