In order to qualify for permanent residency in the United States, potential EB-5 investors must meet certain EB 5 visa requirements.
There are 3 main EB 5 visa requirements that investors must fulfill. Once their application is approved, then the EB 5 visa applicant, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21, can all qualify for permanent residency.
To meet the 3 main EB 5 visa requirements, an investor must invest in a qualified business, invest the minimum capital investment amount, and create at minimum 10 jobs.
1. An investor must place their capital into a qualified business.
An EB 5 applicant can invest in a new commercial enterprise directly or they can invest into a regional center that administers a project. There are pros and cons to each type of investment.
An EB 5 applicant that has an interest in managing their business and potentially making a large return on their investment may be more interested in investing directly into a new commercial enterprise. These businesses can be, but are not limited to being, structured as an sole proprietorship, a general partnership, or a corporation. While these new commercial enterprises must be established after November 29, 1990, an investor wishing to invest in an older commercial enterprise may do so in certain cases. An older commercial enterprise may qualify if the investment results in a practically a new business due to the increase in net worth and/or number of employees.
If an investor does not want a day-to-day role in the management of their EB 5 project, they can select a regional center investment. Regional centers are designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) and can sponsor investment projects for EB 5 investors. Regional centers can take advantage of easier job creation requirements. They can count indirect and induced job creation as well as direct job creation.
2. An EB 5 applicant must invest the minimum capital investment amount.
EB 5 applicants must make a capital investment of $1 million into a commercial enterprise. This amount can be lowered to $500,000 if the project is located in a targeted employment area (TEA). A TEA is an area that is either rural or has an unemployment rate that is 150% the national unemployment rate.
3. An EB 5 applicant must fulfill the job creation requirements.
An EB 5 applicant's investment must result in the creation of 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. EB 5 applicants can present a business plan to USCIS detailing how these 10 jobs will be created within a reasonable amount of time. Typically, a reasonable amount of time is within 2 years of receiving their conditional green card.
EB 5 direct investments in new commercial enterprises must result in the creation of 10 direct jobs. A direct job is an identifiable job. Employees who work within the new commercial enterprise are direct jobs. For example, if the new commercial enterprise was a resort, the creation of a receptionist or concierge position could count as direct jobs.
While EB 5 regional center investments must also create 10 jobs, they have more flexible job creation requirements. Regional center investments can count indirect and induced job creation as well as direct job creation. Indirect jobs are jobs created outside of the regional center investment as a result of the project. These jobs can include vendors and suppliers. Induced job creation are jobs within the community where the project is located and were a result of the economic impact of the project, or, in other words, the income spent by the EB 5 project employees.
These are the 3 main EB 5 visa requirements. Please send us a message if you have any questions or would like more information.