What Is The Real Value Of The EB-5 Program?

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What is the real value of the EB-5 Program? What is the true economic impact of the EB-5 Program?

Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990, as  a way to stimulate the U.S. economy and to create jobs for qualified U.S. workers. The program allows foreign investors and their family members to obtain U.S. lawful permanent residency in exchange for investing either $1 million or $500,000 in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs.

All over the media, news sites keep publishing criticisms about the EB-5 Program, but are they justified? Is it a truly controversial program? This article will look at the real value of the EB-5 Program. 

The statistics continue to show that the EB-5 Program is beneficial to the U.S. economy. The data used in this article is from Estimating the Investment and Job Creation Impact of the EB-5 Program which is a document prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistic Administration for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, in January 2017, that assesses the EB-5 Program's contribution to the U.S. economy.

This document stated that it, "examined individual projects that were active during a two-year period, FY 2012 and FY 2013, and compiled a new dataset that included the number of EB-5 projects, the number of investors, the amount of EB-5 and non-EB-5 related investment spending and the resulted expected job creation." They used I-526 Petition approvals to determine which projects were active.

According to the document, in FY 2012 and FY 2013, 11,072 immigrant investors invested $5.773 billion in capital into 562 EB-5 projects and created an estimated 174,039 jobs. The job creation requirement was 110,720, but they exceeded that number by 63,319. Total investment spending in the U.S. was $16.7 billion. At nearly $5.8 billion, the EB-5 Program accounted for almost 35% of investment spending. The remaining $10.9 billion in investment spending came from non-EB-5 sources such as commercial loans and equity from project developers.

Number of Projects Number of Investors Total Investment Spending in millions EB-5 Investment Spending in millions Non-EB-5 investment Spending in millions Job Creation Requirement Job Creation Estimate
Regional Center 134 10,644 $ 16,366 $ 5,446 $ 10,920 106,440 169,759
Stand-Alone 428 428 $ 327 $ 327 - 4,280 4,280
Total 526 11,072 $ 16, 693 $ 5,773 $ 10,920 110,720 174,039

Table "Total Investment and Job Creation from Active EB-5 Projects, FY 2012 and FY 2013 Source: Estimating the Investment and Job Creation Impact of the EB-5 Program

While a majority of EB-5 projects were located in California, New York and Florida, EB-5 projects were located all over the United States. EB-5 investors funded projects located in 25 states.

While the majority of EB-5 investments were made in regional center projects, there were also 428 non-regional center projects. These Stand-Alone projects accounted for $327 million in EB-5 investment and created an estimated 4,280 jobs. Of these 428 Stand-Alone projects, 202 were located in targeted employment areas. Targeted employment areas are areas that are either rural or have a high unemployment rate. 


In FY 2012 and FY 2013, EB-5 investors boosted the U.S. economy by providing $5.8 billion in capital and creating more than an estimated 174,000 jobs for qualified U.S. workers in 25 different states, making it a highly valuable program. As the EB-5 Program continues to increase in popularity, more capital will be available to fund projects and create jobs. 

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