Who is it for: The EB-5 visa is also known as an Immigrant Investor Program Visa. This kind of visa was created by Congress in 1990 to induce foreign investors to invest in the United States, thereby stimulating the U.S. economy and creating jobs. In return for meeting certain requirements, the foreign investor can receive a Green Card and become a lawful permanent resident on an expedited basis.
The criteria are based on two factors: the creation of at least 10 full-time direct or indirect jobs; and an investment of a minimum of $1 million, or an investment of at least $500,000 in Targeted Employment Areas.
Targeted Employment Areas are defined as an area that has at least 150 percent of the national unemployment rate, or a rural area outside of a metropolitan statistical area or outside the boundaries of a town of 20,000 or more people.
Check Your Eligibility
EB-5 applicants can also seek admittance of their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old as part of their own application process.
Immigrant or Non-immigrant visa: Immigrant visa (Green Card) when certain conditions are met.
Duration: The investor has two years from the time of investment to create or preserve a minimum of at least 10 full-time jobs to be admitted to the United States as a Green Card holder.
Details: EB-5 program participants must invest in a commercial business that is defined as:
- A sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, holding company, corporation or a business trust.
- It must have been established after November 29, 1990, or if before that date, the investor must show that the purchased and existing business has been restructured to be more efficient and generate new revenues and jobs of at least an additional 40 percent.
To apply: To apply for an EB-5 visa, an applicant must first file a Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, Form I-526. Upon approval, the applicant can then either submit an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485 or submit an Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, Form DS-230 or DS-260.
Check Your Eligibility
When these are approved, the applicant and qualified family members may enter the United States with an EB-5 visa for two years.
Within 90 days of the end of the two-year period, the investor should file a Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, Form I-829. This will remove the conditional resident status, assuming that the investor has complied with terms of the Investor Program and generated sufficient job creation and met minimum investment levels. The investor will need to submit bank records, contracts, business licenses, financial statements and federal and state tax returns as supporting documentation. To show that the investor has met minimum job creation standards, they will also need to submit payroll records, I-9 employee forms, and supporting tax documentation.
When a Form I-829 is approved and conditions are removed from the applicant’s Green Card, they will also be removed from a spouse and children’s Green Card status as well.
For more information: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services maintains a comprehensive web page regarding EB-5 visas.
Additional information on the EB-5 process can be found here.
EB-5 Customer Support can be found here.