The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is designed for those immigrants who have invested, or are in the process of investing, at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise employing at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. Individuals who invest in a “targeted employment area” (high unemployment or rural area) or qualified and approved Regional Center are only required to invest a minimum of $500,000. As of November 1, 2016, USCIS approved 864 Regional Centers.
Submit initial petition - Obtain approval (up to 16 months) - Submit application and receive conditional permanent resident status for 2 years (up to 6-8 months) - Submit petition to remove the condition after 21 months of conditional residency - Issuance of permanent residency (up to 9 months)
The investor need not commit the entire capital immediately but the investment must be substantially complete prior to the end of the 2-year conditional residency period. Investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 may be included on the EB-5 immigration petition. 10,000 visa numbers are allocated annually to EB-5 investors.
Investors must demonstrate that the investment funds were obtained legally. Investments funds could be in form of cash, cash equivalents, equipment, inventory, other tangible property that came from lawful income, gift, inheritance, lottery winnings, sale of business, sale of real estate, sale of stock, loan secured by your assets but cannot be secured by property of the commercial enterprise that you invested in.
Investor must be involved in the daily management of the company in positions such as a corporate officer, board member, etc. unless investment is made into Regional Center.
Besides creating a new commercial enterprise, the investor may restructure or expand an existing business. EB-5 investor must either expand the net worth of an existing business or the number of employees by 40%. Investor may also invest in troubled business - one that has existed for a minimum of 2 years and has incurred a net loss of at least 20% of the troubled business’ net worth for the 12 to 24 month period. Investor must show that the number of existing employees in the troubled business is being or will be maintained at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least 2 years; however, this provision does not decrease the statutory 10 full-time jobs requirement.
Multiple EB-5 investors can combine their money to invest in an enterprise. All investors must infuse the required amount into an enterprise and create at least 10 jobs each. All jobs created by a pooling arrangement will be distributed evenly among investors.
The U.S. law also allows obtaining EB-5 Green Card through purchase of qualifying real estate.
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