EB-5 Investment Green Card:
The EB-5 program allows for conditional residency for individuals who invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise that employs 10 U.S. citizens or authorized immigrant workers full time. The individual must engage in the business through day to day management or policy formations.
The amount of the required investment varies based upon the geographical area where the individual makes the investment, and on whether the individual is investing in a Targeted Employment Area (“TEA”) as designated by the state. The individual must also demonstrate that the investment will benefit the U.S. economy and create a designated number of new employment positions or salvage a designated number of existing positions in a troubled company.
The EB-5 visa holder initially receives conditional permanent resident status for two years. Within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of entering the United States on an EB-5 visa, the visa holder must apply to remove the conditions on the permanent resident status. To remove the conditions, the visa holder must demonstrate that certain requirements have been met, such as the number of full-time employees and satisfactory evidence of the investment. If all of the requirements are met, the visa holder will then receive a ten-year permanent residence card; otherwise, permanent resident status will be terminated.
There are 10,000 investor immigrant visas per year available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise. Of the 10,000 investor visas available annually, 5,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving a designated “Regional Center”.
A “Regional Center” is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the USCIS; focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.
A TEA is defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.”
Under the pilot program, the EB-5 Applicants must:
• Demonstrate that a “qualified investment” is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center; and,
• Show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program.
Requirements for EB-5 Applicants in a New Business Enterprise:
- Invest or be in the process of investing at least $1,000,000. If the investment is in a designated TEA then the minimum investment requirement is $500,000.
- Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets.
- Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This includes U.S. citizens, LPRs and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. This does not the investor or his dependents.
- Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy – for example as a corporate officer or board member.
Requirements for EB-5 Applicants in a Troubled Business
- Invest in a business that has existed for at least two years.
- Invest in a business that has incurred a net loss, based on generally accepted accounting principles, for the 12 to 24 month period before the petition is filed.
- The loss for the 12 to 24 month period must be at least equal to 20 percent of the business’s net worth before the loss.
- Maintain the number of jobs at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years.
- Be involved in the day-to-day management of the troubled business or directly manage it through formulating business policy.
- The same investment requirements of the new commercial enterprise investment apply to a troubled business investment ($1,000,000 or $500,000 in a TEA).