What is EB-5
The U.S. government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to encourage foreign investment in U.S. businesses. In exchange for investing in a business that creates jobs for U.S. workers, foreign nationals and their families are eligible to become permanent residents of the United States. The program’s name, “EB–5”, comes from the visa category for which immigrant investors apply – the Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference EB-5.
This visa category is targeted at qualified foreign nationals seeking to obtain lawful permanent residency in the U.S. by investing in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs per investor. Currently the program is administered by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
Each EB-5 Visa applicant must invest a minimum of $900,000 in a job-creating venture. If the business receiving capital is not located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), defined as a rural area or a region with high unemployment, the minimum investment amount is doubled to $1,800,000. All of our investment opportunities are located in TEAs.
EB-5 Immigration Process
There is a sequence of steps in the EB-5 immigration process for an EB-5 investor to earn a permanent green card. The EB-5 participant files an I-526 petition requesting conditional residency. The USCIS and the Department of State will ultimately determine whether the EB-5 participant qualifies for the conditional EB-5 visa. Due diligence during this part of the process includes a detailed review of the sources of the EB-5 investor’s funds, family history, and other representations of the EB-5 investor, their spouse, and qualified unmarried children under the age of 21.
This petition also includes a thorough description of the EB-5 investment and any economic models used to determine job creation. Then the EB-5 investor applies for a conditional green card through a consulate interview or an adjustment of status (if he or she is already in the U.S. on another visa). If approved, the EB-5 investor receives a conditional green card that is valid for two years.
Within the final 90 days of the two-year period of conditional residency, the EB-5 investor files the I-829 petition to remove the conditions on the green card. This petition demonstrates that the EB-5 investor’s capital was fully invested and at risk during the two-year period and that the requisite 10 qualifying jobs have been created.
Upon approval of the I-829 petition, the EB-5 investor and his or her qualified family members become lawful permanent residents and can ultimately choose to become U.S. citizens after five years.