EB-5 Immigrant Investor

EB-5 Immigrant Investor

Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5” was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Certain EB-5 visas are also set aside for investors in Regional Centers that have been designated by USCIS Under a pilot immigration program that was first enacted in 1992 and that has been regularly reauthorized by Congress since, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers that have been designated by USCIS and are based on proposals for the advancement of economic growth. Upon the approval of the I-485 application or upon the entry into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa, the EB-5 investor and derivative family members will be granted conditional permanent residence for a two-year period. Ninety days before the expiration of the two year period, the EB-5 entrepreneur may file a petition to remove conditions, and if USCIS approves this petition, the conditions will be removed from the EB-5 applicant’s status and the EB-5 investor and derivative family members will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States.

All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise (meaning any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business such as a sole proprietorship, a limited or general partnership, a holding company, a joint venture, a corporation, or a business trust, etc.), which must be:

  • Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
  • Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:
    • Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
    • Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs.

Job creation is key in the application for an EB-5 visa.  The venture of choice of the applicant must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs (minimum 35 hrs. per week) for qualifying U.S. workers (U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or lawful work authorization) within two years (in some circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.  Investors may only be credited with preserving jobs in a troubled business (existence for 2 years and incurred a net loss within applicable timelines).

Capital investment is also key to obtaining this status.  Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur, provided that the alien entrepreneur is personally and primarily liable, and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise, upon which the petition is based, are not used to secure any of the indebtedness. Investment capital cannot be borrowed.

Minimum investments are:

  • In general, the minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.
  • In a Targeted Employment Area (High Unemployment or Rural Area), the minimum qualifying investment, either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States, is $500,000.

Applying for an EB-5 visa is a complex and challenging process but for the qualifying investor, the opportunities are endless.  If you believe that your venture qualifies you for an EB-5 visa, then contact the attorneys at AKTAS | HINDEN today.