Employment-based Immigrant Visas - Fifth Preference
EB-5 Immigrant Investors
If you make an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in targeted employment areas) in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. and plan to create or preserve at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers, you may be eligible to receive a green card as an EB-5 investor. This program was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. It requires that your investment must be in a “new commercial enterprise,” meaning that your investment must be in a company established after Nov. 29, 1990. If it is an existing enterprise established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, it must either be purchased and restructured in a way that a new commercial enterprise results or expanded through the investment so that at least a 40% increase in net worth or number of employees occurs. The regulations designate approximately 10,000 visas each fiscal year for immigrant investors, including their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.
Investing in a Regional Center
USCIS designates certain regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program. An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States that is involved with promoting economic growth. The goal of the Regional Center Program is to stimulate economic growth in a specific geographic area. It offers an immigrant investor already-defined investment opportunities, thereby reducing his or her responsibility to identify acceptable investment vehicles. A regional center can be associated with one or more new commercial enterprises. There are currently hundreds of regional centers approved by USCIS throughout the U.S. However, USCIS approval of an EB-5 regional center does not in any way constitute its endorsement of the activities of that regional center, guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws, or minimize or eliminate risk to the investor. Investors must do their due diligence and seek professional advice as necessary when making any investment decisions.