The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors is a United States visa created by the Immigration Act of 1990. This visa provides an avenue to obtain a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States, thus creating a mutual benefit for both the U.S. & the investor. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” – high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S workers, excluding the investor(s) and their immediate family.
The foreign investor may consider several investment options for the EB-5 visa. The investor may create an entirely new commercial enterprise, may make investments directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise, or may invest funds into a “Regional Center”, which is a 3rd party-managed investment vehicle that assumes the responsibility of creating the requisite number of jobs. A “Regional Center” is defined as any economic entity, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment. Foreign investors may also invest in establishing an EB-5 Regional Center.
If the foreign national investor’s EB-5 immigration petition (I-526) is approved, the investor and his or her dependents can apply for adjustment of status (I-485) if they are physically present in the US or apply for an immigrant visa to enter the US. The approval of I-485 or landing the US with immigrant visa will grant them conditional permanent residence in the United States valid for two years. Within the 90 day period before the conditional permanent residence expires, the investor must submit evidence documenting that the full required investment has been made and that 10 jobs have been maintained, or 10 jobs have been created or will be created within a reasonable time period.
Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allocates 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas per year. Of these 10,000 immigrant visas, 3,000 visas are reserved for aliens who invest in targeted employment areas (TEA) 3,000 visas are reserved for aliens who invest in commercial enterprises affiliated with Regional Centers.