IMMIGRATION VISAS

What does EB- 5 Stand for?

An EB-5 is an employment-based avenue for gaining a green card (Permanent Residency). Because these investor visas are dependent on job creation for U.S. citizens, theses visas fall under the employment-based classification. EB-5 visas are also referred to as investor visas or Alien Entrepreneurs or Immigrant Investor Visa.

 

Why Choose EB-5 path?

  • There are no quotas or waiting lists in this preference category. EB-5 often allows a foreign national a more expeditious path to permanent residence status than other options.
  • All nationalities may apply
  • You don’t have to show a permanent job offer
  • EB-5 investor visas can provide a path for the investor AND their immediate family to permanent residency in the U.S. (This includes the principal investor and the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21)
  • You are not required to maintain your home country business
  • No language requirement
  • Citizenship may be possible after as little as 5 years
  • Job flexibility

What are the Basic Requirements?

To qualify for an EB-5 visa you must:

  1. Invest either $500,000 in a targeted rural area or high unemployment area, OR $1 million dollars in other areas AND
  2. The investment must invest in a commercial enterprise that will create 10 full time jobs for U. S. Workers for at least 2 years.
  3. The money invested must come from authenticated and verifiable legal sources
  4. Investment MUST not be just passive. The investor must have an active management role.

Regional Centers versus Individual Investment

Congress created regional centers to encourage EB-5 investment and set aside 3,000 visas specifically for EB-5 Investors, who invest through these regional centers. Today there are over a hundred EB-5 centers and the number is growing every day. Investors who invest through a regional center are given priority by CIS. Typically investing in a regional center takes the form of a partnership between the investor and the regional center in a specific project. Regional centers typically offer both equity- and loan-based projects. This allows investors to be less involved then they would have to be if they invested in their own private for-profit enterprise. Under this model, investors are free to have other jobs or work on other projects.

 

On the other hand investors, who want a great deal of control over their investment may opt for creating their own for profit business or corporation instead of partnering with a regional center. Highly experienced business professional may prefer the flexibility of their own project. This is often the choice for those making real estate investments or those, who want to truly maximize the profitability of their investment. In other words, if investing is their primary goal then an individual project may be preferrable. Alternatively, investors who know of an existing business opportunity may want to take advantage of it instead of limiting themselves to the options available with Regional Centers that must choose projects that are within their approved industry. This is especially true if the investor hast he opportunity to create a business that will create the requisite 10 full time jobs U.S. Citizens up front.

 

Note: there is a perception that because Regional Centers are “government approved” that the investment is “safer,” but this assumption is incorrect. In order for investments to qualify for the EB-5 program they must by definition be totally at risk. This means the investment cannot be guaranteed, but does not mean that investment is more or less risky. The amount of risk depends on the specific project.