What is the EB-5 Visa?

The EB-5 Visa program attracts foreigners by giving them the opportunity to invest in projects that create jobs in the United States. If you’re a business owner looking to expand into America, or just looking to be a legal resident of the U.S., the EB-5 Visa can help you achieve this through your investment.

The goal of the program is to enable foreign investors to acquire a green card and path of citizenship after they invest money into a U.S based project establishing at least 10 new jobs. Through the EB-5 visa, multitudes of investment have flown in from across the globe including countries like Canada, South Korea and Great Britain, while majority of investors come from China.

Established by Congress in 1990, this program is administered by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services in order to encourage economic activity through capital investment and job creation through investors coming from abroad.

Click here to view more information on EB-5. Here are some details about the EB-5 visa qualification:

  • EB-5 investors are required to invest in a new commercial enterprise. The commercial enterprise must satisfy the following requirements:
  • Established after 20th November 1990, or
  • Established before the stipulated date above that is either purchased and the existing business is restructured in a way that a new commercial enterprise is produced or expanded through investment that there is at least a 40 percent growth in net worth or the number of employees.
  • The commercial enterprise is for any profit-based activity that is formed to conduct any ongoing legal business including the following types of business associations:
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership, either general or limited
  • Joint venture
  • Holding company
  • Corporation
  • Business trust
  • A privately or publicly owned entity

What this means is a commercial enterprise must consist of a holding company along with completely possessed subsidiaries, provided that each subsidiary is involved in a profit-based activity for the ongoing performance of a legal business. Keep in mind this doesn’t include non-commercial activities such as operation or possession of a personal residence.

Job-creation requirements

The investor is required to pitch an amount of capital that creates full-time positions for a minimum of at least 10 employees.

  • If the new commercial enterprise is not situated within the regional center, then any full-time positions must be created directly by the commercial enterprise. This will ensure the new commercial enterprise will be the employer of qualifying employees.
  • If the new commercial enterprise is situated within the regional center, full-time positions can be established either directly or indirectly by the commercial enterprise. Direct jobs establish a relationship between the employee and employer in the context of business. On the other hand, indirect jobs are held outside new commercial enterprise, but are created a result of it.
  • EB-5 investors may rely on job maintenance in cases of troubled businesses.

Capital investment requirements

The required minimum capital investment for the EB-5 visa is $500,000. Capital as per this definition means equipment, cash, inventory and all tangible properties secured by the assets owned by the alien entrepreneur.

Another requirement is the investor must be able to prove that all capital invested was obtained through legal means.

Here are just a few details on the EB-5 Visa Program. Please visit the website for more information regarding the process and requirements.