EB-5 Investment Visas

The EB-5 program was developed to encourage foreign investment in the United States in order to stimulate the local economy and provide jobs to United States residents and citizens.

It provides permanent residency (green card) to those who invest the required amount of money and meet the remaining conditions of the program. The initial application is processed in 3 to 12 months. If approved, the applicant is granted conditional permanent residency for a period of 2 years. Toward the end of the two year period, the applicant may file an application to convert the conditional residency to a permanent status.

PROGRAMS AVAILABLE

The EB-5 program offers three different investment vehicles:

TEA (Targeted Employment Area) or RA (Rural Area). The investment must be made in an area that is determined to be economically depressed (TEA) or within a specified rural area (RA). The investment threshold is $500,000 per investor.

  1. Outside TEA or RA. This investment is made in any area outside a TEA or RA area. However, the investment threshold is $1 million per investor.

  2. Regional Center Program. This investment is made in enterprises that have been approved by the federal government. This program provides certain advantages over the other two programs. The investment can be either $500,000 or $1 million per investor, depending upon the program chosen, but the investment must be in a pre-approved enterprise. One of the best advantages of the Regional Center Program is that the requirement regarding the creation of jobs is easier to meet.

 

REQUIREMENTS

The EB-5 program offers three different investment vehicles:

  1. Invest the requisite capital amount ($500,000 or $1 million, depending upon the program chosen).

  2. Investor must be an active participant in the operation of the business. Merely being an investor is not enough, except for investments in the Regional Centers where the investor will not have any significant active managerial roles.

  3. The investment must create an original, “new” business, rescue a troubled business (strict requirements apply), or reorganize or restructure an existing business into a new commercial enterprise.

  4. The investment must be from a lawful source of funds. This can often be a difficult requirement to meet as the actual source of funds must be proven, not simply that they currently exist in a bank account.

  5. The investment capital must be at risk. There can be no guaranteed redemption agreement or a redemption agreement that begins prior to the end of the 2 year period of conditional residency.

  6. The investment enterprise must create at least 10 full time jobs (directly or indirectly) by the end of the two year period. The advantage of the Regional Center is that such job creation has already been determined favorably by the government as part of the approval process.

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