EB-5 immigrant visa category is created for immigrants seeking to enter to engage in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. The greatest benefit of EB-5 visa is that the approval leads directly to the permanent residency. On the other hand the EB-5 visa has very onerous standards that needs to be met.
A yearly maximum of approximately 10,000 visas for applicants to invest in a new commercial enterprise employing at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. To qualify under the EB-5 category, the new enterprise must:
- Be one in which the person has invested (or is in the process of investing) at least $1 million (or at least $500,000 if investing in a "targeted employment area,"discussed below) after November 29, 1990;
- Benefit the U.S. economy; and
- Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. Moreover, the investor must have at least a policy-making role in the enterprise.
Two or more individuals may join to make an EB-5 investment. A single new commercial enterprise may be used for investor/employment-creation classification by more than one investor, provided that:
- Each petitioning investor has invested (or is actively in the process of investing) the required amount; and
- Each investment results in the creation of at least 10 full-time positions for qualifying employees.
Any for-profit entity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business may serve as a commercial enterprise. This includes sole proprietorships, partnerships (whether limited or general), a limited partnership, holding companies, joint ventures, corporations, business trusts, or other entities publicly or privately owned.
An investor also can create a new enterprise by expanding an existing business. Only an expansion resulting in an increase of at least 40 percent in the net worth of the business or in the number of employees of the business will satisfy the visa requirements.
The benefit of investment to the U.S Economy is one of the main determining factors for the grant or denial of the EB-5. This “benefit” factor is seen distinctly from investment itself as well as the creation of the jobs.
To qualify for EB-5 status, an investment normally must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States. Neither the investor nor the investor’s spouse and children count toward the 10-employee minimum.
The jobs created must be full-time. This means employment of a qualified employee in a position that requires a minimum of 35 working hours per week, regardless of who fills the position.
In the recent past more and more people seem to opt for investment in a regional center in order to qualify for EB-5. USCIS has designated authorized to offer EB-5 investment opportunities that qualify foreigners for U.S permanent residency.
Our Office has experience of filing successful EB5 Petitions. For more information regarding EB5 visa or for specific case evaluation please contact our office.