Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB5,” in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. The visa has many requirements to it, so it is a good idea to hire a EB5 visa attorneys to assist you through the application process.
All EB5 visa investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise.
What qualifies as a commercial enterprise?
- An enterprise established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
- An enterprise established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:
1. Purchased, and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
2. Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs
A commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:
- A sole proprietorship
- Partnership (whether limited or general)
- Holding company
- Joint venture
- Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned
Job Creation Requirements
The EB5 Investor visa must establish that the commercial enterprise can create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or, under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.
The commercial enterprise must also create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs.
A qualified employee is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or other immigrant authorized to work in the United States. This definition does not include the immigrant investor; his or her spouse, sons, or daughters; any foreign national in any non-immigrant status (such as an H-1B visa holder); or anyone who is not authorized to work in the United States.
Capital Investment Requirements
The capital required means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents, and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur, provided that the alien entrepreneur is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness. All capital shall be valued at fair-market value in United States dollars. The investment capital cannot be borrowed by a lending institution or other lender.
For an EB5 Investor visa there are required minimum investments which are:
- General. The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million.
- Targeted Employment Area which is experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate (High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000.