An EB-5 Investor’s Visa is a direct path to U.S. Citizenship. If you are granted an EB5 visa, then you will be granted conditional U.S. permanent residence for a period of two years. After the two year period, you will be required to apply for the conditions to be removed, in which case you will become an official permanent resident of the United States of America. After a period of five (5) years as an official U.S. permanent resident, you can then apply to become a U.S. Citizen through the process of Naturalization.
In order to qualify for an EB5 visa, the alien entrepreneur must create a bona-fide enterprise, invest a minimum of $1 million into that enterprise, unless it is in a targeted employment area, and create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs. The alien entrepreneur must submit a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with evidence proving they have fulfilled these requirements.
In order to qualify for an EB5 Investor’s Visa, the applicant must create a new commercial enterprise. According to USCIS, a new commercial enterprise is that which was established after November 29, 1990 or was establish before that date, but the existing business was restructured or reorganized in such a way that it resulted in a new commercial enterprise, or the enterprise was expanded through the investment so that a 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees occurred.
The enterprise must be a for-profit enterprise legally conducting ongoing lawful business. The enterprise may be formed as a sole proprietorship, partnership, holding company, joint venture, corporation, limited liability company, or other for-profit entity. An experienced EB5 visa attorney will be able to assist you in determining which type of entity you should create for the purpose of your EB5 visa.
In order to qualify for an EB5 visa, you must invest a minimum of $1 million in capital into the enterprise, unless the enterprise in in a targeted employment area, in which case the investment requirement is $500,000.
According to USCIS guidelines, a targeted employment area is an area that at the time of investment is a rural area, as defined by USCIS guidelines, or is an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate.
The capital investment includes investments in the form of:
– Cash set aside for the business
– Equipment for the business
– Tangible property for the business
– Other Assets for the business
The alien entrepreneur must be personally and primarily liable for the assets invested in for the enterprise. The investment capital cannot be borrowed.
The alien entrepreneur applying for the EB5 visa must create at least 10-full time jobs. These jobs must employ qualified US workers, such as citizens, permanent residents or other immigrants authorized to work in the US (one who holds a work permit) for a minimum of 35 hours per week. It is important to discuss your plans for job creation with an experienced EB5 visa attorney to ensure the jobs you create qualify under the USICS standards.
Unless the EB5 enterprise is affiliated with an EB5 regional center, the jobs created must be located within the enterprise in which the alien entrepreneur has invested the required capital.
EB5 Regional Centers
An EB5 regional center is an organization regulated by USCIS to facilitate investment and job creation through the pooling of capital. They can be publicly owned, privately owned, or be a public-private partnership. There is currently a list of pre-approved EB5 regional centers available on the USCIS website.
If you are interested in applying for an EB5 visa through an EB5 regional center, then you should contact an EB5 visa attorney to discuss the advantages and disadvantages to doing so.
If you believe you qualify for an EB5 visa, would like to begin the application process, and/or would like to discuss your investment visa options, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.