The EB-5 visa is an attractive option for foreign investors seeking a straightforward path to permanent residency in the U.S. The EB-5 visa will allow you to obtain a green card and live, work, and study anywhere in the country.
This article will address the EB-5 visa, including the EB-5 minimum investment required and some frequently asked questions.
The EB-5 (employment-based fifth preference) visa program is an immigrant visa designed to encourage foreign investors to invest in the U.S., thereby stimulating its economy. It requires applicants to either directly invest in a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE) or passively invest in a Regional Center Project, both of which must lead to creating or preserving a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers. In exchange, the foreign investor gains a green card or permanent residency.
For more information, check our in-depth EB-5 visa guide. This includes eligibility, requirements, suggested documents, the application process, and more.
EB-5 Minimum Investment
The visa program requires an EB-5 minimum investment of $800,000 for targeted employment areas (TEA) and $1.05 million for non-TEA.
Targeted employment areas (TEA) refer to U.S. locations needing economic stimulation, such as rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment rates of at least 150% of the national average.
For instance, if you were to invest in a Regional Center Project located in a TEA, you would require at least an $800,000 investment. On the other hand, if you were to invest in an NCE located in a non-TEA, then you would need an EB-5 minimum investment of $1.05 million.
EB-5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is a Regional Center?
A: Regional Centers typically manage investment projects and pool funds from multiple investors to create jobs and stimulate the local economy. It can involve projects in impoverished areas like the construction of nursing homes, hospitals, and the like. Investing through a Regional Center is a popular choice among EB-5 applicants because it often allows for indirect job creation, making meeting the program’s job creation requirements easier. As of April 2023, there are 640 approved and government-selected regional centers across the United States.
Q: Do I have to live in the State where the Regional Center is located?
A: No, you are not required to live in the State where the Regional Center is located. One of the advantages of passively investing in a Regional Center Project is you have the flexibility to live anywhere in the United States since you will not be required to have hands-on involvement in the project’s operations.
Q: What is a Direct Investment?
A: A Direct Investment is when you invest directly in a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE) that you actively manage. This means you have a hands-on role in its daily operations. A direct investment is suitable if you seek control over your investment.
Q: How many EB-5 green cards are issued per year?
A: The USCIS issues a maximum of 10,000 new EB-5 visas annually, including eligible family members.
Q: Can my investment fund come from a gift?
A: Yes, you can use funds you receive as a gift from family members or other individuals to fund your investment. However, you must be able to provide documentation evidencing the funds were lawfully obtained by the gift giver/s.
Q: Can my investment fund come from a loan?
A: Yes, you can use funds obtained from a loan to fund your investment. However, you must be personally liable for this loan, which your personal assets must secure. Additionally, you must provide evidence that the loan was not secured using your EB-5 investment assets.
Q: What happens after I receive a conditional green card?
A: After receiving a conditional green card, you and your eligible family members can live, work, and study anywhere in the United States. The conditional green card is valid for two years, so you must apply to remove the conditions within 90 days of expiration. You can do so by filing a Form I-829 and providing evidence that you have met the program’s investment and job creation requirements. Once successful, you will receive a permanent green card.
Q: Can I bring my parents in as my dependents?
A: Unfortunately, the EB-5 program does not allow parents to be included as dependents in your application. The program permits you to include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 as your dependents. If you wish to sponsor your parents for immigration to the United States, you must explore other visa options. We recommend discussing your options with an experienced immigration attorney.
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