EB-5 Success Tips and Tricks: Essential Pointers for a Successful Application

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EB-5 Visa Timing

On November 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the investment amounts would change every five years to accommodate inflation (per the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers). This means that the investment requirement will recalibrate every five years; this may mean putting in more capital.

Additionally, the processing time for the EB-5 can be lengthy, and there is a 10,000 annual cap that includes dependents. Thus, consider the right timing if you apply for an EB-5 visa.

EB-5 Success Invest In the Right Business

Familiarize yourself with the two investment types that the USCIS permits. It is crucial to pick an investment type that suits your needs, as each type has advantages and disadvantages.

You can opt for direct investment into a non-targeted employment area. This investment type is suitable for investors interested in a more hands-on involvement as you will fully control the business as an investor and manager.

This business can be anything if it is profitable, employs at least 10 people, and meets the capital requirements. You can either create a start-up or invest in a “new commercial enterprise”, meaning a business established on or after November 29, 1990.

On the other hand, you can choose an indirect investment into targeted employment areas, which are government-selected areas needing more economic stimulation.

As of April 2023, there are 640 approved regional centers across the United States. Check the list here. The way it works is the EB-5 centers pool resources from different investors for a large project.

Thus, this investment type would require you to invest your capital in one of those regional centers, and you will take on a passive investor role.

You will not necessarily be responsible for running the business. This route is suitable if you are a serial entrepreneur or a busy individual seeking a U.S. green card, as it would allow you to achieve that without active involvement in the business operations, thus freeing your time for other ventures while still satisfying the USCIS’ EB-5 requirements. 

Remember that these two investment types offer different benefits. If you seek high returns on your investment and want to manage the business actively, the direct investment may be right for you.

If you want to simply satisfy the EB-5 requirements for immigration purposes and do not mind lower returns, the indirect investment may be right for you.

The Right Investment Amount

The investment amount is the most straightforward EB-5 requirement. While there is no maximum amount of investment, you must commit at least $800,000 for targeted employment area projects and $1.05 million for non-targeted employment area projects. As previously mentioned, the investment amounts are subject to change according to inflation every five years. Ensure you are getting the most accurate information from the USCIS.

Meet the Job Creation Requirement

The job creation requirement is extremely important. You must create at least ten full-time jobs for qualifying workers in the United States. This can be challenging, especially if the business is a direct investment or a start-up in a high-risk sector. To prevent complications, ensure that your business plan is well-written and includes a clear strategy for job creations.

Note that qualifying U.S. workers refer to lawful permanent U.S. residents or other immigrants authorized to work in the U.S. This definition excludes immigrant investors and dependents.

A full time job refers to a minimum of 35 hours per week. This definition excludes combinations of part-time positions, even if their total hours exceed 35 hours per week. It also excludes seasonal, intermittent, transient, or temporary jobs.

Ensure Your Requirements are Complete, Consistent, and Accurate

You must conduct thorough due diligence by properly researching and analyzing the business and investment type you are pursuing for the EB-5 visa to ensure it is a viable opportunity that meets your needs. Additionally, you must review your business plan, financial statements, market analysis, and other documents and evidence relevant to your case and understand the risks involved in this investment. Your case must have complete, accurate, and consistent information throughout.

Here is a handy checklist of documents to prepare for your EB-5 success application:

Form I-526

  • Your and your dependents’ personal documentation, including passport, birth certificate, etc.

  • Proof of funds, such as bank statements, tax returns, and employment records

  • Investment documentation, such as investment agreement, evidence of capital transfer, escrow account, etc.

  • Job creation documentation, including business plan, economic impact report, payroll records, and I-9 forms)

  • Regional center documentation, if applicable

  • Completed Form I-526

  • Translations and certified copies, if applicable

Form I-829

  • Completed Form I-829

  • Filing fee payment receipt

  • Evidence of job creation, such as pay rolls and tax returns

  • Evidence of sustained investment, such as bank statements and financial records

  • Updated business plan showing the fulfillment of investment and job creation

  • Translations and certified copies, if applicable

Seek Professional Guidance To Achieve EB-5 Success

Navigating the EB-5 success visa process can be complicated. It is a worthwhile investment to partner with an expert immigration lawyer to decrease the risks of rejections and prevent costly mistakes.

At Immigration Business Plan, our experienced team of immigration attorneys and business plan specialists is dedicated to your success. From crafting compelling business plans to ensuring compliance, we provide the expertise you need to present a compelling case.

Message us for a free consultation, and let us guide you toward EB-5 success visa application.

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