The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa: What is it and how is it attained?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa is one of the easiest and most flexible routes an immigrant
can take if they are interested in gaining a United States green card visa (permanent residency).
These visas are contingent on making an investment in the United States along with the creation,
either directly or indirectly, of a set amount of full-time jobs. An applicant can attain one of these
visas by satisfying any of the following criteria:
1) If the immigrant invests at least (1) one million dollars and hires at least ten direct
employees anywhere in the United States; or
2) If the immigrant invests (5) five hundred thousand dollars and hires at least ten direct
employees in an area of the United States where the unemployment rate of that area
exceeds the unemployment rate of the country (national unemployment rate) by a ratio of
1.5 to 1; or
3) If the immigrant invests in a Regional Center that has the ability to use direct, indirect
and induced job creation.
It is important to make some notes in regard to these criteria. First, the immigrant does not
necessarily have to manage the day-to-day operations of the business they start. Neither must
they actually begin a new business; they may instead invest in an existing business as such that
their investment facilitates the requisite amount of new jobs.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has designated specific
organizations as Regional Centers. These Centers are eligible to receive funds from an immigrant
seeking an EB-5 investor visa. By contributing to one of these regional centers, immigrants are
allowed to rely on a more indirect form of job creation, instead of just direct hiring of the
employees that would be required to meet the criteria. In the case of investing in a Regional
Center, an independent expert must verify the validity of the investment and its potential to
create jobs. While some Regional Center investments require a (1) million dollar figure in order
to be eligible, if the Regional Center is located in an area of high unemployment as outlined in
criteria two, the required capital will then be reduced to $500,000.
There are 10,000 of these immigrant investor visas available per calendar year, with 3,000 of
those being designated for Regional Center investments.
Click here if you are interested in learning more about the eb5 visa program, also known as the
immigrant investor visa.