About the EB-5 Visa
Emigrating to the United States via the EB-5 Visa allows you and your family to live, work or retire anywhere within the United States.
The EB-5 immigrant investor visa attracts foreign capital into the USA and creates jobs for American workers.
It allows a person and his or her immediate family to obtain a green card (live permanently in the US) by investing in an enterprise that creates jobs for US citizens. The minimum amount of money to invest is $500,000 if you invest in a rural or high unemployment area.
For foreign investors seeking the freedom and flexibility to live and work in the United States, the EB-5 Visa Program provides an excellent opportunity to obtain Green Cards.
A Green Card provides Permanent Residency for the applicant, his or her spouse and any offspring under the age of 21. The EB5 investment visa route to a green card avoids the usual requirement of having family connections, securing a job or running an actively traded business - making it a viable route to retirement.
Advantages of the EB-5 Visa Program
- No Quota Backlogs. There are many delays and backlogs for employment and family based green card categories but there is no backlog for the EB-5 Visa Investor category.
- No Sponsor Needed. Foreign investors use their own personal funds and do not require sponsorship from either an employer or a family member.
- Regional Center Investment Programs. Many of the approved EB-5 regional centers allow foreign investors to invest in prearranged programs for only $500,000, plus administrative fees.
- Permanent Residency. Foreign investors may enter a limited partnership with few or no day-to-day management responsibilities for their investment program. This allows foreign investors to live and work in the United States in any capacity.
The Different EB-5 Visa Options
There are two main EB-5 programs - the Basic EB-5 Visa Program and the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
Option 1 - Basic EB-5 Visa Program
In order for an applicant to qualify under the Basic EB-5 Visa program, they must meet the following three requirements:
- Make an investment in a new commercial enterprise.
- Make an investment of at least $1 million into that enterprise.
- Lead to the creation of employment for at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.
The investment may consist of the contribution of various forms of capital, including cash, equipment, inventory, property, and other tangible equivalents. An investment amount of $1 million is generally the minimum.
Option 2 - EB-5 Regional Center Program
This involves a passive investment of $500,000 made in a ‘Targeted Employment Area’ (TEA) within a Designated Regional Center.
The EB-5 policy management requirement is minimal in that the investor can be a limited partner and still qualify as long as the limited partners have a policy-making role. Thus, for those who are not interested in day-to-day management or running an active business, Regional Center programs offer a more acceptable inactive form of investment.
The investor is not required to live in the place of investment; rather, he or she can live wherever he/she wishes in the United States.
The EB-5 Regional Center program is ideal for the retiree or inactive investor due in large part to the "indirect employment" feature of this program. The Regional Center Program removes the employee requirement of the Regular program and replaces it with a less restrictive "indirect employment creation," which allows the investor to qualify by proving a combination of 10 direct and/or indirect employees.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program Benefits
- A direct route to a Green Card
- No day-to-day business management
- Permanent residency in the United States for you, your partner and any children under 21
- Live, work and retire anywhere in the United States
- Become a U.S Citizen after 5 years of being a green card holder
Each Regional Center program must be pre-approved by CIS (Citizen and Immigration Services) in order to be eligible to qualify for EB-5 Green Cards.