Introduction to EB-5
The EB-5 investor visa category was first introduced in 1990 with the aim of bringing foreign capital into America and rewarding the qualifying alien investors with the right of becoming U.S. permanent residents. To get this type of visa, a foreigner must invest from $500,000 or $1,000,000, depending on a geographic location, in a U.S. business enterprise that would create and maintain ten direct full-time jobs for the U.S. workers.
On October 6, 1992, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program was established to attract more alien investors. The minimum investment amount was lowered from $1,000,000 to $500,000; the less restrictive employment creation requirement started including not only direct but also indirect jobs; the need to manage the business on a daily basis was eliminated. Alien investors can now enjoy the above privileges, provided they invest in a Regional Center, defined by USCIS as a “business entity that coordinate foreign investment within [a geographic] area in compliance with the EB-5 statutory, regulatory and precedent decision framework.” In other words, a Regional Center is a for-profit organization that has obtained its designation from USCIS and has multiple projects into which a foreigner can contribute the total capital of $500,000 to get the EB-5 visa.
Everyone Qualifies For EB-5 – No Restrictions, No Strict Requirements
To participate in the EB-5 investor program and to obtain the green card through it, one must make an investment in a commercial project aimed at generating employment and boosting the American economy. People of all walks of life can apply for the program, because, unlike other employment-based visas, an EB-5 visa does not require from you to be employed by an American company, or to have certain educational level. The only mandatory condition you must fulfil is to invest $500,000 or $1,000,000 in the U.S. economy and to create at least ten full-time jobs for the qualifying U.S. workers
The stand-alone EB-5 program offers you 2 “sub-options”: Investing $1,000,000 in a U.S. business to create and maintain 10 full-time jobs for the qualified U.S. workers, or investing $500,000 in a commercial enterprise in a “targeted employment area”, known as TEA (a rural area with a population less than 20,000 or a high unemployment area), that will create and preserve at least 10 full-time jobs in the USA within 2 years of obtaining your legal permanent resident status. The third option is to invest $500,000 in a project of a Regional Center, in which case you do not have direct responsibility for employment creation and compliance with strict USCIS requirements.