EB-5 For Immigrant Investors

The EB-5 immigrant investor visa was created by Congress in 1990. This visa allows a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain a green card, the foreign national would have to invest $1 million and hire 10 employees in two years. By investing in certain qualified investments or regional centers with high unemployment rates, the required investment can be lowered to $500,000. A regional center is defined by any economic unit, public or private, engaged in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment.

To qualify for investing in a new business entity, the immigrant investor must meet the following requirements: 1) Invest or be in the process of investing at least $1,000,000. If your investment is in a regional center, then the minimum investment is $500,000. 2) Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets. 3) Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This includes U.S. citizens, green card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. (however, it does not include the immigrant and his or her spouse or children. 4) Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy — for example, as corporate officer or board member.

To qualify for investing in a troubled business, an immigrant investor must: 1) Invest in a business that has existed for at least two years. 2) Invest in a business that has incurred a net loss. 3) The loss for the 12- to 24-month period must be at least equal to 20 percent of the business’s net worth before the loss. 4) Maintain the number of jobs at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years. 5) Be involved in the day-to-day management of the troubled business or directly manage it through formulating business policy, for example, as a corporate officer or board member. 6) The same investment requirements for a new commercial enterprise investment apply to a troubled business investment ($1,000,000 or $500,000 in a targeted employment area).

This visa has become more and more popular as a way to obtain a green card in the United States. However, these are only the basic requirements. Each requirement has much more detail than is explained in this article. Please contact Bailey and Galyen with any questions.