EB-5 Green Cards
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program
Administered by USCIS, the EB-5 program, so-named for the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive, makes applicants (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they:
- Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, which sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. Of the 10,000 EB-5 visas allocated each year, 3,000 are set aside for aliens who invest in targeted employment areas (TEAs) and 3,000 are reserved for aliens who invest in commercials enterprises associated with regional centers.
- Eligible Businesses – must be a new commercial enterprise created after 11/29/90 which will expand up to 140% of pre-investment net worth or number of employees or must be a troubled business in which jobs will be preserved.
- Capital Investment Thresholds – Typically $1M. For investment in TEA in a high unemployment or rural areas, $500,000. Investments made through Regional Centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation, including “direct ” and “indirect” jobs. Direct jobs are actual jobs identifiable jobs located within the commercial enterprise in which the investor has invested, while indirect jobs are those created collaterally or those created in connection to a regional center.
- Job-Creation – Must demonstrate that the capital investment will create/preserve at least 10 jobs for qualified U.S. workers within the U.S. Jobs created for non-immigrant workers or members of the EB-5 investor’s family are not qualifying.
- Form I-526 immigration petition approval.
- Obtain conditional immigrant status through adjustment of status form I-485 in the U.S. or application for conditional immigrant visa through the Department of State at a Consulate outside the United States.
- Upon approval, alien will be granted a two-year conditional permanent resident status.
4. At the end of two years, alien files a Form I-829 showing fulfillment of the business plan and job creation.