The EB-5 Immigrant Visa is an investment visa Green Card. EB-5 visa or Pilot Immigration Program was created by the Congress in 1990, to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
Foreign investors must meet specific United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requirements to obtain their permanent residency through the EB-5 visa program. EB-5 visa does not require you to have a job offer from an U.S. employer (sponsor).
There are two ways to obtain an EB-5 Visa: either through an approved Regional Center, the so called Immigration Pilot Program or through a direct or private investment.
A Regional Center is any economic unit, public or private, involved in the economic growth, improving regional productivity, job creation and increasing domestic capital investment. It is a feasible solution for immigrants who are not interested in the management and control of a company but are interested in granting a Green Card by investment.
A direct investment can be done in any legitimate productive activity that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified American employees.
The investment must be of at least $ 1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time workers (a minimum of 35 hours per week). If the investment is implemented in a rural area (outside an urban area with a population of at least 20,000 people) or an area of high unemployment (at least 150% of the national average), the investment can be of at least $ 500,000.
Upon EB5 approval, the investor will be granted conditional permanent resident status. If the petition to remove conditions is not timely filed, the investor will be placed in deportation proceedings.
The EB-5 investment can take the form of money, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness, or property, and is valuated based on U.S. dollar fair-market value. The for-profit activity may be:
- A sole proprietorship
- Holding company
- Joint venture
- Business trust or other entity
Among all business visas, the EB-5 is the most desirable, as it ensures the permanent immigration status (Green Card) in the United States for the main investor, spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Only 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year.