How to Qualify for an EB-5 Visa – Standard Program
To qualify for an EB-5 visa under the standard program, you will need to meet the following six requirements:
- Minimum Investment Amount. Generally speaking, you will need to make a minimum investment of $1,050,000. However, the limit is lowered to $800,000 for investments made in "targeted employment areas." These areas include rural areas and areas experiencing high unemployment.
- Acceptable Types of Investments. For an investment to qualify for the EB-5 program, it must take the form of a contribution of capital. Acceptable investments for EB- 5 purposes include cash, (and cash equivalents), tangible property (such as inventory and equipment), and indebtedness secured by your assets.
- Investment Capital Obtained Through Lawful Means. You will need to show that the invested capital came from a legitimate source. Funds obtained by any lawful means are acceptable, including inheritance, gifts, loans, lawful income, and the sale of a business, real estate, or stock.
- Job Creation Requirement. The enterprise will need to create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. Qualifying employees include United States citizens and authorized immigrant workers.
- Acceptable Types of Enterprises. You must invest in either a new commercial enterprise or a troubled business. A new commercial enterprise must have been established after November 29, 1990 (unless you buy and reorganize an existing enterprise or your investment results in a substantial change to the business). A troubled business must have been in existence for at least two years and experienced a 20% or greater loss in net worth. For troubled businesses, the creation of 10 new jobs is not required, and the investment must simply sustain the number of employees prior to the investment.
- Management Requirement. You must be involved in the management of the enterprise either through daily managerial control or through policymaking. Adequate policy formulation positions include corporate officers, members of the board of directors, and limited partners. Your role cannot be purely passive.
How to Qualify for an EB-5 Visa – Regional Center Program
As mentioned, Congress relaxed the requirements to obtain the EB-5 visa under the Regional Center Program to attract more investors to apply for EB-5 permanent residency.
The Regional Center Program is unique because:
- You are investing in a Regional Center instead of a new business. Regional Centers are designated by the government, and they promote economic growth and job creation in a specific geographic area in the United States. Currently, you have many options to choose from, as there are several hundred approved regional centers throughout the United States.
- The job creation requirement can be met through either direct or indirect jobs. Indirect jobs are much easier to achieve than direct jobs because they do not have to be directly related to the investment project. For example, certain construction jobs or jobs created at other businesses as a result of the EB-5 project can be counted toward the 10-job requirement.
At Harrison Law Office, P.C., we can help you assess your eligibility and take the requisite steps to qualify for the EB-5 visa program.
The EB-5 Process
The EB-5 process can be broken down into the following 7 steps:
- Schedule your consultation. You can take the time to ask our attorney all your questions and let him address your concerns. We will also discuss the legal requirements to obtain an investment-based green card through the EB-5 Program.
- Choose your investment project. Conduct due diligence by working with a third-party business analysis expert to select a financially viable investment project.
- Invest funds. Transfer to the EB-5 project the $800,000 for projects located in Targeted Employment Areas or $1,800,000 for projects in high employment areas.
- Prepare and file your application. Gather supporting documents and file the EB-5 Visa Application with USCIS.
- Complete consular processing or adjustment of status. File the consular processing application or adjustment of status application. Upon approval, you will receive your conditional green card.
- File for the removal of conditions on permanent residence. After 21 months, apply to remove conditional resident status.
- Obtain your green card. Once the conditions are removed, you will be granted permanent resident status and receive your regular green card from the U.S. government in the mail.
With Harrison Law Office, P.C. as your legal advocate and guide, you can rest assured you have everything you need to successfully complete this process.
Schedule your consultation today by calling (415) 212-6817 or contacting us online. If you speak a language other than English we will provide a translator so we can communicate efficiently and effectively.