Disclaimer: Immigration policies change over time. It is important to consult an attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information on visas.
Purpose: The EB-5 visa program is designed to stimulate the United States economy by creating jobs and capital investments via foreign investors. This method offers a way for eligible applicants and their immediate families to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Investment Requirement: in order to qualify for this visa the applicant must make an investment into a new commercial enterprise. There are generally 2 investment options for applicants:
a. Direct Investment: a minimum investment of $800,000 is to be made in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 jobs for U.S. citizens
b. Regional Center Investment: a minimum investment of $800,000 U.S. made in a new commercial enterprise affiliated with a designated Regional Center. Regional Centers are pre-approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which focus on promoting economic growth in specific areas.
Job Creation Requirement: The investment made by the applicant must create and preserve a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. This must happen within two years of the investor’s admission to the United States.
Conditional Permanent Residency: While the EB-5 program is a path to permanent residency, there is an initial period of 2 years where residency is conditional on their investment. Within the 90 days before the 2-year period ends, the applicant must show that their investment has indeed met the job creation requirements. Once this has been demonstrated residency is no longer conditional and the applicant has now become a permanent resident of the United States. Once permanent residency has been obtained the applicant is then eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process.