Frequently Asked Questions
What does EB-5 mean?
EB-5 is the more common term used to refer to a United States Visa program that was established by U.S. Congress. The full title of the program is Employment-Based Immigration Fifth Preference Visas Program.
What is the EB-5 Program?
The EB-5 Program is a win-win program for both the U.S. and foreign nationals. It is an immigrant investor program that was created by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was established by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), which is a Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The primary purpose of the EB-5 Program is to promote the immigration of people who can help create jobs for U.S. workers through their investment of capital into the U.S. economy. In return and when certain conditions are met, these foreign nationals receive a permanent visa for themselves and their eligible family members.
What qualifies a business or project for EB-5 investment capital?
- The business or project must be new, restructuring or expanding.
- The investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs that are either direct or indirect (if the investment is in a Regional Center) for qualifying U.S. workers.
- The minimum investment per investor is USD $1,000,000 or USD $500,000 if the investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
- Investment dollars cannot be borrowed.
When is a conditional visa granted?
A conditional visa is granted once background checks are completed and Form I-485 is approved. This takes place after Form I-526 is adjudicated, which occurs approximately 16 months after the EB-5 investment is made.
When does a foreign national’s status change from ‘conditional’ to ‘unconditional’ Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States?
Once further conditions are met, which typically takes two years, an immigrant investor‘s status is changed to ‘unconditional’ and they become a Lawful Permanent Resident’ (LPR).
Which of the investor’s family members are eligible for the benefit of permanent residency?
The investor’s spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible. All family members are subject to the same conditional and unconditional resident status process. Once unconditional Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status is granted, children may remain in the U.S. without their parents to attend college or university.
What is the best resource to learn about the specific U.S. laws and regulations regarding the EB-5 Program?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov has extensive information on the EB-5 program, including how to obtain permanent resident status through investment.