Glossary of Terms


Conditional Permanent Resident

Conditional permanent residents are those who have been granted a ‘green card’ but who have certain restrictions on their residency. EB-5 investors become two-year conditional permanent residents after either their I-485 or DS-230 has been approved. Investors must apply for permanent residency at least 90 days prior to expiration of their two-year conditional period.


Direct Jobs

EB-5 investments made to non-Regional Center projects must result in the creation of 10 full-time direct jobs for U.S. workers for two years. Direct jobs are identifiable jobs that are created directly within the commercial enterprise that receives the EB-5 investment. Direct jobs can be created in both an individual investment or a Regional Center project.



Employee means an individual who provides services or labor for the new commercial enterprise and who receives wages or other remuneration directly from the new commercial enterprise.



I-485 is an application for Adjustment of Status. If an immigrant investor is present in the United States when his or her I-526 Petition is approved, he or she must use this form to adjust status to that of conditional permanent resident.



I-526 means an Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. It is used for an entrepreneur or person wishing to use the EB-5 program to immigrate to the United States.



I-829 means a Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. It is used for an entrepreneur or person using the EB-5 program who is a conditional permanent resident to remove the conditions on their green card.


Indirect Jobs

Indirect jobs can count towards the job creation requirements of the EB-5 program if the investment is made to an EB-5 Regional Center. Indirect jobs are those created in a commercial enterprise that is affiliated with a Regional Center either collaterally or as a result of the EB-5 capital investment.


Private Placement Memorandum (PPM)

Private placement memorandums are documents drawn up between those seeking capital, for instance EB-5 Regional Centers, and investors. PPMs outline the requirements and potential financial risks that investors face in making an investment to a particular business. The PPM then protects the business that received the investment if something goes wrong during the course of the investment.


Project Owners

Project owners are principal managers of EB-5 projects. Project owners often search for EB-5 investors who are willing to fund potential business projects.


Regional Center

A Designated Regional Center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to facilitate the pooling of capital by multiple EB-5 investors. A Regional Center’s purpose is to promote economic growth, improve regional productivity, create jobs and increase capital investment. Each Designated Regional Center focuses on a specific geographic area within the U.S.


Rural Area

Rural area means any area not within either a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more.


Targeted Employment Area (TEA)

Targeted Employment Area means an area which, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. TEAs are subject to lessened EB-5 investment amount requirements. EB-5 investors who invest in a business that is located in a TEA may qualify to invest US $500,000 instead of the usual US $1 million.



USCIS is an acronym for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is the U.S. federal agency that is responsible for processing and administering most U.S. visas. The USCIS is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is the overseer of the EB-5 immigrant investor program. All regional centers and projects coordinated through the EB-5 Program must be approved by the USCIS.


USCIS EB-5 Decision Board

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) board adjudicates I-924 applications and determines whether or not business will receive Regional Center designation. The board is comprised of economists, attorneys, and USCIS adjudicators.


U.S. Citizen

There are two main categories of United States Citizens — those who became citizens at birth and those who became citizens through the naturalization process. Individuals become U.S. citizens at birth if they were born to a US parent or if they were born within a territory that the United States has jurisdiction over. To become a citizen after birth, individuals must go through the naturalization process. United States citizens enjoy many benefits such as the right to vote, seek federal employment, and run for elected office.


U.S. Permanent Resident

A permanent resident is an immigrant who has received a green card which enables them to live and work in the United States permanently. EB-5 investors receive conditional permanent resident status after approval of either their I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status or their entry into the U.S. on an immigrant visa issued to them during consular processing. Individuals receive permanent resident status in the U.S. after the approval of their I-829 petitions to remove conditions of residency.