The EB-5 program requires an investment of $500,000 (plus costs) in a commercial enterprise that will employ 10 full-time US workers. The investor’s role is largely passive. The source of investment funds may be his/her own or funds given to him/her as a gift. The permanent residence obtained by the investor is conditional for two years and can be made permanent upon satisfying USCIS at the end of the two years that the investment proceeds have not been withdrawn and the 10 jobs have been created.
The investor may invest in his or her own commercial enterprise or in a pre-approved “regional center”. Regional centers are government-approved entities for which USCIS has determined that investments will create the necessary 10 jobs. Foreign nationals seeking permanent resident status in the U.S. are relying on the investment route more frequently than ever before. Various reasons might be surmised for the increase in popularity of the investment option, including the lack of available viable alternatives under U.S. immigration laws and the decreased value of the U.S. dollar. The result of the latter point is that the required $500,000 translates into smaller equivalent amounts to foreign nationals using currencies with enhanced value when converted to US dollars.
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