Over the past several years, the EB-5 program has become increasingly popular. Foreign investors with substantial capital continue to explore business opportunities due to the weakness of the US dollar compared to foreign currencies, the ability to self-sponsor for agreen card where few or no other opportunities for obtaining permanent US resident status exist, and the ability to obtain an immigrant visa quickly and without backlog.
Critical Information about the EB-5 Visa Process
Before beginning the EB-5 visa application process, it’s important to understand the parameters of the program. Here are some key points to know:
- Amount of Capital Required — The amount of investment for most regional center EB-5 is $500,000. Some individual EB-5 investments can be $500,000 if the investor can prove that the investment is in a “rural area” or an area that has an unemployment rate at least 150% of the national average. If the individual investor can’t prove these points, the required investment is $1 million.
- Must Engage in the Business — The individual EB-5 applicant must be actively involved in the management of the business. They also must demonstrate that they have created 10 full-time jobs for US workers, or that they will create these jobs within two years of the filing of their application petition.If the applicant has limited business experience, another option is the regional center EB-5. This is often used by retirees and by students who wish to pursue higher education in the US, as well as people not interested in employment in the US or those that plan to work in the US at some time in the future but don’t want their immigration status to be linked to a particular business in which they must actively be engaged.
- Flexibility to Travel — If the applicant chooses the EB-5 regional center route, they must have the flexibility to travel due to the fact that are not tied to the business in which they have invested.
- Lawful Funds — for both the individual and the regional center EB-5 petitions, the applicant must be able to provide that the source of their investment were lawfully earned.
There are many other rules and regulations involved with both the individual and regional center EB-5 applicant processes. That’s why it’s helpful to have an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process.