The Immigration and Nationality Act allows for 10,000 immigrant investor visas to be issued each year to qualified persons. Individuals in this category are businessmen seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their investment in a new commercial business in the US.
Investors are eligible for permanent resident status — either on their own or with their families — if they meet certain criteria. Qualifying foreigners who have invested — or are in the process of investing — a specified amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise can receive an EB-5 visa.
But they must product projections that this investment will benefit the economy and create a minimum number of full-time jobs for US workers.
To qualify, you must:
- Create a brand new business
- Purchase an existing business and at the same time or subsequently restructure or reorganize the business so that it is a new business.
- Expand the number of employees of a pre-existing business by 140% of its pre-investment work force or net worth, or retain all existing jobs in a troubled business that has lost 20% of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months
- Invest in a new business or be in the process of investing in a new business. The minimum investment is $1 million or a minimum of $500,000 if the investment is in a “targeted employment area”, which is an area that has unemployment that is 150% of the national average rate, or is in a designated rural area.
- Engage in a new commercial business that benefits the US economy, creates at least 10 new full-time jobs for US citizens, or maintains the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years.
In the last case,the investment involves purchasing or co-investing in a “troubled business”, which often is a business that has been in business for at least two years but has lost 20% of its net work in the past year or two.