According to the US State Department, more EB-5 visas will be issued to foreign investors seeking permanent residency in the US this year than any other previous year.
The announcement is an indication that the program — designed to ease entry requirements to the US while simultaneously stimulating the economy — is a rousing success.
The EB-5 program was created by Congress in 1990 and is administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It allows foreign investors to obtain green card status and a path to permanent residency if they invest in a US project that creates a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for US citizens.
To date, people from other countries have invested more than $6.8 billion in the US under the EB-5 visa program. And the US has issued about 29,000 visas as a result.
Investors from All Over the Globe
The EB-5 visa program has attracted investors from all over the world, including Canada, Great Britain, and South Korea. But the majority of foreign investors are coming from China.
The program doesn’t set limits on how many people from each country can invest in the US. There are no quotas by nation, unlike employment-based visas.
Each foreign investor must prove that their investment has created at least ten jobs. Because the ultimate objective of the plan is to stimulate the US economy, if you can prove that you preserved 10 jobs, that works, too.
One of the ways the USCIS determines whether potential investments meet the requirements for the EB-5 program is by evaluating the submitted proposals. Regional centers often help foreign investors navigate the often complicated process, but it’s a good idea for applicants to hire their own immigration attorneys.
It’s possible for people to apply for an EB-5 visa without investing through a regional center, but this requires the applicant to develop their own business plan. Immigration attorneys can help with this, or can recommend specialized EB-5 consultants who are experienced at writing these types of business plans.