Through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, certain foreign nationals are given the opportunity to obtain a U.S. Green Card by investing in the U.S. Investment of $1 million is required of EB-5 visa applicants intending to create a new commercial enterprise in the U.S.; the required amount is $500,000 if the investment is to be made in a Regional Center, an organization that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has pre-approved for the purpose helping EB-5 investors meet the program’s requirement. Regardless of where the investment is made, the goal remains the same: preserve or create 10 full-time jobs for qualified American workers.
Foreign investors who wish to invest their $1 million in a new commercial enterprise must make sure that such enterprise was:
- Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
- Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, and that it will be purchased and restructured to form it into a new commercial enterprise, and expand it so that its employees or net worth would increase 40% more than its original (size of employees or net worth).
Compared to investing in a Regional Center, many more investors prefer this second form of investment due to the following reasons:
- Cost of investment in an EB-5 Regional Center is only $500,000;
- Meeting the “create 10 jobs” requirement becomes the responsibility of the EB-5 Regional Center; success of meeting this requirement is also higher if investment is made with a Regional Center that is more stable and well; and,
- With the Regional Center responsible in meeting the “create 10 jobs” requirement, the investor can busy himself or herself with other things, like attend a university or practice his or her real profession.
Compared to other employment-based visa programs, the EB-5 visa requirements are the easiest to satisfy; processing time is also guaranteed much faster. However, this program is not without risk, the greatest of which is the probability of failing to meet the “create 10 jobs” requirement. This makes it very important for the foreign national to really consider if investing in the U.S. is the best way he/she can obtain a Green Card for himself/herself and his/her family. An EB-5 visa attorney will be the right person to turn to regarding this important matter.