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Frequently Asked Questions

What is EB-5?

Employment Based 5th Preference (EB-5) is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) program created by Congress in 1990 that grants permanent residence (i.e. green cards) to qualified foreign nationals and their families in exchange for at-risk investment of $800,000 or $1,050,000 that creates a minimum of ten jobs per investor.

What kind of investments are eiligible for EB-5?

Investors must invest in a business that will create at least ten jobs per EB-5 investor over a two-year period. Most of the EB-5 investors invest in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), a rural area or area with high employment, or an Infrastructure Project which qualifies for the lowest investment amount of $800,000. The investors have the choice of investing individually or through a USCIS designated EB-5 Regional Center.

What are EB-5 Regional Centers?

The U.S. Congress created the Regional Center program in 1992, which allows foreign nationals to invest in a USCIS approved Regional Center with the goal of promoting economic growth in the U.S. through many different methods, including increased exports, job creation, and foreign direct investment (FDI).

Regional Centers are run by private or public organizations or public-private partnerships that cover a specific geographical region. The advantage of investing through a Regional Center is that their investments can count indirect jobs in addition to direct jobs. Projects processed without a Regional Center can only count direct jobs.

Regional Centers also provide a one-stop service, usually bringing together immigration, financial structuring and economic modeling. About 95% of all EB-5 investments are made through Regional Centers.

What are Targeted Employment Areas and Infrastructure Projects?

Investment in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) or Infrastructure Projects qualifies projects for a $800,000 investment rather than $1,050,000 per EB-5 investor. TEAs include all rural areas (non-metropolitan statistical area (MSA) cities or counties with a population under 20,000), and census tracts within cities that have unemployment rates that are 150% of the national average. An Infrastructure Project is administered by a governmental entity (such as a Federal, State, or local agency or authority) for maintaining, improving, or constructing a public works project.

What are the requirements of the EB-5 program for each investor?

The basic requirements for each EB-5 investor are:

    • Invest a minimum of either $1,050,000 in a non-TEA and non-Infrastructure Project or $800,000 in a TEA project or an Infrastructure Project
    • The investment fund must be at risk
    • The investment results in the creation or preservation of ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers, over a two-year period

What is the process to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program?

Click the here to see our flow chart of EB-5 Investment Process.

Are family members also eligible under the EB-5 program?

Yes, EB-5 investor’s spouse, and all unmarried children under the age of 21 at the time the immigrant visa is adjudicated are eligible under the EB-5 program to receive green cards.

Do EB-5 investors have to be involved in daily operations of commercial enterprises?

EB-5 investors may be involved in the day-to-day operations primarily if the investment is a non-Regional Center project. In most Regional Center projects, EB-5 investors are only involved in major decision or policy making of the enterprise, typically as a member of a limited liability company or limited partner of a limited partnership.

What is meant by the requirement that each EB-5 investor’s funds be lawfully obtained?

USCIS requires that each EB-5 investor provides documented evidence that the investment fund was obtained through lawful means. Examples of evidence may include, but are not limited to business records, personal and business tax returns, bank statements and documentation of real estate transactions.