The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, established by the United States Congress in 1990, provides a unique opportunity for foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the US. By investing in qualifying commercial enterprises that create jobs, investors and their families can secure a Green Card and eventually become US citizens. This article will provide an overview of the EB-5 program, its eligibility requirements, and the application process.
The EB-5 Program: An Overview
The EB-5 program aims to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in the US by attracting foreign capital. To qualify for the program, foreign investors must invest a minimum amount in a new commercial enterprise that generates at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers. The investment can be made directly or through a designated Regional Center, which pools investments and manages projects on behalf of investors.
To be eligible for the EB-5 program, investors must meet the following investment requirements:
- Minimum Investment Amount: The standard minimum investment is $1.8 million. However, if the investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is either a rural area or an area with high unemployment, the minimum investment is reduced to $900,000.
- Job Creation: The investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified US workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the US as a conditional permanent resident.
- At-Risk Investment: The investment must be “at risk” and subject to potential losses or gains, meaning that it must be invested in a genuine commercial enterprise.
- New Commercial Enterprise: The investment must be made in a new commercial enterprise established after November 29, 1990, or in an existing business that is restructured or expanded through the investment.
- File Form I-526: The investor must first file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form must be accompanied by evidence of the investor’s source of funds, the investment amount, and the job-creating potential of the enterprise.
- Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status: Once the Form I-526 is approved, the investor can either apply for an immigrant visa at a US consulate abroad (consular processing) or file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if already in the US.
- Conditional Permanent Residence: Upon the approval of the immigrant visa or adjustment of status, the investor and their immediate family members are granted conditional permanent residence for two years.
- File Form I-829: Within the 90-day period before the two-year anniversary of obtaining conditional permanent residency, the investor must file Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, to demonstrate that the investment requirements have been met, including job creation.
- Removal of Conditions: If the Form I-829 is approved, the conditions on the investor’s permanent residency are removed, and they become unconditional permanent residents, eventually eligible for US citizenship.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program offers foreign investors an attractive pathway to secure permanent residency in the United States for themselves and their families. By understanding the program’s eligibility requirements and the application process, investors can take advantage of this opportunity to achieve their American Dream while contributing to the US economy.