The “Immigrant Investor Visa” (EB-5 visa) is an investment-based opportunity for a green card as administered through the U.S. Citizenship and immigration Services (USCIS). Green cards for investors are limited to 10,000 per year in total and also investors from any one country are limited as well. If more than 10,000 people apply in a year, or a large amount of people from your country apply that year, you might be placed on a waiting list based on your “priority date” (the day you filed the first portion of your application).
Often, you may hear immigration lawyers simply refer to this green card category as the “EB-5 visa.” Other people commonly call it the “million dollar” investor visa, but it does not always require a $1 million investment. The business in which you invest must ultimately employ at least ten full-time workers (not counting independent contractors), produce a service or product, and benefit the U.S. economy. Full-time employment is defined as requiring at least 35 hours of service per week.
For this and other reasons, most people prefer to invest in what is known as a Regional Center, an organization that runs a business that creates jobs. The reason this is attractive to most immigrant investors is that they are not required to create their own business. Another reason is that the minimum amount of capital required may be decreased to $500,000 if the investment is made in a commercial entity that is located in a targeted employment area (TEA). The EB-5 project must either be in a rural area or in an area that has high unemployment in order to qualify for TEA designation instead of the $1 million that is normally required. Regional Centers frequently have offerings available in a designated TEA. Another advantage of investing in a regional center is that it can count “indirect” jobs created by businesses that service the main business, as shown by economic models.
USCIS will look at where you got the money for your investment, to make sure it was from a lawful source. You’ll need to provide evidence, such as salary, investment, sale of lawfully obtained assets, gift, or inheritance. For an infographic showing the process of obtaining your EB-5 Visa click here.
Another idea for EB-5 Investors who are not ready to start the application process but have their funds is to invest their funds for a minimum of one year through the Portfolio Interest Exemption program. This will allow for your funds to be easily vetted by the USCIS when you decide to make an application for your EB-5 Visa.
The EB5 VISA is a faster way to earn the right to work in the US than an H1 Visa. Please click here to see a flow chart timetable of receiving an EB5 Visa versus an H1 Visa.
Through its associated Regional Center relationships, A List Partners Management, LLC provides many opportunities for you to invest in viable real estate projects that met the necessary requirements for obtaining your EB-5 Visa. Many of these projects are located within the boundaries of designated TEAs, lowering your minimum needed investment capital.