The EB-5 Investor Program (the Program) has generated billions of foreign direct investments that open the door to economic development in U.S. communities. In addition, the Program also provides an opportunity to foreign entrepreneurs who share the same dream of moving their loved ones to America.

This is your gateway to a variety of resources to learn more about the program and the immigration process via EB-5.

What is EB-5?

Administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 Program, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, allows qualified foreign investors who meet specific capital investment and job creation requirements, to obtain their permanent residency and become proud contributors to U.S. communities.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Overview of the EB-5 Program, the requirements on capital investments and job creation, the EB-5 immigration process, and more.

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FAQ about EB-5

Learn more about the EB-5 Regional Center Program through these frequently asked questions.

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EB-5 History

Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.

In 1992, Congress enhanced the economic impact of the EB-5 program by permitting the designation of Regional Centers to pool EB-5 capital from multiple foreign investors for investment in USCIS-approved economic development projects within a defined geographic region. Today, 95 percent of all EB-5 capital is raised and invested by Regional Centers.

View Full EB-5 History

EB-5 Requirements

All EB-5 Investors must invest in a New Commercial Enterprise which is a commercial enterprise either established after November 29, 1990 or established on or before November 29, 1990.

If the investment is in a commercial enterprise established before November 29, 1990, then it is a project that will be purchased, and that is purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results or expanded through the investment so that a 40 percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs.

The investors have invested in a new commercial enterprise, as stated above, however under the EB-5 Regional Center Program the new commercial enterprise can transfer the investor funds to a separate and distinct job creating entity either in the form of a loan arrangement, or an equity investment.

The job creating entity must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers, or U.S. permanent residents within two and half years after the investors I-526 petition is approved (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.  That is usually during the two year period of conditional residency, the full time jobs are created. As an example, once the investors I-526 petition is approved, then a few months later, the investor will obtain conditional permanent residency for a two year period. Before the end of the two year period, the investor will file another I-829 petition to remove the condition to show that the investment was sustained and the required jobs were created. Based upon current Eb-5 policies, if all the required jobs are not created, then the I-829 petition can show that based upon substantial compliance, the required jobs can be created within the next twelve months.

In an EB-5 Regional Center context, through accepted economical methodology and report, the jobs can be required indirectly.

A direct job is a job that has been created within the commercial enterprise in which the EB-5 investor has invested their capital. Whereas a indirect job is ne that has been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested into a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center.

All EB-5 investors are required to make a minimum personal investment of their personal funds into the commercial enterprise. By law, an EB-5 investor is required to invest a minimum of $1 million, unless the investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)—a rural area or area of high-unemployment designated by USCIS. Regional Centers funding projects in TEA’s can accept a minimum of $900,000 from each EB-5 investor.

EB-5 Forms

  • I-526: The I-526 petition is filed by the investor with the USCIS. The I-526 petition consist of the project documentation, and the documents showing that the investor’s personal funds are derived from lawful services.
  • I-485: Once the I-526 petition is approved, and the investor is in legal status in the U.S. under another nonimmigrant status, then the investor [and/or spouse/family members if applicable] can file the I-485 application for conditional permanent residency without leaving the U.S.
  • DS-230: If the investor receives the I-526 approval, and they are working and living in their home country, then they can file their application for conditional permanent residency VISA issuance, through the U.S. consulate.
  • I-829: The I-829 petition is the final step in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Investors and their attorneys file this petition with USCIS, and provide evidence that the investor has successfully fulfilled all of the program’s requirements, particularly that investor funds resulted in the creation of at least ten jobs. Upon approval of the petition, investors and their family members receive unconditional permanent green cards.
View EB-5 Forms on USCIS Website

EB-5 Due Diligence

No matter what type of EB-5 investment the investor decides to pursue, conducting due diligence, is an important part of the process. Investors, or investors counsel need to obtain as much information as possible regarding the investment, project and Regional Center. One should never rely solely on the marketing materials provided by a Regional Center.

It is also very important that investors understand the offering documents. These materials will vary depending on the structure of the investment but they can include: a private placement memorandum (“PPM”), an escrow agreement, a limited partnership agreement and the subscription agreement. The private placement is especially important as it lays out the details of the investment.

Due diligence is an essential step in the process because a poor investment decision will not only put the investors’ money at risk but it could also negatively impact the investor’s immigration status or ability.

Frequent Asked Questions

EB-5 Regional Centers are organizations authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept and utilize EB-5 investor funds. Regional Centers promote economic development and job creation within a specifically designated geographic area. View a list of approved Regional Centers on USCIS’ website at here.
EB-5 investments that are affiliated with EB-5 Regional Centers are made through private placements – the sale of securities to a relatively small number of select investors. Like all private placements, which are used by companies to raise capital in a number of contexts, EB-5 private placements are governed by federal and state securities laws and regulations.
By law, EB-5 investments must be “at risk” in the same way that any equity, stock or other type of investment carries inherent risk. Regional centers, like other entities that market investment opportunities, cannot guarantee a return on investment. Regional Centers also cannot guarantee return of the investment principal to the investor.
By law, an EB-5 investor is required to invest a minimum of $1 million, unless the investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)—a rural area or area of high-unemployment designated by USCIS. Regional Centers funding projects in TEA’s can accept a minimum of $900,000 from each EB-5 investor
Due to the fact that investments must be at risk EB-5 investments are not guaranteed. USCIS in fact forbids any form of redemption or guarantee for investors.
Rejection in the past does not disqualify an applicant for EB-5, unless the reasons are related to immigration fraud or other major problems. It is most important that the investor disclose all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration history problems to your immigration attorney in advance of your petition submission.
The length of processing time for the I-526 petition is around 14 to 20 months depending on the individual case. The process is two part first USCIS must review and approve the investor EB-5 application after which the EB-5 petition, if approved, is forwarded to the overseas US consulate where the investor will need to file a consulate application and then follow up with an interview before the immigrant visa is granted. If the EB-5 investor is already in the U.S. they will need to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS instead.

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