EB-5 Investor


EB-5 refers to the fifth employment based visa preference category, created by Congress in 1990, and available to immigrants seeking to reside in the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs.  It is thereby commonly referred to as the “EB-5 Investor Green Card”. There are two main ways to invest within the EB-5 category and they are:  creating a new commercial enterprise with a $1 million investment or investing $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area or a Regional Center project.

Eligibility Criteria

New Business Enterprise

To qualify you must:

  1. Invest or be in the process of investing at least $1,000,000.  If your investment is in a designated targeted employment area (discussed further below) then the minimum investment requirement is $500,000.

  2. Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets.

  3. Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.  This includes U.S. citizens, Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. (however it does not include you (the immigrant), or your spouse, sons or daughters).

  4. Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy – for example as a corporate officer or board member.

Targeted Employment Area is defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.”  We can provide you with information on where such areas may be designated.

Regional Center Program:

To qualify you must:

  1. Invest at least $500,000 in a Regional Center-affiliated new commercial enterprise or a troubled business located within the area of the USCIS designated Regional Center.  Regional Centers are defined and discussed further below.

  2. The Regional Center must create at least 10 new full-time jobs either directly or indirectly through the capital investment, which the Regional Center guarantees.

A Regional Center is defined as any project, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. A complete list of currently designated “Regional Centers” can be found on the U.S.C.I..S. website. NOTE: NOT ALL REGIONAL CENTERS ARE EQUALLY SUCCESSFUL. CONTACT US TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE SELECTION PROCESS.

Application Process

Acquiring lawful permanent residence (“Green Card”) through the EB-5 category is a three step process.  First the successful applicant must file Form I-526 Petition for Alien Entrepreneur.  We will assist you in filing the successful application after determining the legal source or your funding and helping you make a fully informed decision on which Regional Center to invest in.

Second, the investor must either file an application to adjust status to lawful permanent resident (if already in the U.S.), or apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the United States.  The EB-5 applicant (and his or her spouse and minor children) is granted conditional permanent residence for a two year period upon the approval of the Green Card.

Third, a Petition to Remove Conditions must be filed 90 days prior to the two year anniversary of the granting of the EB-5 applicant’s conditional Green Card.  If this petition is approved by Immigration then the EB-5 applicant and family will be issued a permanent Green Card without any further conditions and be allowed to file for United States citizenship within 3 years. Since this is a complicated process, we urge you to plan enough time to meet with your attorney and other professionals that will be suggested to you in order to make the best decision for you and your family.

L.A. Times Cover Story on Investor Green Cards (9/4/2011)

Neil J. Sheff Visas, Green Cards, Citizenship. Immigration Attorney
+310 446 3844 OR +310 496 1644