WHAT IS EB-5

ABOUT EB-5

​​EB-5 is a United States immigration program that offers citizens of other countries the opportunity to seek permanent U.S. residency through job creation in the U.S.

The EB-5 Regional Center Program began in the early 1990’s to spur economic growth by giving immigrants a way to obtain permanent U.S. residency through job creation. Administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 program directs foreign investment into projects that revitalize local economies; investors whose money creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers become eligible for a U.S. green card. Regional Centers, designated by the U.S. government, promote job creation in a defined geographic area.

APPLICATION PROCESS

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

​This specialized immigration program was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation by immigrant investors. There are 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas available annually, of which 3,000 EB-5 visas are set aside for foreign nationals who invest in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

For investments in areas other than "targeted employment areas," the minimum amount of investment is $1 million. Investments in "targeted employment areas," which include most regional center projects, can qualify with a minimum of $500,000.

​​​A targeted employment area is a rural area or a geographical area that has experienced unemployment at a rate of at least 150% of the national average rate. Individual states are authorized to designate geographical areas within the state that qualify as targeted employment areas.

​​​Each EB-5 investor must create 10 direct or indirect permanent jobs for U.S. workers in order to obtain a “Green Card”.

All investments are subject to risk and Regional Center projects are not exceptions. Under the law, the Regional Center cannot guarantee profit or the return of an investor’s principal investment. The project has limited operating history and is subject to financing risk. There are no assurances that a member’s petition will be granted or that a member will be able to obtain an immigrant visa or unconditional lawful permanent resident status. Laws, regulations and interpretations of the EB-5 Program are subject to change at any time.

Any person who can demonstrate the ability to: 1) deploy the required amount into the American economy, 2) document that the capital was legally earned, and 3) satisfy general eligibility requirements (e.g., medical, criminal) is qualified to apply for the EB-5 program. There are no language, business, or education requirements for applicants.

The investor, spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 (including adopted children) are eligible to apply for a green card through the EB-5 Visa Program.

Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that his or her assets were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the investor to prove that his investment funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, property loan, inheritance, gift, loan, or other lawful means.

Yes. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual transaction and is not an undocumented loan or that the gifted funds are expected to be given back after permanent resident status is granted.

The processing time varies case by case. Related’s experience has been that it takes about 6-12 months to receive approval for an I-526 petition. Petitioners living in the United States should then expect to wait another six months for approval of their adjustment of status. Petitioners living abroad at the time of application should apply for an immigration visa through an American consulate, a process which also takes approximately six months. After approval of the immigrant visa through consular processing, the investors and their families receive conditional green cards within a few weeks of their arrival in the United States.

Under USCIS regulations, an investor who files an I-526 petition with the USCIS and is approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card. A “conditional” Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. EB-5 program participants must file the I-829 petition with the USCIS starting 90 days before the end of the two year conditional permanent status period to remove the condition. The applicant’s conditional residency will be extended while the I-829 is processed. Once the I-829 is approved, the conditional residency restriction is removed so that the immigrant, their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can live in the United States permanently. Otherwise, both the temporary and permanent green cards offer the same rights and privileges.

The applicant must prove that the investment has been sustained – not withdrawn – and that the requisite jobs have been created as a result of the investment.

​Yes. The full capital amount must be transferred to the project prior to filing an I-526 Petition with USCIS.

The green card holder is free to travel in and out of the United States subject to the rules generally applicable to permanent residents. Specifically, he or she must maintain a residence in the United States and must not be outside the United States for a continuous period of one year or more, unless he or she has obtained a reentry permit.