The U.S. government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to encourage foreign investment in U.S. businesses. In exchange for investing in a business that creates jobs for U.S. workers, foreign nationals and their families are eligible to become permanent residents of the United States. The program’s name, “EB–5”, comes from the visa category for which immigrant investors apply – the Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference EB-5.
While the program has evolved considerably since its creation in 1990, there are currently two ways for foreign investors to obtain an EB-5 Visa:
- Direct investment in a new or existing commercial enterprise that creates jobs, or
- Investing capital through a “Regional Center”, a government-approved firm that actively manages investor funds and the immigration approval process
Investing capital through a Regional Center provides several major benefits to immigrants seeking U.S. residency through the EB-5 program. One of the most important advantages is the ability to count both direct and indirect jobs. Under the Direct Investment Program, only direct jobs are eligible to meet the job creation criteria. Direct job creation is a result of an investment which has created and sustained ten new actual identifiable jobs over a two-year period. Under the Regional Center program, however, investors can satisfy the job requirement by also showing the indirect job creation from pooled funds of all investors in the project. These jobs can be created collaterally or as a result of the capital invested in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a Regional Center. In other words, the investor does not need to show that he or she directly hired any employees and the burden of proving job creation is passed onto the Regional Center. Our team demonstrates the jobs created as a result of the project – both direct and indirect – through economic analyses performed by our world-class economists.
Regardless of which option an investor chooses, the minimum investment amounts are the same. Each EB-5 Visa applicant must invest a minimum of $1,000,000 in a job-creating venture. If the business receiving capital is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) – defined as a rural area or a region with high unemployment – the minimum investment amount is reduced to $500,000. All of EB5 Capital’s investment opportunities are located in TEAs.