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The EB-5 Visa: Perfect for Investors Looking to Create Jobs

The EB-5 Visa Perfect for Investors Looking to Create Jobs

Our posts tend to focus a lot on the H-1B visa simply because it is one of the most popular for companies trying to bring in foreign born workers. But truth be told, there are dozens of employment and business immigration visas in play. Because companies cannot apply for an EB-5 on behalf of an employee, one that does not get a lot of attention is the EB-5 visa for foreign investors.

The EB-5 Immigration Investor Program represents a pathway to permanent residency by way of a green card. The U.S. makes this pathway available to foreign investors willing and able to make substantial investments in businesses that create jobs. A successful investor can secure green cards for him or herself and all immediate family members.

As with all things in business immigration, successfully applying for an EB-5 visa requires knowing your way around U.S. immigration. Even the best investors need help, which is why we always advise retaining the services of a business immigration attorney. Attorneys specializing in immigration law are the most qualified to help with the EB-5.

Minimum Requirements for Investors

U.S. immigration law sets some minimum standards for the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program. They include minimum investment amounts. In order to obtain an EB-5 visa, a foreign investor must meet one of the following two requirements:

  1. Invest a minimum of $1.05 million in urban areas with low unemployment; or
  2. Invest $800k in rural areas or areas with high unemployment.

Those areas with high unemployment are also known as Target Employment Areas (TEAs). Furthermore, in addition to meeting one of the two conditions, the business a foreign investor puts money into must either create or preserve a minimum of ten full-time jobs for people already authorized to work in this country. Such workers include citizens, permanent residents, and authorized immigrants.

Direct and Indirect Investment

The next thing to know about the EB-5 visa for immigrant investors is how qualifying investments can be made. The first method is through direct investment. The immigrant investor either starts a new business or invests in an existing company. With either option, the investor must directly manage the job creation aspect. Another way to look at it is that the investor must be directly responsible for creating or maintaining the required number of jobs.

A second way to qualify for the visa is to invest through a regional business center. How does it work? A number of investors pool their financial resources into a regional center approved by the USCIS. That center manages a portfolio of qualifying businesses. It is responsible for managing the job creation aspect.

The indirect investment option is a good choice for foreign born investors not looking to become directly involved in the day-to-day operations of a company on U.S. soil. It still requires a significant investment from the immigrant seeking the visa but without requiring that the applicant have considerable business skill or experience.

Other Things to Know

In closing, there are a couple of additional things to know about the EB-5 visa. First of all, the law doesn’t require any minimum education or work experience. As long as an investor has the financial resources and can meet the other conditions, permanent resident cards can be issued.

Completing EB-5 paperwork and meeting program deadlines can be complicated. Because applying for the visa is so complex, we recommend working with an immigration attorney. Graham Adair can help. Contact us to learn more about this unique visa and how we can help you complete the application process. The EB-5 could be the pathway to permanent residency for you and your family.

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