EB5 Investor Visas allow for conditional residency (conditional green card) for persons who after 1990 invest $1,000,000 (or under certain circumstances $500,000) in a new commercial enterprise that employs 10 full-time positions for US Citizens or authorized Permanent Residents. The Investor must engage in the business through day to day management or policy formation. Upon approval and after 2 years, the Investor must apply to remove the conditions so that permanent residency may be obtained. There are approximately 10,000 visas set aside for qualified investors.
Investment Amount Must Be “At Risk”
$1,000,000 must be invested or in the process of being invested. However, $500,000 may be invested if the investment is in a targeted employment area. A targeted employment area is a rural area of less than 20,000 inhabitants or an area which has experienced high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average.
The investment can be cash, equipment, inventory, or other tangible property, cash equivalents, and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the entrepreneur, provided that the entrepreneur is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise are not used to secure any of the indebtedness. The investment must be at risk and be an investment, not a loan. If there is indebtedness, the note must be secured by the Investor’s assets.
Type of Business
Investment must be in a new commercial enterprise or Invested in a business so that the business has a substantial change, meaning a 40% increase in either the net worth or the number of employees. The enterprise can be almost any type of business as long as it is for profit and is legal.
It is essential to prove that the invested funds and commercial enterprise create full time employment for at least 10 qualifying US Citizens or Immigrant workers within the 2 year conditional residency period. Full time employment is 35 hours per week.
Regional Center Investment Pilot Program
Congress created a Pilot Program allowing investment through Regional Centers that would relax the job creation requirements for employment creation visas. A Regional Center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. The organizers of a regional center seeking the regional center designation from USCIS must submit a proposal showing:
- How the regional center plans to focus on a geographical region within the U.S., and must explain how the regional center will achieve the required economic growth within this regional area
- That the regional center’s business plan can be relied upon as a viable business model grounded in reasonable and credible estimates and assumptions for market conditions, project costs, and activity timelines
- How in verifiable detail (using economic models in some instances) jobs will be created directly or indirectly through capital investments made in accordance with the regional center’s business plan
- The amount and source of capital committed to the project and the promotional efforts made
EB5 Investor Visas require due diligence by the Investor. To discuss whether you may be eligible for an EB5, contact Cipolla Law Group for a consultation.