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EB-5 Visa Eligibility & Requirements

understand key EB-5 program terms and who is eligible to apply for an EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 visa program is open to citizens of a foreign country who can make the required capital investment. There are no restrictions regarding age, education, business experience, or language. As with other visa types, EB-5 investors their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 will have to undergo background checks and national security screenings.
EB-5 investors must be able to show a lawful source and path of the funds to be invested.  For example, the investor must demonstrate that their assets were gained through lawful business, a salary, inheritance or other lawful means. Each investor’s circumstance is unique. There is no single list or way to prove a lawful source of funds. ICC will evaluate your situation and create a plan tailored to it. Learn more about the benefits of working with ICC.

Capital Investment Requirements

Minimum qualifying investment of $1,050,000, reduced to $800,000 USD if the investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or infrastructure projects. Amounts increase with inflation every 5 years.
Investment must be made in a new commercial enterprise.
The investors’ capital must be at risk, meaning an opportunity to profit but also the risk of a loss. It must remain at risk throughout the investor’s conditional residency period.

Job Creation Requirements

Create or preserve  10+ full-time jobs within 2 years for U.S workers directly or indirectly as a result of the investment.
Preserving jobs is only applicable for investments made in companies that have lost 20% net worth.

limited investor positions remain

ICC has an open project where all eb-5 job creation requirements have been met

Understanding EB-5 Requirements

Key EB-5 Program Terms

What is a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)?
An area is considered TEA if its a rural area OR an area where the rate of unemployment is at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate. TEA designation is now made by USCIS and documentation must be submitted with each I-526 petition.
ICC has checked that our Canopy by Hilton Project qualifies as a TEA under the new EB-5 Program Modernization Regulations that went into effect November 21, 2019.

What constitutes Full-time employment?
Qualifying employees of the recipient company must be working over 35 hours per week to be considered full time.

Direct jobs – These are jobs which can be connected explicitly to the investment obtained through the EB-5 program.
Indirect jobs – This is a bonus of working with a regional center: jobs created as a byproduct of investment through a regional center can be counted as indirect job creation.  This classification doesn’t exist outside of regional center EB-5 participation.
U.S. Workers – US citizens or those approved to work within the United States with immigrant status (H1-B not included).

What is considered a commercial enterprise?
Businesses that create for-profit activity and lawful operation.  These include:

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership (whether limited or general)
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation
  • Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned

Holding companies and their subsidiaries do fall under this definition, assuming that each party is operating lawfully and is for-profit.
Owning and operating a home for personal use does not fall under this definition of a commercial enterprise.
New commercial enterprise, is:

  • Established after Nov. 29, 1990
  • Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, but the business was purchased or acquired and re-formed constituting a new entity
  • Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, but the business grew by 40% in net worth or employees through the EB-5 investment

What is required to demonstrate a lawful source and path of the funds?
The immigrant investor must provide evidence, or documentation, that shows the capital invested was lawfully obtained.
However, this seeming simple requirement can get complicated fast. Lawful according to the United States? Lawfully according to the immigrant investors home country. How does one document and prove that the capital was obtained lawfully?
The USCIS provides guidelines for documentation. However, ICC understands the uniqueness of each investor’s circumstance along with complexity that prohibits a simple checklist. ICC creates custom solutions to ensure that your lawfully obtained funds meet the USCIS documentation requirements.

Detailed definitions of the Eligibility Requirements for EB-5 Immigrant Investors are published in The USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6, Part G, Chapter 2, available here.

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