EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program
EB-5 is a foreign investor visa program designed to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and foreign capital investment.
EB-5 visas offer immigrant investors the most flexible path to permanent lawful U.S. residence and ultimately citizenship. EB-5 investor green card eligibility essentially depends on investing the required capital and proving a legal source of funds. If the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), an area with an unemployment rate of 1.5 times the national average, or a rural area the required investment amount is $500,000. Otherwise the required investment amount is $1,000,000. There are no restrictions regarding age, education, business experience, or language. EB-5 investors may live and work wherever they please, regardless of the location of the investment.
The EB-5 visa program is intended to allow immigrant investors to partner with US companies in exchange for a US green card. This encourages growth in the US job sector and gives faster visas for those who participate. Many countries around the world have these programs, but recently the US program has gained momentum.
The basics of an EB-5 visa for the United States:
- Foreign person invests $500,000 USD to be used in an approved area. It’s important to be approved like ICC, otherwise the minimum amount to invest is $1,000,000 USD!
- The US business has to create 10 new jobs with that investment. ICC works closely with the US company to make sure that happens.
- The foreign investor will be issued a temporary visa that can take up to two years to become a full visa.
- Full visa for the investor and created jobs for the US company.
US companies seeking funding get increased liquidity for growing their company, especially in areas traditional funding doesn’t support as well. The program is meant to encourage funding to the areas that especially need growth, hence the lower investment requirements.
While it’s possible for foreigners to seek investment directly with a US company, there are many problems. First is that the foreign investors must find a suitable US company that will be able to fulfill the requirements, and vice versa. Working with a Regional Center like ICC is the preferred method for everyone involved because we connect both sides and achieve the goals of all parties.
The EB-5 program was started in 1992, but has grown dramatically since 2009. This was the time of the US financial crisis when banks were giving out fewer loans for business growth. Companies still needed funds to expand and many people in other countries still wanted US visas, so the EB-5 program greatly accelerated in usage.
Regional centers like ICC partner with both foreign investors as well as US companies. This saves the investor time and money. Remember, there needs to be 10 jobs created for the visa to be fully complete: ICC makes that happen.