This category allows international investors who invest a minimum of either $900,000 or $1,800,000 in a profit making US company to gain lawful permanent residence popularly known as a Green Card in the US. The amount of investment required depends on where the money will be invested. The vast majority of applications are made via the EB5 Immigration Investor Regional Center Program. They charge high fees. However, is more convenient for many investors.
EB5 Conditional permanent residence
In order to gain legal permanent residence in the US EB-5 applicants must first apply for conditional permanent residence, which lasts for 2 years. During this time the investor must meet the conditions outlined below in order to be granted full legal permanent residence.
New commercial enterprise
EB5 applicants' investment must be directed towards 'new commercial enterprises', as defined by USCIS. This does not mean investors must set up a business from scratch, but the business receiving investment must meet certain conditions. These are:
Having begun trading either on or after November 29th 1990, OR
Having been taken over and undergone extensive restructuring, OR
Having gained either 40% net worth, or 40% more employees as a result of the EB-5 investment
In order to gain lawful permanent residence through the EB5 visa category investors must have created a minimum of 10 full-time US jobs within two years of entering the US.
Minimum investment: Targeted Employment Areas
EB-5 investors need to invest a minimum of $1,800,000 of investment outside of a Targeted Employment Area. However, If the location of the investment is deemed to be a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) that amount drops to $800,000. Targeted Employment Areas fall into 2 categories:
To be designated a rural TEA an area must be outside of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's designated metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). The exact definition of such areas is often unclear, but essentially the TEA they must not be near towns or cities with more than 50,000 residents. A full US map of MSAs can be found here
The second condition of an area being designated a rural TEA is that it must not be within the boundaries of any town with 20,000 residents or more.
High unemployment TEAs
High unemployment TEAs are areas with 20,000 or more residents with an unemployment rate of at least 1.5 times the US average.
Further information, help, and advice
Workpermit.com's team of specialists has over 25 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the US. All applications for US visas are dealt with in-house by a US qualified lawyer who is also typically a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).