By Last Updated: July 18th, 2023

Business Plan for EB5 VisaAn EB5 Business Plan is a document that details an EB5 Project’s compliance with the capital investment and job creation requirements of the EB-5 Visa Program. An EB5 Business Plan is submitted together with the immigrant investor’s petition and serves as an important document for evaluating Green Card eligibility. EB5 Business Plans additionally supply essential information for foreign investors when it comes to choosing a project that meets their immigration and investment needs.  

The type of EB 5 Business Plan will depend on the EB5 Project classification which is either Direct or made through a Regional Center. All EB 5 Business Plans must include key elements such as the project’s description, marketing plan, financial projections, job creation, operations and management structure, and business analysis.

What is an EB5 Business Plan?

An EB5 Business Plan is a document that explains how a new commercial enterprise (NCE) or project meets the requirements of the EB-5 Visa Program, particularly on capital investment and job creation. The EB5 Business Plan must include important information such as the business description, financial projections, market analysis, job creation estimates, and the project’s structure, management, development, and operations. 

The EB-5 Visa is an immigrant program that allows foreign investors and their families to become Green Card holders through investment and job creation. 

Why is an EB5 Business Plan Important?

The EB5 Business Plan is part of the evidence that is submitted when filing Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor) or Form I-526E (Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor) to initiate the EB-5 Visa process. An EB-5 Business Plan allows the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to properly adjudicate an immigrant investor’s petition as well as evaluate the eligibility of a new commercial enterprise (NCE) to qualify as an EB 5 Investment Project. 

EB 5 foreign investors are able to prove their eligibility for a Green Card through a credible EB-5 Business Plan. EB5 Business Plans aid EB5 investors, their EB-5 Attorneys, financial advisors, and economists, in choosing an EB-5 Project that aligns with their immigrant and investment objectives especially when working with Regional Centers. 

What are the Types of EB5 Business Plans?

The type of EB5 Business Plan depends on the classification of the EB-5 Investment Project. EB5 Projects are either Direct or through Regional Centers. 

Direct EB5 Business Plan

A Direct EB-5 Business Plan is associated with a new commercial enterprise that is actively managed by the immigrant investor and creates jobs directly from the business. Direct standalone investors must include the following components for an EB5 Direct Project business plan.

  • Business description. The NCE, its objectives, services or products should be adequately described. You need to include in the Direct EB 5 Business plan the NCE’s physical location/s and the date of establishment, reorganization, or expansion.
  • Business structure and management. You need to detail the flow of your capital investment into the NCE and/or the job-creating entity (JCE). Draw up the organizational structure of the business and describe your role in the EB5 enterprise. Make sure to include a profile of the experience of your Direct Project managers.
  • Business development. Create a schedule that shows the actual and estimated dates for your Direct Project’s objectives, especially for job creation. Include all approvals, licenses, and permits related to your NCE and job-creating enterprise (JCE).
  • Business operations. Operations cover manufacturing and production processes that are related to the NCE’s sources of supply and product distribution. Discuss operations-related information such as your hours of operation, job-site location, and office size.
  • Job creation. You need to identify how many full-time permanent jobs will result from your EB-5 investment. Specify each full-time employee’s job title, working hours per week, wage, and hiring date. Include the proposed weekly schedule and any job-sharing arrangements, if applicable.
  • Market analysis. You need to discuss details such as the target customers of the Direct Project including their demographic and economic data as well as demand drivers, trends, and industry data. Cite the potential competitors and compare your products or services with your competitors. Elaborate on your business’s marketing strategy, pricing, advertising, and service offerings.
  • Financial information and projections. Have a budget plan that discusses the projected cost of developing the NCE. Specify the amount, sources, and terms of capital needed to meet the budget plan. Include an income and expense projection for your Direct EB-5 Project.

Regional Center EB5 Business Plan

A Regional Center EB-5 Business Plan is created for NCEs associated with economic units called Regional Centers. A Regional Center Project is funded by the pooling of capital from multiple EB5 Visa investors wherein indirect and induced jobs created from the project’s positive economic impact are also counted towards job creation. A business plan for an EB5 Regional Center must have the following.

  • Business description. The NCE and JCE/s associated with the Regional Center should be identified. Describe how the JCE will create jobs and the NCE use EB5 capital by for its products or services. Include the physical location/s of the NCE and JCE/s.
  • Business structure and management. Discuss how the accumulated EB 5 capital will flow from the investors to the NCE and JCE. Detail the experiences of the managers of the Regional Center, developers of the project, and all other persons of substantial authority related to the EB-5 Project. Describe how many immigrant investors are involved in the Regional Center Project and their role in the business.
  • Business development. Form a schedule that shows the actual and projected dates for the objectives of the Regional Center Project. Include the approvals, licenses, and permits that the NCE and JCE have received.
  • Business operations. Explain the manufacturing or production procedures involved and append contracts for the supply of materials and distribution of products. Describe the operations related to employment such as working hours per week, outsourcing, and job-site location. 
  • Job creation. The EB 5 Business Plan should come with a reliable economic impact analysis to estimate job creation. Explain how the required minimum 10 jobs per EB5 investor will be created and when these jobs will be created.
  • Market analysis. Include a description of the target market of the Regional Center Project together with demographic and economic information about the target market. Discuss the drivers of demand, industry trends, and possible competition of the project. 
  • Financial information and projections. Come up with a budget detailing the costs involved in establishing the NCE and JCE. Identify how the EB-5 investment will contribute to the EB 5 Project development and its position in the capital stack. Include a comprehensive income and expense projection for the NCE and JCE.
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What Should be Included in an EB5 Business Plan?

This section further discusses the essential parts of an EB5 Business Plan.

Matter of Ho

The 1998 Matter of Ho court ruling mandates that EB-5 Business Plans must clearly and credibly comply with EB 5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program requirements on employment creation and capital investment. The EB 5 Business Plans of Direct and Regional Center Projects must demonstrate the capacity for US economic development in order to qualify immigrant investors for an EB-5 Green Card. The EB5 Business Plan is generally 40-50 pages with charts and graphs that detail important data needed to prove compliance with the EB-5 Visa Program.

Executive Summary and Project Description

The EB 5 Business Plan is a brief overview of the whole document which highlights key information below.

  • Type of business activity/ies and industry the EB5 Project is involved in.
  • The enterprise’s mission, purpose, and history.
  • Advantages of the EB5 Project over competitors.
  • Concise evaluation of the industry and market opportunities available. 
  • Information about the owners, management, personnel, consultants, and developers of the EB 5 Project.
  • Information about the EB-5 capital investment involved.
  • Outline of the EB-5 Project’s timeline, financial projections, and operational plan.
  • How the EB 5 Project will boost U.S. economic growth and employment creation. 
  • Future plans for the EB5 Project.

Business Structure and Analysis

The EB 5 Business Plan should indicate what type of project and business the NCE will be. EB5 Projects should be commercial enterprises engaged in lawful for-profit activities. Common EB5 Business Structures are limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Analysis of the EB 5 business includes an in-depth description of the NCE, its products or services, and the company’s goals. The EB-5 Project’s history, value proposition, mission, and growth or expansion plans should be discussed thoroughly.

Market Research and Plan

The EB-5 Business Plan must come with detailed market research that shows the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) how the NCE will create a positive economic impact. A comprehensive marketing plan explains how the EB 5 Project will generate profit through its target market using a sound business strategy. The market research and plan should include an analysis of the competitors including their market, products or services, and rates. A comparison of the EB 5 Project and the competitor’s strengths and weaknesses should be shown. 

Operations, Management, and Personnel

The EB-5 Business Plan should be supported by a well-constructed operation plan that includes the organizational structure and experiences of key personnel. The working environment, day-to-day procedures, equipment, and role of key employees should be explained. The experience and the job descriptions of the EB-5 Project’s management, developers, and staff should all contribute to the success of the NCE and JCE. Describe the role of the EB-5 foreign investors in the project which is dependent on the project type.

Financial Plan and Projections

The financial plan includes the budget, projections for expenses and revenue, source of funds, projected balance sheets, cash flow projections, profit-loss projections, and breakeven predictions. The financial plan should demonstrate that the EB 5 Business is financially viable and is set to deliver a strong performance in the future. EB5 Visa investors will also want to know the rate of return for their investment.  

Job Creation

Employment creation is a vital criterion for EB 5 Visa eligibility. Each EB-5 Visa investor must be credited with at least 10 full-time permanent positions based on their capital investment. The EB 5 Business Plan must have a reasonable timeline for when the full-time positions will be generated to meet the EB5 Job Creation requirement. 

What are the Requirements for an EB5 Business Plan?

The information and data in the EB5 Business Plan must be backed up by evidence and documentation that supports its credibility and reasonableness.

  • Reliable economic analysis including an estimate of employment creation that is based on economically and statistically valid and transparent methodologies.
  • Investment and offering documents such as subscription, investment, partnership and operating agreements, private placement memoranda, term sheets, biographies of management and key personnel, and marketing materials.
  • Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Securities Act of 1993 or with State securities regulators. 
  • Description of the policies and procedures of the EB-5 Project that promotes compliance with U.S. securities laws and the laws of the applicable US State.
  • Certification from the Regional Center and any issuer of securities intended for EB5 Visa investors. 

What Happens When an EB5 Business Plan is Approved?

Approved EB 5 Business Plans shall be used as the basis of adjudication of EB 5 Visa petitions except in the following cases.

  • The EB 5 Visa investor engaged in fraud, misrepresentation, or criminal misuse.
  • The approval of the EB5 Business Plan will threaten public safety or national security.
  • A material change has occurred that affects the EB5 immigrant investor’s eligibility.
  • Evidence is discovered that affects EB-5 Visa eligibility that was not disclosed previously during the adjudication of the petition.
  • The prior adjudication involved a material mistake of law or fact.

How Do Amendments Affect Approved EB5 Business Plans?

Amendments are changes that were not originally part of the EB5 petition and business plan. USCIS follows the following guidelines regarding EB5 Business amendments.

  • Amendment approval. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary can approve amendments for EB5 Project applications if requested no later than 30 days after the specified changes. 
  • Incorporation. The timely filing of an amendment to a previously approved EB-5 Business Plan will be incorporated and considered for the evaluation of EB5 Visa eligibility assessment of the related petitions.
  • Site visits. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary conducts site visits to Regional Centers, NCEs, and JCEs indicated in the EB 5 Business Plan.
  • Capital redeployment. The DHS Secretary sets the regulations that govern capital redeployment of EB-5 Visa investments in cases such as Regional Center termination or to maintain the EB5 capital at risk provided certain requirements are met.

FAQs about EB5 Business Plan

When Do I Need an EB5 Business Plan?

You need to have an accomplished EB5 Business Plan when you file your I-526 petition. The I-526 petition initiates your EB-5 Visa application and serves as the basis of your Green Card eligibility. The EB5 Business Plan is key evidence that must be submitted with I-526 to prove that you are capable of investing the required amount to help create jobs for US workers.

Do I Need a Business Plan Writer for an EB5 Business Plan?

Yes, you need a business plan writer who is well-versed in the EB-5 Visa industry to help in formulating your EB 5 Business Plan. An EB5 Business Plan writer knows how to create business plans that are acceptable for USCIS standards for the Immigrant Investor Program. Working with an EB-5 business planner, an economist, a financial advisor, and an immigration attorney will increase your chances of obtaining an EB5 Green Card.