Japan Investors for EB-5 VisaJapan investors for the EB-5 Visa obtain U.S. Permanent Residency through a minimum investment that generates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. Japan investors for the EB-5 Visa must prove that the investment came from lawful sources and keep the money at risk to qualify for the program. Japanese investors who meet the minimum EB5 Program requirements gain the right to live, work, and study indefinitely in the USA as Permanent Residents along with their qualified dependents.

There is no backlog in the EB5 Visa applications for investors from Japan, and those who currently reside in the USA are qualified to file their petitions concurrently. The lack of backlogs in the processing of the EB 5 Visa is highly favorable for the growth of Japanese EB5 investors investing in the USA. Investors from Japan and their families are free to travel anywhere in the US as well as to several other countries without a visa as US Permanent Residents. Children of Japanese investors are entitled to reduced tuition costs and financial aid for their education in the US as EB5 Visa dependents.

Table of Contents

What is EB-5 Visa for Japan Investors?

The EB-5 Visa for Japan investors is an immigrant visa that grants a USA Green Card (Permanent Residence) through minimum investment and job creation. The EB-5 Visa for Japan investors requires that the investment result in at least 10 full-time employment for Americans. Japan investors and their dependents obtain an initial 2-year Conditional Green Card (Permanent Residence) that enables investors and their dependents to live, work, and study in the United States. 

What are the Benefits of EB-5 Visa for Japanese Investors?

Japanese investors and their families gain these benefits by investing in the EB-5 Investor Visa Program.

  • Permanent residency in the US. Japanese investors, their spouses, and minor unmarried children are able to live, work, and travel anywhere in the USA as EB-5 Green Card holders. 
  • Investment and business expansion in the US. High-net-worth Japanese investors are able to widen the breadth of their economic ventures outside of their country and explore the opportunities offered by the stable and globally-competitive market of the United States.
  • Education in the US. Japanese parents place a high value on their children’s education and choose to send them to the top colleges and universities in the world. Children of Japanese EB-5 investors get to study in the premier schools in the US and are allowed to continue their stay in the US without the need to apply for another US Visa. Here are the benefits of a Green Card for children under 21 of Japanese investors as EB5 dependents.
    • Study in some of the best institutions in the world without facing restrictions imposed on foreign students.
    • Pay 150% to 300% lower tuition fees as compared to foreign students.
    • Enjoy more funding and scholarship options as compared to foreign students.
    • Study as a day scholar and avoid long separation from family just to obtain a quality education.
    • Explore job opportunities without worrying about issues like work permits, sponsorship, processing delays, expiry of visa, or restrictions on job mobility. 
  • Japanese investors enjoy greater international mobility through the visa-free travel privileges available to US Green Card holders.

What are the Risks of EB-5 Visa for Japanese Investors?

Below are the risks that Japanese investors should take into account when processing an EB-5 Visa application. 

  • At-risk investment. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires EB-5 investments to be “at-risk” meaning the invested money is subject to both gains and losses. Receiving a U.S. Green Card is EB5’s top benefit for Japanese investors, their spouses, and their children.
  • Risk on immigration. A U.S. Green Card does not automatically result from investing alone. The Japanese investor must demonstrate that their investment was able to produce the required 10 jobs and maintain the same jobs throughout their Conditional Residency.
  • Fraud risk. The Japanese investor should perform due diligence and appoint qualified experts to carefully examine an EB-5 Project, its developer, and the related third-party entities to avoid fraud.

How Long Does it Take to Process an EB 5 Visa for Japan  Investors?

The average time for processing an initial EB-5 petition for Japanese investors is between 29.5 and 61 months. Japanese investors have to file the Immigration Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-526) to initiate the EB-5 process.

How Long is an EB5 Visa Valid for Japan Investors?

Japan investors and their dependents obtain an initial 2-year Conditional Green Card after getting their EB 5 Visa approval. The Japan investor submits a petition to remove the conditions on his/her EB5 Green Card to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States. 

What are the Requirements for an EB-5 Visa for Japanese Investors?

Japanese investors need to meet the following requirements to get an EB-5 Visa.

  • Investment amount. The EB5 investment must be “at risk” and be in any of the following. 
    • A minimum investment of $800,000 USD (¥109 M Japanese Yen) in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) project. A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is a region with high unemployment rates or a rural area. 
    • An investment of $1.05 million USD (¥143 M Japanese Yen) for a non-TEA project. 
  • Source of funds. Japanese investors can use any of the following as EB5 investment funding as long as they come with proof of lawful sources.
    • Business profits
    • Salaries/wages
    • Loans from a financial institution or from an individual
    • Gifts from an individual
    • Inheritance
  • Job creation. The EB5 Visa for Japanese investors requires the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for US citizens.

The financial criteria for the EB-5 Visa for Japanese investors are the following.

  • Net worth of $1,050,000 (¥143 M Japanese Yen) for an individual or married couple; or
  • Minimum of $200,000 (¥27 M Japanese Yen) in individual income in each of the 2 previous years; or
  • Minimum of $300,000 (¥40 M Japanese Yen) in joint income in each of the 2 previous years; and
  • Comparable level of future income and assets.

What is the Age Requirement for Japan Investors to Get EB-5 Visa?

There’s no age limit for the EB-5 Visa. Any Japan investor qualifies to be an EB-5 investor. However, since a minor probably does not have the assets or income to be eligible as an EB-5 investor on his/her own, the parents or some other guardian giving him/her the investment amount requires showing the necessary documents to prove the source of funds. Occasionally, a Japanese investor pursuing an EB-5 Visa will be unable to get specific documentation. In such instances, the applicant should file a declaration giving an explanation as to why they are unable to supply the needed documentation.

The only time age matters is if the parent is applying and children are also part of the application as derivatives. The children must be under the age of 21 to be included in a parent’s application.

How Much Does an EB-5 Visa Cost for Japan Investors?

These are the costs involved in processing an EB 5 Visa for Japan investors.

  • EB-5 investment
    • $800,000 (¥109 M Japanese Yen) for a TEA investment
    • $1,050,000 (¥143 M Japanese Yen) for a non-TEA investment
  • Form I-526- $3,675 (¥501 K Japanese Yen)
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)- $1,140 (¥155 K Japanese Yen)
  • Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829)- $3,750 (¥511 K Japanese Yen)

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues 10,000 EB-5 Visas a year.

The Financial Services Agency is the regulatory body that has framework and monetary policy for moving assets and money outside of Japan.

How can I Transfer EB-5 Funds from Japan?

Japanese investors must show that they have made the necessary minimum capital investment or are in the process of doing so while submitting an EB-5 petition. The EB-5 investment must be shown to have been legally acquired and transferred in the I-526 petition. Japanese investors must deposit the EB 5 investment fund into the EB 5 Project’s escrow account before submitting the I-526 petition. An EB5 project escrow account is a bank account with interest used to hold sizable sums of money for businesses until all transactions are completed. The EB 5 escrow agreement must document that the Japanese investor’s capital will be allocated entirely to the EB-5 Project. Both the Japanese investor and the EB-5 Project must be unrelated to the bank holding the escrow account.

What is the Priority Date for EB5 Visa for Japanese Investors?

The date when the Japanese investor’s Form I-526 is submitted and received by the USCIS is the EB5 Visa priority date. The Japanese investor’s place in the “waiting line” for an immigrant visa is indicated by the EB5 priority date. The final action dates for an EB5 Visa are updated monthly in the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin. The priority date is “current” if the Japanese investor’s final action date matches their I-526 priority date. EB5 Visa processing for Japanese investors is in “current” status, meaning there has been no retrogression (backlog) for applicants from Japan.

How Long Does it Take to Acquire an I-526 Approval for the Japanese Investor under EB 5?

I-526 petitions filed by Japanese investors are approved between 29.5 and 61 months. All I-526 petitions are adjudicated by the USCIS, and the exact processing time depends on the complexity of the case and the recipient service center.

How can a Japan Citizen Immigrate to the United States Using the EB-5 Program?

Japan investors for the EB-5 Visa undergo 6 steps to obtain U.S. Permanent Residency.

  1. Petitioning for an EB-5 Visa. Filing of the I-526 petition with the USCIS.
  2. Applying for an EB5 Visa. USCIS must approve the I-526 form prior to applying for the EB5 Visa.
    1. Applying from overseas. Filing the Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (Form DS-260) with the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
    2. Applying within the US. Filing for an adjustment of status using Form I-485 with USCIS. Japan investors present in the USA holding valid nonimmigrant visas such as H-1B, F-1, and L-1 are eligible for concurrent filing of their I-526 and I-485 petitions.
  3. Issuing of EB-5 Visa
  4. Obtaining conditional permanent residence. A Conditional Green Card grants Japanese investors and their dependents the same rights as Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) during the 2-year Conditional Residency.
  5. Removing conditions on permanent residence. The I-829 petition is submitted to USCIS within the 90-day period prior to the second anniversary as a Japanese EB5 investor in the US.
  6. Gaining lawful permanent residence. An Unconditional Green Card is valid for 10 years and renewable unlimitedly. 

What is the EB-5 Visa Statistics for Japan Investors?

There were 5 EB 5 Visas released to Japanese investors in FY 2024 according to the Report of the Visa Office from 2024 of the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

What are the Challenges for Japan Investors for EB-5?

Japan investors must deal with certain challenges when applying for an EB 5 Visa. First, investors from Japan should have enough funds to invest in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) and pay for the processing costs of an EB 5 Visa. Investments must be proven to come from lawful sources and must also be transferred through legal means. Second, typically conservative Japanese investors must be prepared for the related financial risks. The EB5 Project cannot ensure capital payback or high returns. Permanent Residence in the US is the main advantage of the EB-5 Visa for Japanese investors. The third is the history of fraud in the EB-5 industry. The Japanese investor is able to reduce these risks by consulting with an experienced EB-5 Visa Attorney, an economist, a financial securities specialist, and other EB-5 experts.

What is the Best Project to Invest in with an EB-5 Visa for Japan  Investors?

EB5 Projects are commercial enterprises in the United States that resulted from the funding of immigrant investors. EB5 Projects contribute to economic growth by creating jobs for Americans. Restaurants, real estate, and hotel construction are among the best EB-5 Projects for Japanese investors. These EB-5 Project categories are always in demand and create more jobs than are necessary for each investor to meet the EB5 requirements for Permanent Residency.

What Does the Future Hold for EB-5 Investors from Japan?

The future and growth of the EB-5 Program for Japanese investors are positive and favorable based on the country’s “current” Visa Bulletin status. Japan investors are not subject to retrogression (backlog) in their EB-5 Visa applications and are qualified for priority processing and visa set-asides if they invest in rural areas or high unemployment areas. 

What are the Other US Visa Available for Japan Nationals?

A U.S. Visa is the stamp on the passports of foreign citizens who are seeking to enter the United States. Japanese citizens must secure a US Visa that is specific to the purpose of their visit at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Japanese nationals who are qualified to enter the United States as Permanent Residents are given an Immigrant Visa. Japanese nationals who are granted temporary entry and stay in the US are given Nonimmigrant Visas.

The following are the US Visas available to Japanese nationals.

 Immigrant Visas

  • Family-Based Immigration. For foreign citizens sponsored by an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. Green Card holder and is at least 21 years old.
  • Fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa. For a foreign fiancé(e) of a US citizen. The foreign fiancé(e) is allowed to stay in the U.S. to apply for permanent residency after marriage.
  • K-3 Visa. For the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen traveling to reside in the U.S. while awaiting final completion of their immigration. The spouse’s children can enter the U.S. with a K-4 Visa.
  • Intercountry Adoption. For adopting children outside of the US.
  • Employment-Based Immigration. For qualified applicants under the provisions of US immigration law. The EB-5 Visa falls under the Employment Fifth Preference (E5). 

Nonimmigrant Visas

  • B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa. For people traveling to the US for business or pleasure, or for medical treatment. Japan is a qualified Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country and its citizens can travel to the US and stay for a maximum of 90 days without a US Visa for business and tourism purposes.
  • Temporary Worker/Employment or Trainees (H, L, O, P, Q, R). For temporary, nonimmigrant workers petitioned by US employers or agents.
  • Student Visa. For foreign citizens who wish to study in the US.
  • Exchange Visitor Visa. For foreign citizens participating in exchange programs.
  • Treaty Trader (E-1) and Investor (E-2) Visa. For citizens of countries with treaties of commerce and navigation with the US. Japan is a treaty country of the USA.
  • Journalist and Media Visa. For representatives of the foreign media traveling to the US to engage in their profession while having their home office in a foreign country.
  • A Visas. For Japanese government officials entering the U.S. for temporary or permanent assignment.
  • Transit/Ship Crew Visa. For foreign citizens traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the US en route to a foreign destination.

What is the Most Popular State in the United States for Japan Investors to Migrate to?

Japan immigrants are mostly located in the U.S. states of California, Hawaii, New York, Washington, Illinois, and Ohio according to the 2010 US Census. 

What is the Current Retrogression Situation for Japanese Investors?

There is no backlog for the EB-5 Visa for Japan investors. Japanese investors are able to obtain their EB5 Visas without additional wait times compared to applicants from backlogged countries such as India and China.

What are the Issues Experienced by the Japan Citizen with the EB-5 Visa?

The biggest issue for Japan investors who are looking into investing in the EB-5 Immigrant Visa is the limited awareness and education regarding the program. The U.S. EB-5 Investment Program tends to be more complex and not easily understood by Japanese investors. The key solution is to grow the EB-5 migration industry and regional center programs that cater to Japan investors. Organizations such as Invest in the USA (IIUSA) provide data and support to help expand the EB 5 market, especially for high-potential investors from countries like Japan. 

What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A targeted employment area (TEA) is a location in the United States where the threshold for investment is $800,000 (¥109 M Japanese Yen) under the EB-5 Program. A TEA is either a high-unemployment area or a rural area. Japanese investors gain additional advantages aside from lower capital requirements by investing in a TEA Project. TEA investors are given priority processing for their petitions and allotment of visa-set asides as per the 2022 EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA). The availability of priority processing and reserved visas quicken the process of obtaining an EB5 Green Card for Japanese investors 

What Other Countries can Invest in the EB-5 Visa Program?

The EB-5 Program helped close to 100,000 foreign investors become Permanent Residents of the United States according to “The United States EB-5 Program” by Investment Migration Insider, from 2012 to 2022. The United Kingdom, South Korea, Taiwan, and China account for almost 80% of these EB5 investors.

Is USA a Good Foreign Market to Invest in for Japan Citizens?

Yes, the United States provides access to one of the world’s largest consumer markets, a robust legal system, tax advantages, and a dependable infrastructure. The EB-5 Program is a reliable investment and immigration pathway to the United States for Japan investors.

Can EB-5 Visa Attorney Speed Up the Process of EB-5 Visa?

No, an EB-5 Visa Attorney is unable to expedite an application for an EB 5 Visa for Japanese investors. The USCIS and the DOS govern the evaluation and processing of EB 5 petitions. An EB5 Visa Attorney aids Japanese investors in preventing delays from processing errors, structuring their documentation for success, and assuring compliance with U.S. immigration rules and regulations.

Is Obtaining an EB-5 Easy for Japanese Investors?

Japan investors are able to obtain their EB-5 Visas easier because of the “current” Visa Bulletin status and lack of backlogs in the application for Japan. Japanese investors are not subject to additional wait times, unlike investors from countries with visa retrogression.

Can a Japanese National Apply for EB 5 while on H1B?

Yes, Japanese H-1B Visa holders are eligible to apply for an EB5 Visa. The H1 B Visa is granted to foreign workers hired by US employers in a specialty occupation. The Reform and Integrity Act permits Japanese nationals with H-1B visas in the US to submit their I-526 and I-485 applications simultaneously for quicker processing without leaving the United States.

Can an Japan Investor Borrow Money for EB-5 Visa?

Yes, investors from Japan are able to use loans and borrowings as EB-5 Visa investments. The personal assets and collateral of the Japanese investor, not those of the EB-5 project, must serve as security for the EB5 Loan.

Can an International Student from Japan with an F-1 Visa Apply for EB5 Visa?

Yes, a student from Japan on F-1 Visa is eligible for the EB-5 Visa. The F1 Visa is a nonimmigrant classification that allows entry into the US for foreign students enrolled in academic institutions. The Japanese student on a valid F1 status can file the I-526 and I-485 petitions concurrently for faster EB 5 Visa processing in the USA. 

Can a Japan Citizen Invest in the United States?

Yes, a citizen from Japan is able to invest in the United States through the EB5 Visa and through the E-2 Visa. The E2 Treaty Investor Visa is a nonimmigrant classification for treaty country investors entering the USA temporarily to set up their businesses. Treaty countries are those that have a treaty of navigation and commerce with the United States. Japan is the top E-2 country in Asia.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa does directly lead to US Permanent Residency, unlike the EB-5 Visa. A substantial investment of at least $150,000 (¥20 M Japanese Yen) is required for an E-2 Visa investment without the need for minimum job creation. 

Does a Japanese Citizen Need a Visa for USA?

Nationals from Japan are allowed to enter and stay in the US without a visa for a maximum of 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Japanese nationals will have to secure a U.S. Visa for other purposes such as employment, studies, and immigration.