By Last Updated: June 10th, 2024

Overseas investors, with their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, earn a Green Card by investing in the USA via the EB-5 Investor Program. The primary condition for this program is for the investor to invest an EB5 fund of $800,000 in a new commercial enterprise and generate ten full-time jobs for U.S. citizens.

While the process seems difficult at first, the EB-5 immigrant investor program has the benefits that any investor hopes for. The benefits include obtaining a green card; a quicker path to permanent residency; freedom to work anywhere in the United States; travel in and out of the US; and the ability to live anywhere in the U.S. through the Regional Center program.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program requirements consist of an $800,000 capital investment that must be invested in a new business. The business location must be in a targeted employment area and be identified as having a high unemployment rate. The new business must be able to produce and hire 10 US citizens with full-time employment. Lastly, the project must be USCIS-approved (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

What is EB-5 Investor Program?

The EB-5 investor program permits foreign investors, their spouses, and dependents (unmarried children below 21 years of age) to receive a Green Card if they meet the program’s standards. EB 5 visa requires the applicant to spend at least $800,000 on a new business. The new business must create ten full-time positions for U.S. citizens. To qualify for the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program, the investor must demonstrate and substantiate the validity of the funding source.

When was the EB-5 Investor Program Established?

The EB-5 Investor Program was established by Congress in 1992, otherwise called the Regional Center Program. This program allocates EB-5 visas to applicants who invest in regional center-affiliated commercial enterprises accepted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Why was the EB-5 Investor Program created?

The EB-5 Investor Program was created by the U.S. Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through foreign capital investment and job creation. In 1992, the Immigrant Investor Program, known as the Regional Center Program, was established. It reserves EB-5 visas for participants who make investments in businesses connected to USCIS approved regional centers, based on plans for fostering economic growth. 

The economic impact of the EB-5 program was further enhanced by allowing Regional Centers to pool EB-5 capital from various foreign investors for investment in economic development projects. The investment immigration to the U.S. program was a huge success, filling the financing gaps in municipal budgets and providing a fresh, essential source of finance for regional economic development initiatives. These initiatives breathe new life into communities and support the creation and maintenance of jobs, infrastructure, and services.

What are the EB-5 Investor Program Requirements?

The EB-5 Investor Program requirements oblige the investor to produce an EB5 fund of $800,000 with proof of its legal source, invest the EB5 fund in a new commercial enterprise, the new business must be located in a targeted employment area, and create 10 full-time jobs for American workers. 

Who Can Apply for the EB-5 Investor Program?

Individuals with highly liquid financial assets can apply for the EB-5 Investor program. The US investment immigration program requires the investor to put up an EB5 fund worth $800,000 to be invested in a new commercial business. The project must be invested in a targeted employment area with a high unemployment rate and employ 10 US workers in full-time positions. An investor immigrant applies together with his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

What are the Benefits of EB-5 Investor Program?

The benefits of the EB-5 investor program include a US investor’s Green Card and other advantages. Although it is a laborious legal immigration process, it is worth it for foreign nationals desiring to move to the United States. There are 5 EB-5 Investment Program benefits, these are: first, issued green card to the investor and their spouses, and unmarried children under 21; second, unrestricted work for green card holders; third, visa-free international travel to and from the U.S.; fourth, efficient and speedy permanent residency procedure; and fifth, allows investors to live anywhere in the United States through the Regional Center Pilot Program.

1. Issued Green Cards to the investor and their spouse and unmarried children under 21

The EB5 visa investment program issues a conditional Green Card to the investors, their spouses, and qualified dependents. The conditional US visa allows the holder to stay in the US for two years.

Permanent residency in the United States, or a “Green Card,” is an immigration status that permits foreign nationals to live and work continuously in the United States. 

Immigrant investors become “Permanent Residents” and obtain a Green Card through the investment citizenship USA program if USCIS approves their I-526 application. In the meantime, they are allowed to visit the United States using a travel visa.

2. Unrestricted work for green card holders

Unrestricted work for Green Card holders is one of the advantages of the EB 5 visa program. Unrestricted work for US citizenship by investment means employment in any type of job and anywhere in the US is accredited or legal.

3. Visa-free international travel to and from the United States

An investor who was granted a US Green Card by investment is able to travel to and from the US without a visa. This visa-free international travel is unlimited and is one of the advantages of the US EB5 visa program.

4. Efficient and speedy permanent residency procedure

Unlike other immigration processes that take years to complete, EB-5 immigration is efficient and fast. An EB5 investor often acquires conditional permanent resident status in less than two years from the date the citizenship by investment USA application is filed. 

5. Allows investors to live anywhere in the United States through the Regional Center Pilot Program

The US citizenship investment of EB5 allows investors to live anywhere in the US via the regional center pilot program. The regional center pilot program, created in 1992, provides funding for investments associated with a “Regional Center” economic unit. Regional center investments take advantage of a broader idea of employment development that includes both “indirect” and “direct” jobs.

The EB-5 Investor Program Benefits outweigh the issues a foreign investor is likely to encounter in producing the required capital investment amount.

How long does it take to get an EB-5 visa?

On average, it takes between 29.5 and 61 months to get an EB-5 visa, according to USCIS processing estimates. The USCIS processing periods for an EB-5 Visa fluctuate based on the number of pending applications and the number of applications filed annually. The first application and petition are often accepted within sixty days of the filing date, followed by a scheduled interview. 

For foreign investors present in the United States who wish to adjust their status, the processing time for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, ranges from 7 to 29 months.

For foreign investors outside the U.S., it takes between 6 and 12 months for the National Visa Center and Consular to process EB-5 Visa visa applications.

How long can you stay in the EB 5 Investor Program?

The investor can stay in the EB 5 program for two years. During the course of the 2-year conditional residency, the investor will have to comply with the physical presence criteria. The EB-5 Visa holder is allowed to travel outside the US for a period of less than a year only. An immigrant investor must obtain a re-entry permit if they have lived outside the United States for more than one year.

What is the EB-5 Investor Program Process?

The EB-5 Investor program is designed for offshore investors who, upon meeting the EB5 requirements, obtain a U.S. investment green card. Through this program, the applicants are able to bring their spouse and children (single and under 21 years of age) with them to live in the United States. 

To qualify for the EB5 immigrant investor program, the applicant must follow the specific EB-5 green card process

First, the investor must choose an appropriate project that meets the requirements of the EB5 investor program. Selecting a qualifying investment is crucial, particularly if the applicant is keen on getting his petition approved.

Second, once an appropriate investment has been chosen, the investor must file Form I-526, known as the EB-5 petition, with the USCIS. This form confirms that the investor has invested in a new commercial enterprise with a capital investment of $800,000. 

Third, once the USCIS has approved the I-526 petition, the investor will be granted a conditional permanent green card for two years. This, however, differs if the investor is living outside the US or living in the US. For those investors living outside the US, the filing of Form DS-260 with a US Embassy or US Consulate is required. On the other hand, investors living in the US should file Form I-485 or the Request for Adjustment Status. 

The fourth step that the investor should take is to file Form I-829, which is the petition to remove conditions. When applying for the removal of conditions, the investor must present proof that all the EB5 requirements have been met.

Learn more about the EB-5 Green Card Process.

How much money is necessary for an EB-5 visa investor in the USA?

To apply for an investment Green Card USA, an EB-5 visa investor must be able to commit $800,000 as capital expenditure. The investor must be able to prove that the EB5 Investment fund was his own and must prove the legitimacy of the capital source, such as bank statements, real estate assets, investments, or business ventures. See how much an EB-5 Investment costs.

What is EB-5 Investor Program Regional Center?

An EB-5 Investor Program Regional Center is a public or private economic entity in the U.S. that is engaged in actively advancing economic development by enhancing regional productivity, generating jobs, and boosting domestic capital investment. The designation of a regional center by the USCIS enables a company to act as a service agent for EB-5 investors and project developers by controlling the finances of the investors. 

Through the regional centers, EB-5 investors invest funds prudently, so they easily achieve the EB 5 Visa investment requirements. Without the assistance of an EB-5 Regional Center, it is difficult to meet some conditions, such as the creation of 10 full-time jobs. Investing through a regional center increases the likelihood of getting an investor’s application, investment approved, and getting an EB-5 Green card.