To be eligible for EB-5 visa, the applicant must meet the 3 main requirements.
1. EB-5 Capital Investment
EB-5 visa requires that the applicant invests a minimum capital amount of $800,000 for a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) investment or $1.05 million for non-TEA investment with proof of its legal source; invested in a new commercial enterprise (business).
US Congress has defined “capital” as “cash and all real, personal, or mixed tangible assets owned and controlled by the . . . investor, or held in trust for the benefit of the [investor] and to which the [investor] has unrestricted access.” As of May 14, 2022, gifts and loans to the investor are expressly permitted as capital, provided certain compliance conditions are met. Capital can also include promissory notes, loans may be obtained but must demonstrate that the investor’s own collateral secures the indebtedness.
The definition of capital does not include:
- Assets acquired by unlawful means.
- Capital invested in exchange for a debt arrangement between the immigrant investor and the new commercial enterprise
- Capital investment must be At-Risk and must not have a guaranteed rate of return.
2. Engagement or Creation of new commercial enterprise
The Applicant must invest into a new commercial enterprise (NCE) or an existing business to create 10 full-time employment; the capital invested needs to be at-risk; and the investment for EB-5 visa must be approved by the USCIS.
A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is a region with high unemployment rates or rural areas. Following are reserved categories for EB-5 Immigrant Visas Set-Aside each year. Rural Area – 20%, High Unemployment Area – 10%, Infrastructure Project – 2%. See more about Immigrant Visa Set-Asides
A new commercial enterprise (NCE) is any for-profit commercial enterprise established after November 29, 1990. According to the US Congress, the term new commercial enterprise means, “ any for-profit organization formed in the United States for the ongoing conduct of lawful business, including sole proprietorship, partnership (whether limited or general), holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries (provided that each subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business), joint venture, corporation, business trust, limited liability company, or other entity (which may be publicly or privately owned) that receives, or is established to receive, capital investment from immigrant investors.” as defined by 8 USC 1153: Allocation of immigrant visas
Existing Business: The immigrant investor applicant can also invest in a business that existed on or before November 29, 1990, provided a substantial change in the net worth or number of employees results from the investment of capital.
3. Job Creation
The applicant must invest the required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 jobs for qualifying employees.
Investment in a Project Located Within a Regional Center: For example, if you are investing into the creation of a new hotel. Your investment of capital helps the new commercial enterprise (the new hotel) create 10 jobs. When there are 19 more EB-5 investors in the project, then each immigrant’s investments must result in the new hotel’s creation of 200 jobs (10 jobs for each investor’s capital investment) for qualifying employees.
Investment in a Project Located Outside of a Regional Center: For a new commercial enterprise not located within a regional center, the full-time positions must be created directly by the new commercial enterprise to be counted. There are some provisions when investing in a “Troubled Business”. For example, an investment in a troubled business that creates four qualifying jobs and preserves all six pre-investment jobs would pass the job creation requirement.
Citizens from all countries can qualify to apply for EB-5 investor visa. There are further details on Requirements for an EB-5 Visa that you should learn about. Let’s take a look at How to apply for EB-5 visa.