The Employment-Based Fifth Preference Visa (EB-5) was created by US Congress in 1990 to boost the US economy by allowing foreign investors to make capital investments and create jobs in the United States. The Immigrant Investor Program is administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and who plan to create or preserve ten permanent full time jobs for qualified American workers, are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
The economic opportunities and the political freedom that the United States offers, make America a very attractive destination for investment immigrants.
- An EB-5 investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise.
- The investor must invest at least $1 million when investing in a general area of business or at least $500,000 when investing in a targeted employment area (“Regional Centers”).
- Within two years of admission as a Conditional Permanent Resident, the investor must create or preserve at least 10 full-time, direct or indirect jobs belonging to qualified US workers
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Inclusion of Family Members
Upon approval of the visa, the applicant along with his/her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be admitted to the US during the two-year conditional term of the visa.
Duration of Visa
The EB-5 visa is valid for two years.
After the expiry of this period, the investor must submit a Petition to Remove Conditions along with prescribed documentary evidence for removal of conditions on the residency permit. Upon approval of the petition, the investor and included family members will become lawful permanent residents.
Under the Pilot Program, the requirements related to EB-5 investment are essentially the same with the distinction that the Pilot Program permits investments affiliated with an economic unit known as a Regional Center.
Investments made through Regional Centers will enjoy the benefit of an expanded definition of job creation that will include not just direct job creation or maintenance but indirect job creation or maintenance as well.
Individuals seeking to organize a Regional Center and seeking the necessary designation from USCIS are, as organizers of the Regional Center, required to submit a proposal supported by economically or statistically valid forecasting tools.
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