The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, created by Congress in 1990 and administered by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), was formed to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign nationals.
The EB-5 green card is the first step in obtaining a permanent, unconditional green card.
Benefits of the EB-5 visa for residency
- Offers residency and work permit
- Allows the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age to obtain this type of visa as well.
- Although initially it is temporary, for a period of 2 years, after this time you can opt for a green card.
- Approval only takes approximately 60 days from the date the application is completed.
The foreigner wishing to obtain this visa, must invest the required amount of capital in a commercial enterprise to create 10 full-time skilled jobs, understanding:
- Business enterprise: Any for-profit activity aimed at the ongoing conduct of a lawful business.
- Qualified employee: U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other immigrant authorized to work in the U.S., not including immediate family members of the investor.
This capital cannot be less than:
- 900,000 in an approved regional center (TEA)
- 1’800,000 in other areas
In addition, it must be proven that the money invested was obtained through legal means and have enough money to cover the expenses of the process, which include, among others, $3,675 dollars for the filing of the I-526 form.
Jobs created through the investment should be:
- Created within the first 21 months of the project
- Direct (in employer-employee relationship with the company), in case the company is located outside of a TEA
The company in which the investment is made may be its own or someone else’s, new or existing. In the case of an existing company, the following must also be met:
- Has existed for at least two years.
- Is a “troubled” enterprise, i.e., has incurred net losses of at least 20% of its net worth prior to the loss, during the 12 or 24 month period prior to the priority date shown on the foreign investor’s Form I-526.
- The number of employees existing before the investment will be preserved for a period of at least two years.