What is the EB-5 Program?
EB-5 program is a US immigration program which provides a method for eligible foreign investors and their qualifying family members (spouse and children under 21 years old) to become lawful permanent residents, informally known as “Green Card” holders, by investing $1,000,000 (or $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area) and creates at least 10 jobs for American workers. The EB-5 program is intended to encourage both foreign investments and economic growth in the United States.
Who may apply for EB-5 program?
Anyone who (a) has the funds to invest US$500,000 in a qualifying project (or $1 million if the project is not located in a Targeted Employment Area), (b) can demonstrate the lawful sources of the funds used for such investment, (c) passes U.S. government background checks for criminal, political or financial activities, and (d) to the extent required by securities law, meets the SEC’s requirement as an Accredited Investor. There are no language, business or education requirements for applicants. New EB-5 regulations have been adopted in July 2019 which will raise the minimum amount for Targeted Employment Area projects from $500,000 to $900,000 (or $1.8 million for non-Targeted Employment Area projects). I-526 petitions filed before November 21, 2019 will be grandfathered under the current rules and the lower investment amount of $500,000 for Targeted Employment Area project.
An accredited investor includes anyone who:
Earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with spouse) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, or
Has a net worth over $1,000,000, either alone or together with spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence)
What is the minimum amount of capital investment required in an EB-5 program?
In general, the minimum qualifying investment is $1,000,000, unless the qualifying investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area (either within a highly-unemployment area or rural area in the United States), in which case the minimum investment is $500,000
What is a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)?
A targeted employment area (TEA) is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area which has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate of unemployment in the U.S.
How many jobs need to be created to satisfy an EB-5 requirement?
An EB-5 investor must invest the required amount of capital in a project approved by USCIS that will create full time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees.
What requirements must be proven in order to remove the conditions on the residence status?
The applicant must prove that (a) the required capital has been invested and sustained throughout the 2-year period of conditional permanent residence and (b) the required jobs have been created.
How long does it take to obtain “Green Card” with EB-5 program?
As of May 25, 2018, it would generally take about 25 to 32.5 months to get approval for a conditional green card after an investor files an 1-526 petition. However, the processing time for applications filed by investors from China or Vietnam is longer (especially for Chinese applicants) as applicants from these 2 countries are affected by “retrogression”. After an investor receives the conditional green card, as of May 25, 2018, it would take approximately 23 to 30 months for 1-829 petition approval, after which the investor can have the conditions removed from the conditional green card and become a permanent resident.