What is an EB-5 Visa Petition and Who Qualifies?
EB-5 is a program that was implemented by Congress in 1991 to help stimulate and benefit the U.S. economy by creating new jobs and encouraging foreign nationals to invest their capital in the U.S. By investing their capital in the U.S., these foreign nationals would be able to obtain an EB-5 visa.
An EB-5 visa is very different from other employment based visas in that you must be coming to the U.S. to invest in a new commercial enterprise, your investment must occur after November 29, 1990 (the date that the EB-5 program went into effect), and this investment must be an ongoing enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy.
Once you ascertain an EB-5, you can bring your spouse and children, if they are under the age of 21, into the U.S. This status will become permanent after two years of gaining your EB-5 visa. Upon hitting your 5 year mark under EB-5, you may apply to obtain U.S. residency.
A great thing about an EB-5 visa is that the investor does not have to work in the same area as their investment. They must just remain actively involved in their new business.
EB-5 Requirements and documents needed
There are three requirements that the applicant must satisfy in order to obtain an EB-5 visa. They must (1) invest in either a new or existing commercial enterprise; (2) they must invest a total of $1,000,000; (3) and the commercial enterprise must create at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
There are three ways in which you can invest in a commercial enterprise. You can create a new business, purchase an existing business and immediately restructure or reorganize the existing business to create a new commercial entity, or you can expand an existing business by infusing it with a substantial amount of capital, resulting in a 40% increase in either the business’s value or total number of employees.
While the following sets forth the process in which to file an EB-5 petition, due to complications that may arise when filing, we highly suggest that you seek help with filing your petition from an experienced immigration attorney.
When applying for an EB-5 visa, the investor must file a Form I-526 (Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur), pay required fees, and submit supporting documentation for their I-526. In addition to these three steps, an application may also include the following:
- Escrow account statements;
- Lease or purchase agreements for the new enterprise;
- Financial statements detailing that the individual’s capital came from a lawful source;
- A business plan evidencing the individual’s continued involvement with the new business, including the individual’s duties and responsibilities; and
- New employment opportunities created by the qualifying enterprise. There are no minimum requirements for education, work experience, age, or ability to speak English.
There is also an EB5 Regional Center Program where certain investments at regional centers that are already with approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. You can also qualify with a $500,000 investment if you are establishing a business in an under-served area where the unemployment rate is 150% of the national average.
To discuss EB5 investor visa petitions petitions with an experienced immigration attorney from the American Visa Law Group, feel free click the contact us tab and fill out the inquiry form or call us at 510-500-1155.