What Is an EB-5 Visa?

What Is an EB-5 Visa

For those seeking immigration to the U.S., the EB-5 visa may be an option. This visa is for investors and entrepreneurs wanting to start a business in the U.S. However, there are specific requirements that must be satisfied to be eligible to apply.

Requirements for an EB-5 Visa

To qualify for an EB-5 visa, you must invest a minimum of $1,800,000 in a U.S. business. Those investing in a target employment area only need to invest a minimum of $900,000.

Aside from investing the minimum required amount, your business must create at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers. It needs to be a commercial for-profit business, meaning that non-profit enterprises and real estate investments are not acceptable for this type of visa.

You can either make a direct investment or invest in a regional center, which is a specialized company that collects investment funds from an array of EB-5 investors. The purpose is to fund a large-scale project like an apartment complex or a resort. Direct investments are made when you buy an existing business or start one of your own.

Since an EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa, it can lead to a green card for applicants who are successful. This means that an EB-5 visa can also allow you to get your spouse and children green cards. 

How to Get an EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 visa process is more complex than other types of visas. You’ll want to make sure you qualify, which entails investing the proper amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that you need to manage. This investment needs to create a minimum of ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers, and the investment funds must be deemed at risk. These funds must be lawfully obtained to qualify.

It’s a smart move to hire an EB-5 visa lawyer to help you navigate the legal process. While it isn’t required to use an attorney to apply for this visa, they will be well-versed in immigration law. Complications can arise and an attorney that specializes in immigration through EB-5 visas will be aware of all of them.

For example, if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) increases the filing fee and you do not know, you might not pay the correct fee. This would likely result in the denial of your application. Having an attorney ensures you have someone helping to make sure you comply with all paperwork and procedures.

Once you have an EB-5 visa, you can work on getting a green card. This requires you to first become a conditional permanent resident for two years. Once you have created at least ten jobs for U.S. workers and your capital has been kept invested in the business for the duration, you will be eligible to have the conditions removed on your green card.

In short, the EB-5 visa might be the right path to immigration for you and your family. Discussing this with an attorney can create a smoother process.


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