The EB-‐5 for Immigrant Investor it’s a program that provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States by:
- Creating a new commercial Enterprise, or
- Investing in a Troubled Business.
There are two distinct EB-‐5 pathways for an immigrant investor to gain lawful permanent residence for themselves and their immediate family, the Basic Program and The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”).
EB-‐5 requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the standard EB-‐5 investor program, except the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “Regional Center.”
Both programs, Basic Program and Pilot Program, require that the immigrant make a capital investment in a commercial enterprise located within the United States. The capital investment has to be of either $500,000 or $1,000,000, depending on whether the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area or not.
Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is authorized to grant 10,000 EB-‐5 visas. Of these, 3,000 are for TEAs, another 3,000 are for investment in Regional Centers, and the remaining are open to any investment that qualifies under the guidelines.
One of the requirements is to create or preserve at least 10 full-‐time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.
Acquiring lawful permanent residence (“Green Card”) through the EB-‐5 category is a three step self-‐petitioning process. The processing time for these filings is of approximately five to six months and includes the following:
- File a Form I – 526, Petition by Alien Entrepreneur; and
- Upon approval of the Form I-‐526 petition, either:
- File a Form I-‐485 -‐ Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status -‐ with USCIS to adjust status to conditional permanent resident within the United States,
- File a DS-‐230 -‐ Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration -‐ with the Department of State to obtain an EB-‐5 visa for admission to the United States.
- Upon the approval of the I-‐485 application or upon entry into the United States with an EB-‐5 immigrant visa, the EB-‐5 investor (and his or her derivative family members) is granted conditional permanent residence for a two-‐year period;
- 3. File Form I-‐829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, 90 days prior to the two-‐ year anniversary of the granting of the EB-‐5 investor’s conditional resident status (Green Card). If USCIS approves this petition, the conditions are removed from the EB-‐5 applicant’s status and the EB-‐5 investor and derivative family members will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States.