EB-5: Green Cards Through Investment
Investors looking to branch out an enterprise to the U.S. may apply for the EB-5 visa to begin building operations stateside. For more than fifteen years the immigration lawyers at Millar & Hayes have assisted many hundreds of clients realize their dream of living and working in the U.S. We regularly handle EB-5 applications. We understand the needs of investors, entrepreneurs, and business associates alike, and this experience helps us prepare tailored immigration solutions to fit those needs.
What Is the Purpose of the EB-5 Visa?
Investors from other countries look to partner with the U.S. to establish an enterprise that can be beneficial for both nations. A potential partnership can help boost commerce, create more jobs, and increase revenue and capital. At least 10,000 immigrant visas are available for investors. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also offers the "Regional Development Center" program and provides 5,000 investor visas exclusively to EB-5 visa applicants.
Permanent resident status based on EB-5 eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children. Eligible applicants are those who have invested — or are actively in the process of investing — the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. They must further demonstrate that this investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.
To be approved under the regional center program, the enterprise must meet the following criteria:
- The enterprise must already be approved
- The enterprise must target a specific qualifying geographic region in the U.S.
- The enterprise must promote job growth, exports, and regional productivity, and develop domestic capital
Additionally, the following requirements must be met before applying:
- The investment must be for a commercial enterprise
- The investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs in the 2-year period after the green card is approved
- The business must be a for-profit U.S. entity
- The applicant must have ownership or be a primary investor
- The applicant must be financially liable on the company's assets
Conditional permanent residence
An EB-5 investor is granted conditional residence and a 2-year green card. This means that the investor must petition to remove conditions on residence before the 2-year period ends in order to become a permanent resident without conditions. As part of the petition process, the investor must demonstrate that the investment met all of the EB-5 requirements, including creating the requisite number of jobs. Thus, it is very important to get legal advice when obtaining an EB-5 visa to ensure that the investor will be able to meet the requirements and remove conditions on residence.
If you are serious about getting legal assistance, a consultation is the best place to start. Spend up to a full hour with an immigration attorney to discuss the details of your case, get answers to your questions, work through complex issues and supporting documents and plan an immigration strategy for obtaining benefits.