EB-5 Visa – Immigrant Investor Program
The EB-5 program was created by congress under the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT90) to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Applicants have the opportunity to invest in an American commercial enterprise and to permanently reside and work in the country. Approximately 10,000 Permanent Resident Alien Visas (i.e. Green Cards) are allocated annually to qualified immigrants who participate in the EB-5 program.
The EB-5 visa program requires an investment of $1,000,000, or an investment of $500,000 in a Regional Center approved by the USCIS. It allows a foreign investor to qualify for a Green Card without the constraints of having to manage the business in the US. The foreign investor is able to live anywhere in the United States, and become involved in a business activity of his or her choosing. The investor also has the option to become employed in the US, or to simply retire.
Holder of an EB-5 visa can permanently live and work in the United States with his/her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The EB-5 investor can choose where to live in the US, does not require any specific specialization or work experience and is not subject to be placed on a Green Card waiting list or lottery system.
Applicant must demonstrate a legitimate source of funds, for the capital investment, which cannot be acquired directly or indirectly by unlawful means. The investment may come in the form of a gift from a relative or another person, given that the necessary taxes are confirmed to be paid, when necessary;
EB-5 investments are divided into two categories: a direct investment by a foreign investor in a particular commercial enterprise, or an investment in a Regional Center. A direct investment is exactly that – an investment in a specific company. With a direct EB-5 investment, the investor must create “direct jobs” to be eligible for residency (Green Card for the investor and qualified family members). Direct jobs are actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise into which the EB-5 investor has directly invested his or her capital.
If the candidates opt to invest on their own account, they’re responsible for finding their own investment project. For example, an investor can establish and directly manage a new commercial entity. This may be the best option for those who wish to have having more control of their investments and are more concerned about maximizing the return on investment.
In 1993, the United States congress created the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program to attract more foreign investors to the EB-5 visa program. The new pilot program established EB-5 Regional Centers, business entities that receive special designation from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), to administer EB-5 investments and to stimulate job creation.
Currently, the USCIS has authorized more than 700 Regional Centers around the country. Oxford Group is proud to be designated by the USCIS as one of the authorized Regional Centers.
The Regional Center Program offers several opportunities for the immigrant investor. In addition to attracting foreign investment to the United States, the Regional Centers are aimed at revitalizing areas suffering from high unemployment rates, as is the case in many rural communities. There are many advantages to investing in a Regional Center. Among them are not having to actively manage the business on a daily basis, while at the same time benefiting from a sound, pre-existing business structure. Another advantage is the ability to live, work and study anywhere in the US.
*In order to qualify as an investment in the EB-5 program, the petitioner’s investment capital must be placed at risk. A guarantee of return on any part of the investment is strictly prohibited.
The information mentioned above was obtained on the USCIS website