The EB5 immigrant employment-based visa category is for individuals who wish to reside permanently in the United States with the intent of creating or developing a business enterprise in the U.S. The EB5 visa category allows for conditional residency for persons who invest $1 million (or under certain circumstances $500,000) in a new commercial enterprise that employs 10 U.S. citizens or authorized immigrant workers full-time and engage in the business through day-to-day management or policy formation.
EB-5 investor visa applicants have two main investment options. They can either invest directly or through an EB-5 Regional Center. Direct investors must find their own investment project and must take a direct managerial role in overseeing that project. Direct investment is best for those who want more hands-on control of their investment and the project that received their investment.
EB-5 investor visa applicants can also make their investment in an EB-5 Regional Center. This option may be best for those who are more interested in the immigration goals of EB-5 rather than obtaining a maximum return on their investment. Regional centers receive designation from USCIS to administer EB-5 investment projects.
- EB-5 visa applicants must follow three general steps to obtain U.S. permanent residency:
- Individual business that will create 10 direct fulltime U.S. jobs per investor (direct investment) OR
- In a USCIS-designated regional center where the investor may create 10 direct, indirect and/ or induced jobs per investor.
- Once the I-526 is approved, the investor may submit their conditional permanent resident application either through the filing of an Application for Adjustment of Status or through consular processing. This is the petition that will confer the conditional green card to the investor and his eligible dependents.
- Lastly, the investor must prove that all the requirements for the EB-5 have been met at the end of the two-year conditional residency by filing the I-829 application to remove conditions of residency. Once the conditions have been removed, the investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21 then become lawful permanent residents and receive their ten year green cards.