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EB-5 : Investors

The fifth employment-based preference category permits people to immigrate to the United States based on their investment in a new business enterprise.  The investment must be at least $1 million ($500,000 in some cases) and must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.


General Requirements and Qualifications

Permanent resident status based on EB-5 eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children.  Eligible foreign nationals 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.

In general, ?eligible individuals? include those:

  1. Who establish a new commercial enterprise by:
    1. creating an original business;
    2. purchasing an existing business and simultaneously or subsequently restructuring or reorganizing the business such that a new commercial enterprise results; or
    3. expanding an existing business by 140 percent of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or retaining all existing jobs in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and
  2. Who have invested, or who are actively in the process of investing, in a new commercial enterprise:
    1. at least $1,000,000, or
    2. at least $500,000 where the investment is being made in a ?targeted employment area,? which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a rural area as designated by OMB; and
  3. Whose engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the United States economy and:
    1. create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals; or
    2. maintain the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years, where the capital investment is being made in a ?troubled business,? which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.

For a full description of the requirements, see 8 U.S.C. 1153(b)(5) and 8 C.F.R. 204.6.

Petition Document Requirements

In order to seek status as an immigrant investor, a person must file must an Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur with the USCIS.  The petition must be filed with supporting documentation which clearly demonstrates that the individual?s investment meets all requirements, such as:

  1. Establishing a new commercial enterprise,
  2. Investing the requisite capital amount,
  3. Proving the investment comes from a lawful source of funds,
  4. Creating the requisite number of jobs,
  5. Demonstrating that the investor is actively participating in the business; and, where applicable,
  6. Creating employment within a targeted employment area.

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