INVESTORS UNDER EB-5 PROGRAM
(FIFTH EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE)
This category is for investors who can invest a minimum amount of money into a new, an existing or a troubled U.S. business that will create jobs for U.S. residents. Perhaps it is more accurate to call this an employment creation category because the real criteria is whether or not the investment will create the minimum number of required jobs. Obviously, this preference category does not require a job offer or a labor certification as no U.S. worker is being affected by the investor’s presence in the United States.
To qualify, a foreign national must invest $1,000,000 in a new or existing commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least ten full-time employment positions for lawful U.S. workers (excluding immediate family members of the investor).
Similarly, the investor may expand an existing business, but such an investment must result in a substantial change in the enterprise’s net worth. It must also create at least ten new jobs for U.S. residents.
There is another opportunity to immigrate to the U.S if the commercial enterprise is in a rural or a targeted high unemployment area. In this case an investment of only $500,000 is required. In both subcategories the foreign national investor must be actively involved in the management of the business, either through the exercise of day-to-day managerial control, or through policy formulation.
Furthermore, more than one investor may obtain immigration status through the same investment enterprise, provided each contributes the required $1 million or $500,000 investment as applicable. In addition, for each investor ten more jobs would have to be created. Thus, three foreign national investors would have to invest $3 million and create at least 30 full-time positions. If there are multiple investors, it is not necessary for all to immigrate to the U.S. for any other to be considered eligible for permanent residency.
For immigration purposes, the USCIS considers an investment to mean evidence that the investor has placed the required amount of capital at risk. Intent to invest is not sufficient. The investment may be in the form of equity or long-term debt financing in which the investor acts as a creditor.