1 What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program and when was it created?

The United States government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program in 1990 in an effort to attract foreign investment and boost economic growth. Eligible foreign nationals can invest either $900,000 or $1,800,000 in a new or existing U.S. business. When investors demonstrate that their investment has created at least ten jobs for U.S. workers, they may receive green cards for themselves and their families. EB5 Capital offers investment opportunities to meet these criteria.

2 What is a Targeted Employment Area(TEA)?

A TEA is a geographical area that is considered rural, or has an unemployment rate of at least 1.5 times the national average. When EB-5 Visa applicants invest in a TEA, they can invest $900,000 rather than $1,800,000. Individual states determine the precise boundaries of a TEA.

3 What is a designated Regional Center?

EB-5 Regional Centers are organizations authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to receive and manage EB-5 investor funds. Regional Centers promote economic development and job creation within a specific geographic area.

4 How many EB-5 visas are available each year?

The EB-5 Program offers a maximum of 10,000 EB-5 Visas worldwide each year.

5 What are the job creation requirements for EB-5 visas?

Each EB-5 Visa investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers, lawful permanent residents, or immigrants authorized to work in the United States. Job creation must occur over a period of two years. By pooling funds with other investors in a Regional Center, investors receive the benefit of indirect job creation.

6 What is the I-526 petition?

The I-526 petition is the initial visa application as part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Prospective investors and their attorneys file this petition with the USCIS and include documentation demonstrating the investor’s eligibility.

7 What is the I-829 petition?

The I-829 petition is the final step in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Investors and their attorneys file this petition with USCIS, and provide evidence that the investor has successfully fulfilled all of the program’s requirements, particularly that investor funds resulted in the creation of at least ten jobs. Upon approval of the petition, investors and their family members receive permanent green cards.

8 What is the difference between conditional and permanent green card?

The USCIS issues conditional green cards after approval of the I-526 petition. These green cards last for two years. Investors receive permanent green cards upon USCIS approval of the I-829 petition.

9 What is the most common reason for denial of an I-526 petition?

I-526 petitions are most commonly rejected due to the applicant’s failure to demonstrate that investment funds were lawfully obtained.

10 Who is eligible to receive a green card upon USCIS approval of an applicants' application?

Upon application approval, the investor and family are eligible for a green card. This includes the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, including adopted children.

11 When may investors apply for a permanent green card?

Investors and their attorneys must submit the I-829 petition within 90 days of the conditional green card’s expiration. Upon the I-829 approval, the conditions of the initial green card are removed, and investors and their family members can become permanent U.S. residents.

12 Are investors with conditional green card subject to U.S. tax law?

Yes. Green card holders are taxed in the same way that U.S. Citizens are; green card holders are subjected to federal tax on worldwide income as of the date they become residents.

13 How many family members can get green cards on one EB-5 application?

The investor, spouse, and any unmarried children (even if adopted) under the age of 21 at the time of the I-526 petition approval may receive a green card.

14 Does an investor need an immigration attorney to submit an I-526 petition?

It is strongly recommended that an investor obtains legal services for their immigration petition submission. The narrative and documentation needed for the petition is extensive and an attorney can assist with the petition, consulate interview, and visa processing.

15 May an investor live overseas during the waiting period?

The investor may work overseas, if required, based upon the nature of his/her business or profession. For those permanent residents living outside the U.S., it is recommended that the investor and family re-enter the U.S. no less than once every six months. The longer the investor and family are present in the U.S., the less likely the government is to claim that the investor “abandoned” the United States as a permanent resident, thereby jeopardizing green card status. In some cases, investors may seek the issuance of a “re-entry permit.” This allows the investor permission to remain outside the U.S. for as long as two years without having to re-enter the country to maintain permanent resident status. Children may remain in school even if the investor leaves the U.S.

16 How does a partnership work for EB-5?

A Limited Partnership is a business organization with one or more General Partners who manage the business and assume legal debts and obligations, and one or more Limited Partners who are liable only to the extent of their investments. Limited Partners also enjoy rights to the Limited Partnership’s cash flow but are not liable for company obligations.

The USCIS requires that some financial risk be assumed by the investor in order to qualify for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Each investor must qualify for the minimum at risk capital and new job creation requirement. Every effort is made by the General Partner to minimize the amount of risk by ensuring that the investment is properly collateralized and that the Partnership remains in strong financial standing.

The regulations specifically allow for the pooling of funds by several investors in a Limited Partnership that then makes an investment in a job-creating project. The only requirement is that each investor must individually meet the minimum at risk capital and new job creation requirements.

Investor has a limited partner status with the special purpose vehicle and is not expected to participate in the day to day operations of the EB-5 investment.

17 What is meant by the requirement that the investor's assets must be 'lawfully gained'

Under USCIS regulations, investors must demonstrate that investment assets were gained in a lawful manner such as income from a bonafide business, salary, investments, sale of a property, inheritance, gift, loan, or other lawful means.

19 Are private loans an acceptable source of funds?

Yes. Private loans secured against assets, irrevocably owned by the investor are acceptable.

20 How long must an EB-5 investor remain in the United States each year?

Permanent residence is intent-based, the law does not prescribe a minimum period. Evidence of intent to reside includes opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver’s license or social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, and renting or buying a home. In case, the investor plans to leave the United States for over 6 months, it is recommended that he/she applies for a re-entry permit. That said, if the permanent resident plans to apply for citizenship, he/she is required to spend 30 months in the preceding 5 years in the United States to be eligible for citizenship.