Who is Eligible for an EB5 Visa?
The US is known for being the land of opportunity and freedom and becoming a US citizen is a dream for many. Almost 1.1 million green cards were issued by the US government in 2017, with 51% of them being granted to people residing outside the country, according to information provided by the Migration Policy Institute.
What is an EB5 Visa?
The EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was created in 1990 for providing a way for immigrant investors to become legal permanent residents of the US. About 80% of investors in this program belong to China, Taiwan, South Korea and the UK. A conditional permanent residence that is valid for two years is issued in case the application is approved.
Who is Eligible for the EB5 Visa?
You must fulfill the following conditions for being eligible for an EB5 visa:
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To apply for an EB5 visa, you must make a minimum investment of $1 million into a US commercial enterprise. The minimum value is reduced to $500,000 if the investment is made into a targeted employment area. Targeted employment areas include rural areas and high unemployment regions. For qualifying as a rural area, the region must lie outside a city with a population of over 20,000.
In case of areas with high unemployment rates, the average rate of unemployment must be at least 150% of the national average.
According to the requirements of the USCIS, at least 10 full time jobs for US citizens must be created from the investment. The jobs must be created within two years of receiving the conditional permanent residency. The investor, their spouse and children would not be counted among the 10 people employed because of the investment.
The jobs created can be a direct or indirect result of the investment. Indirect jobs are generally created in businesses that provide goods and services to the EB5 project. Induced jobs are also counted under this category. Induced jobs refer to employment created due to the income spent by the employees of the EB5 project.
The applicant can invest in a variety of businesses for an EB5 visa. One can invest in a new or old for-profit US commercial entity. In case of a new entity, such business structures can include business trusts, sole proprietorships, corporations, limited or general partnerships, or any other publicly- or privately-owned business structures.
In case of older entities, the enterprise can qualify if there is an increase of 40% in the number of employees or the net worth of the organization because of the investment. Apart from individual businesses, applicants also have the option of investing in regional centers. Investing in regional centers can prove to be more advantageous, as you are not required to set up the EB5 projects independently.
Approved I-526 Form
The “Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur” or form I-526 is necessary for applying for the EB5 visa. Along with the form, your tax returns, bank statements and detailed business plan must be submitted.
If you have further doubts, it’s best to contact the US embassy or consulate in your home country.
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