What is the EB-5 (Investor) Visa?
In 1990, Congress created the EB-5 Visa to help grow and stimulate the U.S. economy by creating more jobs and by capital investment from foreign investors. Since 1992, investors may also qualify for an EB-5 visa by investing in a USCIS approved regional center. Our Tallahassee immigration attorneys assist clients throughout Florida with EB-5 Visa issues.
Some Specifics Related to EB-5 Visa Qualification
In order to qualify for an EB-5 Visa, one could invest in a new commercial enterprise that was established after Nov. 29, 1990. Also, one can invest in a business that is purchased and subsequently, the existing business is reorganized and a new commercial enterprise forms (grows) but only if the investment increases the net worth of a commercial enterprise by at least 40 percent or a 40 percent gain in the number of employees occurs.
What is Considered a Commercial Enterprise?
A commercial enterprise must satisfy #1 and #2 but is not limited to the groupings in #3 through #8.
- Must be for-profit
- Must be lawful
- Sole proprietorship
- Holding Company
- Joint Venture
- Business trust or another entity
Job Creation Requirements
There are two ways to meet the job creation requirement.
- By creating or preserving at least 10 full-time jobs for a qualified S. worker within 2 years of the investor’s entrance to the U.S.
- Or by creating or preserving direct or indirect jobs.
- Direct jobs are jobs that are identifiable within the commercial enterprise that the investor has invested in.
- Indirect Jobs are jobs that are formed as a result of the investment or jobs that are formed as a result of investment in a commercial enterprise that is associated with a regional center
Investors can only be credited with preserving jobs if the business is considered to be in trouble. For more information about the terminology above, click here.
What is a Regional Center?
According to the USCIS, a regional center means any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, including increased export sales, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital (click here for more information about the regional centers and scroll to page 13.
So How Much Capital Needs o Be Invested?
Capital is cash, equipment, inventory, tangible property, or cash equivalents such as mutual funds. None of the capital used for the investment can be from a loan. The required minimum investments are at least 1 million United States dollars at fair market value. Or, 500,000 dollars at fair market value if one invests in high unemployment or rural areas.
What is Considered a Rural Area?
A rural area is considered to be an area with a population of at least 20,000 and has an unemployment rate of at least 150 percent the national average.
For a more detailed summary of the EB-5 Visa click here. Or if you prefer to have a consultation with an immigration attorney in Tallahassee, contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your specific issue.