The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) makes visas available to qualified foreign nationals who will contribute to the economic growth of the United States by investing in U.S. businesses and creating jobs for U.S. workers. Congress created this employment-based fifth preference immigrant visa category (EB-5) to benefit the U.S. economy by providing an incentive for foreign capital investment that creates or preserves U.S. jobs.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the EB-5 program, created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
EB-5 Visa Requirements
To qualify for the EB-5 visa, the investor/applicant must make a minimum qualifying investment in a new commercial enterprise in the US. Required minimum investments are:
- General. The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1.8 million.
- Targeted Employment Area (TEA, High Unemployment or Rural Area). The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $900,000.
All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise either established after Nov. 29, 1990, or established on or before Nov. 29, 1990. It must be purchased, and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results or expanded through the investment so that at least a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs.
The EB-5 program aims to stimulate the U.S. economy and create jobs for U.S. workers. As part of the investment, the investor must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of receiving their conditional green card.
EB-5 Visa Canada
The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa enabling Canadian national investors to secure permanent residence (green card) in the US. This visa grants Canadians an indefinite stay in the US, including dependents. It is for Canadian investors with a substantial amount of capital investment in a US business. The investment should create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for American citizens.
Work with a Leading US Immigration Lawyer on Your EB-5 Visa Application
The EB-5 visa application process can be time-consuming and complex. It is critical that during your application there are no omissions or errors, otherwise you may face delays in your approval or even outright rejection. Work with a leading US immigration lawyer, to ensure the highest opportunity of success.
The team of leading immigration lawyers at Guberman // Appleby is here to walk you through the EB-5 application process. We will carefully review and prepare your application so that it faces no unnecessary delays or avoidable causes for denial – Contact us today.
EB-5 Visa FAQ
When applying for an EB-5 visa, the first step is to file the Form I-526, which is also known as the “immigrant petition by alien entrepreneur”. Prior to becoming an unconditional permanent resident of the United States, you must become a conditional permanent resident for two years. The Form I-526 processing time comes before conditional PR, and it can take up to two years. Once you are approved, the applicant becomes eligible to either adjust status or remain on the EB-5 visa.
The first step of the EB-5 visa application process is to choose a qualifying investment project. This usually involves investing either $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise or $900,000 in a targeted employment area, which are designated areas with high unemployment. The investment must create 10 full time jobs for US employees. You must then collect the required documentation in support of your application. This includes financial records, tax forms, investment documentation, and a business plan.
Once you are able to demonstrate that you meet all of the requirements, you will then submit your form I-526 to USCIS. After a period of processing, you will receive conditional approval if your petition is approved. If you are applying from within the US, you can apply for adjustment of status. If you are outside the US, you will apply for an immigrant visa through the US consulate in Toronto. After maintaining your investment for two years while on conditional permanent resident status, you will file Form-829 to become an unconditional permanent resident of the United States.
As estimated by USCIS, processing time for an I-526 immigrant petition ranges between 29.5 and 61 months. For investors applying from within the US, processing times for adjustment of status range between 7 to 29 months depending on the service centre.
According to the USCIS, 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas are allocated each year to qualified individuals seeking lawful permanent residence in the US on the basis of their capital investment in an American commercial enterprise