In 1990, Congress created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category for qualified foreigners investing in a project that will benefit the U.S. economy by creating or saving at least ten (10) full-time jobs. The Act stimulates the U.S. economy by giving foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to permanently live and work in the United States, after they have invested. The basic amount of capital required to invest is $1,000,000; however, that amount is reduced to $500,000 if the project is in a rural or high unemployment area.
Required amount to invest through the EB-5 program:
The investor is required to invest a minimum of $1,000,000 USD; however, if the investment is made in a rural or Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the amount required is $500,000 USD.
Job Creation Requirement:
For every investment made by a foreign national EB-5 investor, at least ten full time U.S. jobs must be created. If the investment is made through an approved Regional Center, the investor can utilize both direct and indirect job creation to meet this requirement.
Lawful Source of Funds:
The investor is required to be able to demonstrate that the funds they wish to invest are from a legal source. This can include, but is not limited to, inheritance money, money that was gifted to them, money they earned from a business, and money borrowed through a bank loan. The regulations permit indebtedness secured by the investor’s own assets to count as “capital”, meaning collateralized Bank Loans are allowed to be used for the investment.
The Investment Must Always Be “At Risk”:
The entire capital invested must be truly at risk. Any guarantees of a return of any capital are strictly prohibited and there can be no redemption agreements. If the “at risk” requirements of EB-5 guidelines are not met, the investor’s petition can be denied. As in any investment, there exists a risk of total loss; we urge all investors to independently verify the information contained in the investment prospectus.