What is the EB-5 visa program?

Created in 1990, the program was designed for qualified non-US citizens to seek permanent residence status on the basis of investment in the US economy.

How many visas are available each year?

10,000, of which 3,000 are designated for those who invest through a USCIS designated Regional Center.

Am I eligible to apply for EB-5?

Provided you have sufficient, legally obtained funds and you otherwise qualify to enter the United States, you may be eligible.

Must I hold certain qualifications or have a certain background/experience?

No. These considerations do not form part of the EB-5 requirements.

How much must I invest to qualify?

This differs based on the area in which the investment is made. An investment of at least $1,000,000 is generally required for an EB-5 visa, however, if the investment is made in an area that has been designated a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the investment is a minimum of $500,000. TEA areas are generally low-income and rural areas where investment is needed to boost the economy. There are presently proposals to increase these amounts – we at Davies Legal keep a close eye on developments.

What qualifies as investment?

One of the common misconceptions is that retained earnings in a US company qualify as “investment” – they do not.

Are there limitations on the source of investment funds?
  • Loans. You may not rely upon unsecured loans.
  • Gifts. You may rely upon a gift (subject to meeting the gift requirements).
  • Joint-account. You may rely upon a joint-account, but only those held with a spouse. No other relationship qualifies.

How long will it take to process my EB-5?

This depends on a number of factors but can take as much as 2 years.

If successful, do I secure a permanent green card?

No. You will first be afforded a conditional green card, valid for two years. Prior to the expiration of the conditional green card, you must apply to have the conditions removed. Upon successful application for removal of conditions, you will become a permanent green card holder. Conditions will generally be removed provided you still meet the requirements of EB-5.

What are Regional Centers?

Regional Centers are entities, organizations, or agencies that focus on a specific geographic area within the United States in order to promote economic growth within that area. Regional Centers work to increase export sales, improve regional productivity, create new jobs, and increase domestic capital investment. Regional Centers are designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.