Permanent Residency through Investment in the USA (EB-5)
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
(Employment-based fifth preference visa)
Note: This program has been extended to December 21th 2018.
U.S. Congress created this program in 1990 to stimulate the US economy by attracting foreign capital investment and creating jobs for American workers. It is intended for entrepreneurs, business leaders, retirees, and other foreign investors.
- Make a capital investment of USD $1 million into a U.S. business, or USD $500,000 if the investment is made in a Regional Center (located in a rural or high unemployment area).
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers.
1. Invest USD $1 million in a commercial enterprise:
- Existing business is purchased and restructured or reorganized in a way that results in a new commercial enterprise; OR,
- Existing business is expanded through the investment resulting in a 40 percent increase in net worth or number of employees.
A commercial enterprise includes, but is not limited to: a sole proprietorship, partnership, holding company, joint venture, corporation, or business trust. Under this option, investors need to create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of entry to the United States (direct job creation).
2. Invest in a Regional Center
which is an organization or agency designed and regulated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to promote economic growth by pooling capital from foreign investors. Only immigrants applying through a federally designated Regional Center can benefit from the indirect job creation criteria. They need to prove that the investment will create 10 new jobs anywhere within the Regional Center. In addition, investors are not required to be involved in the project which means reduced management responsibilities at the Regional Centers are administered by a group that manages the development and operation of the project.
- There is no age restriction for applicants.
- Immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21) are included in the application;
- No minimum education requirement.
- No language proficiency requirement.
- No prior business experience necessary.
- Investments in Regional Centers do not require the applicant to have direct management of the business.
- Investments in Regional Centers include both direct and indirect employment in the job creation requirement.
Permanent residence in the US can be obtained in 4 simple steps by investing in Regional Center through the EB-5 Investor Program:
EB-5 Charter Schools
US EB-5 Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the EB-5 program?
- Step 1: Select a Regional Center;
- Step 2: Complete required investment of USD $500,000 and file the I-526 Petition. This Petition helps prove that the applicant’s investment funds were all legitimately acquired. Documents proving the traceability of funds must be submitted as evidence that funds were obtained through legal means;
- Step 3: Conditional residence is obtained for a period of two years;
- Step 4: Once all program requirements are met after the initial two-year period, applicants file the I-829 Petition that allows the removal of conditions and the receipt of Permanent Residence in the USA. Citizenship can be obtained five years after the date the unconditional residence is received.
U.S. Congress created this program to attract foreign capital and contribute to the country’s economy by creating jobs for qualified U.S. workers and opening the path for foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in return for their investments.
2. What are the documents needed for the application?
The application should include the petition form filled and signed, personal documentation, financial statements, and proof that the source of funds is legal.
3. How long is the application process?
After approval of the I-526 Petition by USCIS, the applicant’s immigrant visa is processed through the United States Department of State. Upon approval, I-526 petitions are forwarded to the National Visa Center for "front end" processing, including the payment of visa fees, completion of background checks, and the collection of civil documents and completed visa applications. Once all required materials have been submitted to the National Visa Center, the file is forwarded to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in the applicant's home country where the visa interview will be conducted.
The timeline varies and depends on a variety of factors (country of origin, country of residence, source of funds, the project, and USCIS case load, i.e. the volume of applications USCIS receives). However, an approximate timeframe is as follows:
Filing I-526 ~12 months;
Consulate ~3 months;
Filing I-829 ~8 months.
4. What are the reasons that would result in denying my application?
One of the main reasons for application refusal is insufficient documents to support source of funds. In some cases, the application may be rejected due to personal documentation or problems related to Regional Center.
For more information, please fill out our Free Assessment and find out if you qualify.
Click here for the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) and the US EB5 Immigrant Investor Program Comparison table.