History of the EB-5 Visa program

 

Policy Considerations

The underlying policy of the EB-5 investor visa and the related Pilot Program is to benefit the United States economy overall including United States communities that are economically disadvantaged, United States workers, and the foreign national investors. The goal of the EB-5 investor visa program is to generate so called “win-win” scenarios for all parties involved or affected. A 2003 United States Government report indicated that about $1 billion has been invested in the United States economy through the EB-5 program. Today we estimate that the amount invested pursuant to this visa category is nearly double that 2003 figure. There have been many success stories involved with the granting of EB-5 Visas. Given the positive impact of this program in creating United States jobs and economic development, we strongly anticipate that the EB-5 Investment Visa and the related Pilot Program will be viable for many years to come.

History of EB-5

Through the Immigration Act of 1990 Investor VISA Program, Congress enacted the Immigration Act of 1990, which includes a program permitting foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States. Section 121(b)5 of the Act created a new investor immigrant visa category aimed at generating a significant inward flow of foreign capital and creating jobs for United States workers. The new legislation makes 10,000 Green Cards of permanent residency available nationwide each year for qualified immigrant investors. The Act requires a capital investment of $1 million for all areas, except in rural and high unemployment areas where a lowered investment of $500,000 may be made. The investment must also create full-time employment for at least ten United States citizens or other legal residents-other than members of the investor’s family-for a period of two years. Entrepreneurs will receive a two-year provisional visa and, if the criteria are met, a permanent Green Card may be issued. The Immigration Act states that not less than 3,000 of the 10,000 visas shall be reserved for investors who establish a new commercial enterprise in a targeted employment area. The law requires that the qualifying level of high unemployment be 150 percent of the annual national average unemployment rate. There have been several related subsequent Congressional enactments since the creation of the EB-5 visa category. In 1993 Congress created the related EB-5 Pilot Program as part of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary and Related Appropriations Act of 1993.

In 2002, Congress in passing the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations and Authorization Act of 2002, extended and simplified the EB-5 visa category by removing several administrative and legal hurdles created by the INS and subsequent court decisions. In 2003 Congress reauthorized the Regional Center Pilot Program, of which CMB Export participates, in the Basic Pilot Program Extension and Expansion Act of 2003. $500,000 investments in targeted employment areas made via a Regional Center such as CMB Export need only show indirect job creation using any “reasonable methodologies”.

 

Resources

EB-5 Policy and Legal Considerations

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR THE EB-5 VISA

EB-5 Regional Center list state by state

American Immigration Lawyers Association EB-5 Committee and Invest In the USA 

Due Diligence Issues for EB-5 Investments

Retainer agreement disclosures, confirmations, warnings and conflict waivers:

USCIS Executive Summary May 2012 EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Governors office of California EB-5 UPDATE

Investor Options: E-2 versus EB-5

Advantages and Disadvantages of the E-2 and EB-5 Visas

Documents required for the I-526 Filing

 

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