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How to Get Started With EB-5 Visa

How to get started with EB-5 visa

The following is an outline of the EB-5 investor visa requirements and how to get started with EB-5 visa application process:

Investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise:

  • ▪ Established after Nov 29, 1990, or

  • ▪ Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:

  • ▪ 1. Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
  • ▪ 2. Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs.

Commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:

  • ▪ A sole proprietorship

  • ▪ Partnership (whether limited or general)

  • ▪ Holding company

  • ▪ Joint venture

  • ▪ Corporation

  • ▪ Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned

This definition includes a commercial enterprise consisting of a holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries, provided that each such subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business.

Note: This definition does not include noncommercial activity such as owning and operating a personal residence.

Required minimum investments are:

  • ▪ The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million; or

  • ▪ The minimum qualifying investment either within a targeted employment area (a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States) is $500,000.


targeted employment area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.

rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.

Investment capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the investor, provided that the investor is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness.

All capital shall be valued at fair-market value in United States dollars. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered capital. Investment capital cannot be borrowed and it must also be “clean” capital – that is, legitimate funds from a legitimate source. The investor must be able to clearly establish this.
Investors must either:

  • ▪ Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident; or

  • ▪ Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs:

  • ▪ Direct jobs are actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise into which the investor has directly invested his or her capital.

  • ▪ Indirect jobs are those jobs shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an investor. A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a regional center.


Note: Investors may only be credited with preserving jobs in a “troubled business”.
A troubled business is an enterprise that has been in existence for at least two years and has incurred a net loss during the prior 12- or 24-month period. The loss for this period must be at least 20 percent of the troubled business’ net worth prior to the loss. For purposes of determining whether the troubled business has been in existence for two years, successors in interest to the troubled business will be deemed to have been in existence for the same period of time as the business they succeeded.

A qualifying U.S. worker is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other immigrant authorized to work in the United States. The individual may be a conditional resident, an asylee, a refugee, or a person residing in the United States under suspension of deportation. This definition does not include the investor; his or her spouse, sons, or daughters; or any foreign national in any nonimmigrant status (such as an H-1B visa holder) or who is not authorized to work in the United States.

Full-time jobs means employment of a qualifying employee by the new commercial enterprise in a position that requires a minimum of 35 working hours per week.

PROCESS: You must initially file an application with USCIS outlining your investment. Processing time for this initial application is, at a minimum, 5 months. If approved, you must then file a further application with the U.S. Department of State and attending an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain an EB-5 visa for admission to the United States. If granted, you (and any dependent family members) will be granted conditional US permanent residence for a 2 year period. 90 days before that 2 year period expires, you can then apply to remove those conditions. You can apply for US citizenship 5 years from the date the initial EB-5 visa is issued.



The EB-5 Visa program however, is a complex application process and the most important step is finding a qualified, experienced team to work with throughout to ensure that you achieve your immigration goals and obtain a green card to immigrate to the USA.

Immigration and relocation can be expensive processes and require detailed pre-planning to ensure that all of your financial, tax, and immigration goals are accomplished.

We are able to assist you in virtually every facet of your relocation, from assisting in your pre-immigration financial planning to assisting in setting up your new commercial venture to making informed decisions about schools for your children.

We provide the consultation, advice, education and assistance you’ll require throughout the relocation process. Our team of specialists includes expert EB-5 immigration attorneys, relocation wealth management finance specialists, real estate specialists and title, tax and securities attorneys.

This allows us to provide you with the pros and cons of using the EB-5 visa program as a route to US immigration.

To read more about why EB-5 Direct may be a better option to consider CLICK HERE.

EB-5 Direct investment versus EB-5 Regional Center investment

Our fee for an initial consultation is US$200. Which will be credited to our legal fee in the event that you retain us to assist with an EB-5 case on your behalf.

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