The United States Congress created the EB-5 immigrant visa category in 1990 for immigrants seeking to engage in a new commercial enterprise that will create at least ten full-time jobs and benefit the U.S. economy. Unlike the E-2 non-immigrant visa category, the EB-5 immigrant visa provides the investor with a green card and lawful permanent residence. Generally, the investment amount required in order to qualify is $1 million; however, if the investment is made in a "targeted employment area," the amount may be $500,000.
Although 10,000 visas per year are available, fewer than 1,000 are used per year. In 2005, for example, only 346 people immigrated in this category, because the statutory requirements of the EB-5 visa category are onerous.
The qualifications for the EB-5 category include 1) a new commercial enterprise formed after November 29, 1990 (or a restructured or expanded existing business); 2) an investment of $1 million (or at least $500,000 if invested in a "targeted employment area"); 3) benefit to US economy; and 4) create 10 full time employment for US workers.
A commercial enterprise is any for-profit entity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, holding companies, joint ventures, corporations, and business trusts qualify.
The EB-5 category is a conditional permanent resident category. After the EB-5 immigrant visa is granted, the investor has a two year conditional permanent residence period. At the end of the two year conditional period, the investor must provide evidence to the US Government showing that the investor has met all the requirements of the EB-5 category including the capital investment requirement, and s/he has continuously maintained the investment.
The EB-5 immigrant visa is one of the more complex processes in immigration law, and it is necessary to have an experienced immigration attorney involved to ensure that all of the onerous requirements and satisfied. The Nuñez Firm has extensive experience assisting our immigration clients with every step of the EB-5 process. Contact The Nuñez Firm today to schedule a consultation.