EB5 Visa Process - Step by Step
EB-5 VISA OVERVIEW:
Pathway to Green Card for those investing in U.S. enterprise
$500k-$1 million (varies by location)
Enterprise must create 10+ full-time jobs for U.S. workers
Requires comprehensive business plan / market analysis
New legislation & policy changes as Of November 21st, 2019 (higher investment minimums, etc.)
IMPORTANT: The minimum EB-5 investment amount increased from $500,000 to $900,000 on November 21, 2019. Investors who file before November 21 will be grandfathered in at the $500,000 investment amount.
NEW COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE:
The investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise, that is, any company formed after November 29, 1990.
A company formed before that date may still qualify if it has been restructured or reorganized such that a new commercial enterprise results OR if it has been expanded so that the net worth or net employees have increased by at least 40%.
REQUIRED AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT:
The investor must have invested or be in the process of investing the required amount of capital.
The required amount of capital depends upon the unemployment rate or population where the investment and job creating entity is located. If the population is less than 20,000, the area us considered a “rural” area. If the unemployment rate is at least 50% higher than the national unemployment rate, then the area is considered a “target employment area.” For rural areas or targeted employment areas, the required amount of investment was $500,00, which have increased to $900,000. For all other areas, the minimum amount required was $1,000,000, which also have increased to $1,800,000.
LAWFUL SOURCE OF FUNDS:
The investor must prove that the investment capital came from a lawful source and that the investor has a “level of income” or has accumulated sufficient wealth that would enable the investor to invest.
An investor’s “self-serving” declarations are not enough to satisfy USCIS requirements for proof of either lawful source of funds or sufficient funds to invest.
Tax returns, sale of property or business records can be shown to prove that the capital was obtained lawfully. A gift or a loan is a lawful source of funds as long as the gifted or loaned money was lawful.
An investor should submit all of the following types of documentary evidence (copies are sufficient) for both the investor and the investor’s spouse, unless a particular category of documents is not relevant to the investor.
Financial Documents (tax Returns, Financial Statements)
Investments (Copies of Investment or Securities Accounts in last three years, Stock Certificates, Bank Statements)
Business Documents (Business Registration Records, Ownership Documentation, Accountant’s evaluation/appraisal of business)
Real Estate (Deeds, Mortgage Documentation, Purchase and Sales Documentations, Appraisals, Lease Documents)
Employment Documents (Resume, Education, Employment Confirmation/Reference Letters, Contracts, Licenses)
Other Sources of Income (Inheritance, Divorce, Lawsuits, Gifts)
The investor must prove that the investment will create 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years.
If the investor invests in a “troubled business,” which is one that has experienced a net loss exceeding 20% of its net worth in the past one or two years, the investor need only show that his investment maintains/sustains the level of employment in existence prior to the investment.
REMOVAL OF THE TWO-YEAR CONDITION
The investor must create the required employment within two years and must have maintained the investment during that time period. A petition to remove the condition must be filed prior to the expiration of the two-year period. Upon approval, the investor receives a permanent green card.
CHANGES TO EB-5 PROGRAM:
IMPORTANT: The minimum EB-5 investment amount will increase from $500,000 to $900,000 on November 21, 2019. Investors who file before November 21 will be grandfathered in at the $500,000 investment amount.
Changes in the way that USCIS classifies locations as TEA
Could see limits in the number of available visas for TEA projects