The EB-5 immigrant investor program is an employment based 5th preference visa which was created by the Immigration Act of 1990. This visa program allows qualified applicants to obtain Green Cards (Lawful Permanent Resident Status) through investment in a new U.S Commercial Enterprise which creates 10 full-time jobs. In 1993, Congress also enacted the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program which is commonly referred to as “Regional Center Program”, which simplified the EB-5 process for potential investors. A Regional Center is an enterprise approved by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), created to promote economic growth and foster regional productivity and job creation. The EB-5 program has attracted much attention from prospective immigrants because of its ability to provide simple immigration opportunities coupled with the ability to meet various investment objectives.
Under Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 10,000 immigrant visas are available annually to qualified individuals seeking permanent residence status on a basis of their investment in a new commercial enterprise. The investor must invest $1,000,000 directly into a new commercial enterprise, or $500,000 if such investment is made within a “Targeted Employment Area” (“TEA”), and must create 10 full-time jobs in the US economy. To qualify as a TEA, the subject location must be experiencing unemployment of 150% the national average.
By participating in the EB-5 program through a USCIS approved Regional Center, the job creation requirement is made less stringent. Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, an investor may show how that these jobs will be created using econometric models that may count direct, indirect, and induced job creation. These econometric models are prepared by the Regional Center, and can significantly increase the job count for a project.
i. Ability to live and work anywhere in United States
ii. Ability to leave/enter US at will without risk of denial
iii. Social Security benefits upon retiring
iv. Most legal rights under US Law, except right to vote
v. Study in the US at citizenship costs as well as ability to work as a student
vi. Eligibility to become a US Citizen
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