Overview

The U.S. Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” was created by the U.S. Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by immigrant investors by creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business. There are 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas available annually. In 1992 and regularly reauthorized since then, 3,000 EB-5 visas are also set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.


Types of EB-5

There are two distinct EB-5 pathways for an immigrant investor to gain lawful permanent residence for themselves and their dependents —the Direct Investment Program and the Regional Center Pilot Program. Both programs require that the immigrants make a capital investment of either $500,000 or $1,000,000 (depending on whether the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area [TEA] or not) in a new commercial enterprise located within the United States. TEA is defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.”The new commercial enterprise must create or preserve 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 immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR).


Three Steps for Green Card

Step 1

The investor must submit an Alien Entrepreneur (Form I-526) with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Step 2

The investor and his/her dependents each must either file the I-485 application to adjust status to lawful permanent resident, or apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the United States after the investor’s I-526 Petition is approved by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. The EB-5 applicant and their dependents will be granted conditional permanent residence for a two year period upon the approval of the I-485 application or upon entry into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa.

Step 3

The investor and his/her dependents must file the Form I-829 Petition by an Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions within 90 days prior to the two year anniversary of the granting of the investor and his/her dependents’ conditional green cards. If the I-829 Petition is approved by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, then the investor and his/her dependents will be issued a permanent green card.

The processing time for the above immigration filings can be found at U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services’ website at
https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processingTimesDisplay.do


Resources

https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fifth-preference-eb-5/about-eb-5-visa
http://business.ca.gov/International/EB5Program.aspx