EB-5 program’s eligibility

USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. EB-5 is a chance for foreign investors and their families to become U.S. citizens.

To invest in an EB-5 project successfully, investors are required to meet the following criteria:

INVESTMENT REQUIREMENTS

All EB-5 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:

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

All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise.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.

JOB CREATION REQUIREMENTS

A EB-5 investor must invest his capital in a new commercial enterprise to create 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers (35 hours/week).

– To a new commercial enterprise unaffiliated with a regional center: 10 full-time jobs are directly created (it means that employees are occupied by the commercial enterprise).

– To a new commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center: 10 jobs are directly or indirectly created (Indirect jobs are those jobs shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested in a commercial enterprise).

– In case of investing in a troubled business, EB-5 investors may only be credited with preserving jobs. It means that investors must demonstrated that within 2 years the number of current employees will be maintained, no less than before the investment.

A troubled business is an enterprise that has been in existence for at least two years and has incurred a net loss during the 12- or 24-month period prior to the priority date on the immigrant investor’s Form I-526. The loss for this period must be at least 20 percent of the troubled business’ net worth prior to the loss.

CAPITAL INVESTMENT REQUIREMENTS

Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the investors. All capital shall be valued at fair-market value in USD. Assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities) shall not be considered capital for the purposes of section 203(b)(5) of the Act.

Note: Immigration investors must demonstrate that investment capital is legally owned by them.

Required minimum investments are:

– A minimum investment of US $1.000.000 in a new commercial enterprise not located within a Regional Center.
– A minimum investment of US $500.000 in a commercial enterprise located within a targeted employment area.

A 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.

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