EB5 — Guide from Application to Approval

Pro Business Plans
Jun 26, 2019 · 7 min read

Purpose of the EB5 Program

EB5 Program

Last Updated: 3/30/2021

The EB5 Program originated with the Immigrant Investor Program created by the U.S. Congress in 1990 and its intention is to promote economic growth by attracting foreign capital. Currently, 10,000 spots are available per year for qualified candidates and the investment required to become a suitable candidate ranges from $500,000 to $1,000,000 depending on certain criteria.

The EB-5 Program gives the investor access to a lawful permanent resident along with his immediate family.

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EB5 Program Pros

· A partnership or any other form of association can be formed with other individuals who may be interested in investing on the enterprise, which allows the investor to gain access to potentially more attractive investment opportunities by pooling capital.

· The day-to-day operations of the business venture will be in the hands of the investor or its partners, giving the investor much more control over the outcome of it.

· The overall risk of the investment is much more controlled as the investor will probably decide to put his money into business models that he is familiar with and expect good results from.

EB5 Program Cons

· The amount invested is very high ($500,000 to $1,000,000) and failing to implement the business idea as expected will implicate a substantial loss of capital.

· The business must employ 10 U.S. citizens at full-time within the next 2 years after the visa application is received, which creates a lot of pressure for the business owner.

Program Requirements

o It must have been established after Nov 29, 1990; or

o It could have been established before or on Nov 29, 1990, yet in that case:

§ It must be restructured or reorganized in a way that a new enterprise emerged as a result.

§ Its net worth or number of employees must increase by at least 40% as a result of the investment.

o The investor may contact a Regional Center designated by the USCIS in order to find projects that also qualify for an EB-5 Visa application.

· Jobs must be either created or preserved depending on the nature of the enterprise.

o For new commercial enterprises not located within a regional center, 10 full-time direct job positions for qualified employees must be created during the first 2 years.

o For new commercial enterprises within a regional center, the same requirement applies yet the 10 positions can be either direct (employed by the enterprise) or indirect (employed by a third-party as a result of the creation of the enterprise).

o For troubled businesses, the investor must preserve the number of job positions existing at the pre-investment level for at least 2 years.

· A minimum investment of $500,000 to $1,000,000 is required.

o For general projects, the minimum amount to be invested is $1,000,000.

o For a project located in a Targeted Employment Area, the minimum investment will be $500,000.

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EB5 Duration

Application Requirements

Required Documentation

· Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

o These supporting documents must be presented along with Form I-526.

Form I-526 USCIS

§ Evidence that you invested or are in the process of investing in a new commercial enterprise. Documents related to the acquisition or incorporation process of the new enterprise will serve as proof.

§ Evidence that the investor will be involved on the day-to-day management of the new enterprise. A government-issued certificate that indicates that the investor is fulfilling a job position within the company may serve as proof.

§ Evidence that the minimum investment required for the application has been fulfilled. This also includes certifications that the invested funds come from lawful sources.

§ Evidence that the job creation or preservation plan has been either fully implemented or it is being implemented. A business plan may be submitted with the application if the job positions haven’t been created or fulfilled yet. In the case of troubled businesses, evidence that existing employees were retained during a period of at least 2 years must be presented.

Following the approval of this form, any of these two forms may be filed:

· Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, or;

· Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration

Processing time

EB5-Processing Time

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Application Process

Renewal Process

1. Remove conditions on your 2-year conditional Green Card:

a. File form I-829.

b. Pay a filing fee of $3,750.

c. Pay a biometrics fee of $85.

2. Renew 10-year unconditional Green Card:

a. File form I-90.

b. Pay a filing fee of $540.

c. Pay a biometrics fee of $85.

Tips for A Good EB-5 Application

1. Make sure you file the right application form.

2. Your investment has to be ‘at risk’.

3. Gather adequate evidence to back the legit source of your investment funds.

4. Don’t travel outside the U.S. for more than 6 months.

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Tips for Hiring an Immigration Lawyer for your EB-5 Application

EB5 Visa Tips

1. Check the law firm with its local Bar Association.

2. Check if the lawyer or law firm is a part of the American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA)

3. Check your lawyer with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

4. Know which questions to ask.

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