The EB-5 visa program was implemented by Congress in 1990 with the intention of stimulating the United States economy through job creation and prominent capital investments by foreign investors. This is an ideal option for business developers who are looking to increase capital for their U.S. projects. Under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 10,000 immigrant visas are given out each year to available and qualified foreign nationals seeking permanent resident status.
EB-5 visa applicants are typically required to make either a $500,000 or $1 million capital investment amount into a U.S. commercial enterprise. The EB-5 investment can take the form of cash, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness, tangible property, or cash equivalents and is valuated based on U.S. dollar fair-market value. The minimum amount of capital required for the EB-5 visa program may be decreased from $1 million to $500,000 if the investment is made in a commercial entity that is located in a targeted employment area (TEA). The EB-5 project must either be in a rural area or in an area that has high unemployment in order to qualify for TEA designation. High unemployment areas are geographic locations with an unemployment rate that is at least 150 percent of the national unemployment rate at the time of the EB-5 investment. Rural areas are geographic regions that are outside of a city with a population of 20,000 or more. Rural areas can also be geographic regions that are outside of what the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has designated as metropolitan statistical areas.
However, older commercial enterprises may qualify if the investment leads to a 40-percent increase in the number of employees or net worth, or if an older business is restructured to such a degree that a new commercial enterprise results. In addition to individual business enterprises, EB-5 visa applicants can also invest in EB-5 Regional Centers. Regional centers administer EB-5 projects. It may be more advantageous for an investor to invest in a regional center-run project because the investor will not have to independently set up the EB-5 projects.
If you have questions regarding your investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States, please contact an attorney from Duke Seth today. We will help you navigate the various EB-5 documents and ensure you meet all eligibility requirements before moving forward. For more information on this specific visa or another temporary or permanent visa, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys by calling (214) 965-8100. We are happy to answer any questions you may have to get the application process underway.