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US EB5 Investment Green Card


The USA is famous for being built on a pioneering spirit and it’s this spirit which still abides in the country to this day. For the investor or entrepreneur, the USA is a dream come true, as there are so many business opportunities in the world’s largest economy.


The immigrant investor, or EB-5, program is a highly beneficial permanent residence option for the wealthy individual. Since there is no quota waiting list in this preference category, it enables a foreign national to obtain permanent residence status more expeditiously than with most other options.

The EB-5 category requires an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in a high unemployment or rural area) in a commercial enterprise that will employ 10 full-time US workers. Although the investor's role cannot be completely passive, he or she does not have to be involved in any way in the day-to-day management of the business unless he or she wants to do so. It is critically important that the investor be able to document the lawful source of investment funds, whether his or her own or funds given to him or her as a gift. The permanent residence obtained by the investor is conditional for two years and can be made permanent upon satisfying USCIS at the end of the two years that the investment proceeds have not been withdrawn and the requisite jobs have been created.

The investor may invest in his or her own commercial enterprise or in a commercial enterprise owned by other parties. The investor may also choose to invest in a pre-approved "regional center". Regional centers are government-approved entities in designated geographical areas for which USCIS has determined that investments will create the necessary 10 jobs per investor, whether directly or indirectly. Virtually all of the regional centers contain geographical areas where $500,000 is the required amount of investments.


The EB-5 visa for US immigration is designed specifically for those wishing to immigrate to the USA by investing in the creation of a new commercial enterprise. This relatively new method to apply for lawful permanent residency in the USA - the much coveted USA Green Card - is granted far less frequently than the other employment-based US Green Card visa services and requires a substantial investment in order to qualify.

The requirements of this American visa category are also fluid and although some criteria are clearly defined, whether an application fulfills other requirements is generally decided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Understanding the range of USA immigration services can be complex and time consuming; for those migrating to the USA on a permanent residency basis, several routes to applying for USA Green Cards may be considered.

In addition, for those entering the USA for a short term visit or to live and work in the USA for a defined period of time, the most appropriate route must be determined from the wide variety of non-immigration visas for the USA.


When applying for an American Green Card, whether through an employment based route or through familial ties, the key benefit of permanent resident status is that an applicant may commence living and working in the USA .

Unlike short term American visas such as the B1 business visitor visa or the B2 tourist visa which are awarded for a strictly limited period of time, USA permanent residents enjoy many, though not all the benefits of living in America enjoyed by USA citizens.

American business visas, both temporary and permanent, place emphasis upon an offer of employment being in place from a US company before an application can be made.

Only in the case of the EB-1 visa for priority workers and in some circumstances the EB-2 visa where much like the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP in the UK, can a candidate immigrate to the USA without a job offer being made.

The EB-5 category is an exception however, based as it is upon investment. EB-5 visas do have criteria which must be met, and it is important to note that of the submissions lodged, a small percentage are successful, however a job offer as such is not required.


Eligibility Criteria

Applying for an EB-5 visa is based upon an applicant's intention to begin a commercial enterprise which will be of benefit to the United States economy and will create employment opportunities for at least 10 people in the permanent resident or US citizen categories. In America, visas of this kind are based around investment, and the minimum amount required is USD $1,000,000, although in cases where an investment is in a "targeted employment area", this figure may be reduced by half.

Creating Employment Opportunities

In America, immigration through applications for EB-5 US visas requires that an investment must create at least 10 positions of employment for those lawfully living in the USA on a permanent basis. Family members of the investor cannot be included in this stipulation and non-immigrants are also excluded. Employees must not be independent contractors and must provide services or labour for the enterprise, receiving wages directly from the entity. Positions created must be full time and must constitute a minimum of 35 hours per week and places on the EB-5 scheme will be weighted in favour of enterprises creating jobs in "targeted employment areas", defined as areas in which unemployment is at least 150% of the national average.

The legislation relating to EB-5 USA visas has a tendency to be fluid and no set requirements are in place to address at what point in an application jobs should be created. However, the 10 positions required do not have to be created immediately and may be projected employment opportunities, so long as they are realistically incorporated into a comprehensive business plan and will be filled accordingly.

Other Requirements

Beyond the prerequisites of job creation and the minimum investment amount, much of this immigration visa route is open to the assessment of USCIS. Commercial enterprises must be both "new" and "commercial", or a "troubled business", rather than a non-profit organization. However, in practice, the term "new" can be interpreted broadly. Furthermore, the capital investment must have been obtained through lawful means.

An existing business which is purchased by the investor then reorganised or restructured can conceivably qualify as a new enterprise, if the reorganisation is more significant than a nominal change of legal form and creates the required 10 new positions. In addition, immigrating to America to expand an existing business may also qualify as "new" if the enterprise is increased by at least 40% in net worth or the number of employees.


Migrating to the USA through this investment based route to a United States Green Card is intended as a permanent immigration service leading to settled status in the USA. Accordingly, as with all routes to Permanent Resident Cards, provision is made for spouse immigration and dependent immigration and successful applicants may include their spouse, partner and dependent children on their application to migrate to America.

An Entrepreneur’s Dream

For a business to be doing really well, it needs to go international. Many companies try and fail with their bids to take their brand global, but there’s no better place to test your business acumen than America.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Benefits

  • Fast way to obtain a U.S. green card and U.S. citizenship
  • No waiting list
  • No restrictions as to nationality, age, English language proficiency, management experience, or education.
  • The investor, spouse, and unmarried children under 21 are included within the main application.
  • You can reside anywhere in the US when investing through an approved Regional Center.
  • It is not required for you to manage the day-to-day operations of the business when investing through an approved Regional Center.
  • The investment itself generates passive income and returns when invested in a Regional Center.
  • Five years after receiving the conditional Green Card, you and your family may apply for US citizenship and a US passport.
  • No sponsor is needed; you can use your own personal funds rather than a required sponsorship from an employer or family member.

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