Obtaining an EB-5 visa requires an investor to make a capital investment of either $500,000 or 1 million, depending upon the location of the project. The following information digs deeper into exactly what types of business enterprises can qualify as viable options when obtaining an EB-5 Investment Visa and what evidence is required to demonstrate a qualifying capital investment.
The following are the specific types of new business enterprises that EB-5 investors can take part in that can qualify for a visa.
- Buying an existing business– EB-5 investors must do more than simply buy an existing business or make cosmetic changes to qualify for restructuring or reorganization. If an investor purchases an existing business, he/she must create at least 10 jobs in addition to the number in place at the time of capital investment. If an investor places his capital investment into an enterprise that has been open for at least 2 years has incurred a net loss of at least 20% of its net worth over a 12- or 24- month, he may bypass this job growth requirement as the enterprise would be considered a “troubled business.”
- Creating a new business – When starting a new business an investor does not need to be present at the creation of the enterprise. The investor does, however, need to prove that he or she did invest the required amount and is engaged in the management of the new business.
- Working with multiple investors – This is called pooling. To meet this criteria each investor must put in the required amount and create at least 10 jobs per investor.
What EB-5 investors can use that will qualify as capital investment and how and when the investments must be made are described below.
- The investment can be made in terms of cash, equipment, or inventory to qualify and meet the definition of capital investment.
- The full investment must be in escrow or already directly invested before an investor can qualify for an EB-5 Visa.
There are differences between employment-based immigrant visas. Each visa type has separate evidentiary requirements. The following information describes what each of these visas are and how they can be obtained.
- EB-1(A) – This visa is for individuals who have exhibited extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, art, or athletics. To qualify, an individual must prove that he or she has won a major award (such as a Pulitzer, Oscar, or Olympic Medal). If the individual has not won a major award, at least three out of ten criteria must be met. These criteria are listed on the S.Citizen and Immigration Services website.
- EB-1(B) – The Outstanding Professors and Researchers visa category is reserved for individuals who are being offered tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. In addition to the job offer requirement, the individual must demonstrate that he or she satisfies at least 3 of the 6 criteria listed in regulation.
- EB-1(C) – This visa is for multinational managers or executives who have been employed in managerial or executive positions with a qualifying organization abroad and are seeking to continue service to an organization in a managerial or executive capacity.
- EB-2 – This visa category is for those who hold advanced degrees or high ability in the field of science, business, or the arts. To qualify for this visa an individual must have a job offer as well as a labor certification that has been issued by the Department of Labor. This labor certification is waived for individuals who can demonstrate that their work is in the National Interest.
- EB-3 – This visa is for different types of workers, including professional or skilled workers. To qualify for this particular visa United States immigration laws require that an individual perform a skilled or professional job in which qualified workers are not available in the United States. This is demonstrated through the acquisition of a Labor Certification and a permanent, full-time job offer from the sponsoring organization.
- EB-5 – This visa is for those whose qualifying invest in a U.S. business creates at least 10 full-time positions for U.S. workers.