EB-5 Investment Immigration
Our EB-5 practice group is headed by David Hirson, who is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of U.S. EB-5 investment immigration. Having been involved in the EB-5 program since its inception in 1990, David filed and received green card approval for one of the earliest EB-5 investors.
EB-5 Visa Overview
The fifth employment-based visa preference category, created by Congress in 1990, is available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. There are two ways to invest, which you may use within the EB-5 category, and they are: creating/investing in a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business.
New Commercial Enterprise
To qualify, you must:
- Invest in or be in the process of investing at least $1,050,000 in a business that was started after 1990. If your investment is in a designated targeted employment area (discussed further below), then the minimum investment requirement is $800,000.
- Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets.
- Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This includes U.S. Citizens, Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. (However, it does not include you [the immigrant], your spouse or your children).
- Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy. (i.e.,as a corporate officer or board member).
To qualify, you must:
- Invest in a business that has existed for at least two years.
- Invest in a business that has incurred a net loss, based on generally accepted accounting principles, for the 12- to 24-month period before you filed the Form I-526/E Immigrant Petition by an Alien Entrepreneur.
- The loss for the 12- to 24-month period must be at least equal to 20% of the business’s net worth before the loss.
- Maintain the number of jobs at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years.
- Be involved in the day-to-day management of the troubled business or directly manage it through formulating business policy. (i.e., as a corporate officer or board member).
- The same investment requirements of the new commercial enterprise investment apply to a troubled business investment: either the standard ($1,050,000 or $800,000 in a TEA).
In addition to the above-mentioned two ways to invest through the EB-5 program, there are three “set-aside” categories that EB-5 investors should be aware of as they consider their EB-5 investment. Investors who invest in projects that meet the requirements of these set-asides are supposed to receive priority processing from USCIS and wait less time for a visa to become available. The set-asides are:
- Rural: Investors who invest in projects physically located in a rural area of the U.S. qualify for this category. This category receives up to 20% of the total EB-5 visa numbers each fiscal year.
- High Unemployment Area (also known as Targeted Employment Area of TEA): Investors qualify for this category by investing in projects physically located in a census tract (or combination of census tracts) that have an unemployment rate of 150% of the national unemployment rate. This category receives up to 10% of the total EB-5 visa numbers each fiscal year.
- Infrastructure Project: Investors who invest in projects that are government infrastructure projects (i.e. roads, bridges, etc.) qualify for this category. This category receives up to 2% of the total EB-5 visa numbers each fiscal year.
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Call David Hirson & Partners, LLP, in Costa Mesa, California at 949-441-4003 or our Seattle, Washington, office at 206-926-3973 or contact us by email to arrange a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys today.
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