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Introduction to EB-5 Capital

HistoryProgram RequirementsInvstment Process

History of the EB-5 Program

In 1990, Congress created the 5th employment-based (EB-5) immigrant visa preference category to provide a path to U.S. permanent residence for qualified foreign nationals seeking to invest in a business that will benefit the U.S. economy and create or save at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. A total of 10,000 immigrant visas may be approved under this program each year.

The Regional Center program facilitates the pooling of capital by multiple EB-5 investors and allows for inclusion of indirect and induced job creation. Of the 10,000 visa numbers available per year, 3,000 are set aside specifically for those investing through a Regional Center.

Program Requirements

Overview

To qualify for EB-5 status, an investment normally must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful, permanent residents, or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States.

Employment of a qualified employee in a position requires a minimum of 35 working hours per week, regardless of who fills the position. Job-sharing arrangements, where two or more qualifying employees share a full-time position, will also serve as fulltime employment if the hourly requirement per week is met.

The state government may designate a particular geographic or political subdivision as an area of high unemployment (at least 150 percent of the national average rate).

To show that the new commercial enterprise has created, or will create, each project must focus on a specific Targeted Employment Area and provide evidence that:

  • For a rural area,  the new commercial enterprise is not located within any standard metropolitan statistical area, or within any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more;
  • For a high unemployment area, the metropolitan statistical area, or the county in which a city or town with a population of 20,000 or more is located, in which the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business has experienced an average unemployment rate of 150 percent of the national average rate;

Or it can provide a letter from the state in which the new commercial enterprise is located which certifies that the area has been designated as a high unemployment area.

Key Points

Some key points regarding the EB-5 Regional Center Program are as follows:

  • Each applicant must invest a minimum of either US$1,000,000 or US$500,000 in a commercial enterprise.
  • The US$500,000 minimum investment applies only to investments that are located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
  • A TEA is a “rural” or an area which has experienced high unemployment.
  • The investment funds must be at risk.
  • The investment must result in the creation or preservation of ten (10) full-time (at least 35 hours per week) jobs for U.S. workers, over a two-year period.
  • Direct employees of the enterprise, indirect employees and induced jobs may all be counted toward the 10-job per investor requirement through a regional center; whereas, in the regular EB-5 program, all new jobs must be for direct employees only.
  • The investors need not be involved in the day-to-day management of the investment enterprise, but may invest alongside other EB-5 investors in a pooled investment vehicle as limited partners.
  • By meeting EB-5 program requirements, a qualifying foreign investor may obtain U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for himself/herself, a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, in return for making the required investment.
  • USCIS is implementing self-proposed enhancements to the program to streamline processing and further encourage its use.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Process

Timeline

  1. Investor chooses to partner with the West Penn Regional Center for the purpose of obtaining an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa.
  2. Investor will receive an EB-5 investor questionnaire, a confidentially agreement, Private Placement Memorandum, Limited Partnership Agreement, Subscription Materials, and Escrow Agreement. 
  3. Investor will document legal source of funds.
  4. Investor will make investment, $500,000 or $1,000,000 into Limited Partnership.
  5. Investor will file form I-526 Petition by Alien Entrepreneur with USCIS
    1. Await approval.
  6. Upon approval of investor’s I-526, investor will file DS-230 with the National Visa Center.  If investor is already in the United States, investor will file I-485 for adjustment of status.
    1. Await interview.
    2. Investor will be scheduled for an interview with the US Dept. of State and upon approval will receive Conditional Permanent Resident Status.
  7. Investor will have 180 days to enter the United States and will receive the Conditional Permanent Residency Visa (2 year Green Card).
  8. 90 days before the two-year anniversary of the granting of the EB-5 investor’s conditional resident status (2 year Green Card), the investor will be able to file form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions with USCIS. Await approval.
  9. Upon approval the permanent residency visa will be granted.

5 years after receiving the permanent residency visa the investor may apply for naturalization to become a US citizen.

Individual Questionaire

For more information please visit the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/

West Penn Regional Center - One Oxford Center 301 Grant Street, Suite 4300 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15219 USA - Phone : 412-577-4085

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