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.
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
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.
Some key points regarding the EB-5 Regional Center Program
are as follows:
applicant must invest a minimum of either US$1,800,000 or US$900,000 in a
· The US$900,000
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.
investment funds must be at risk.
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.
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
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.
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
· USCIS is
implementing self-proposed enhancements to the program to streamline
processing and further encourage its use.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Process
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
3.Investor will document
legal source of funds.
4.Investor will make
investment, $900,000 or $1,800,000 into Limited Partnership.
5.Investor will file form
I-526 Petition by Alien Entrepreneur with USCIS
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.
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.
For more information
please visit the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/