EB-1 Immigrant Investor Visas

EB-5 visas are available for immigrant investors who are investing in enterprises to promote economic growth in the United States.

Immigrant Investor Visa requirements

Investors are required to invest in a "new commercial enterprise." This is a specially defined term. A "new" enterprise is an enterprise that is:

  • Established after November 29, 1990; or 
  • Established on or before November 29, 1990 that is purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results;
  • Established on or before November 29, 1990 that is expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs

An enterprise is a "commercial enterprise" if it is any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business, including but not limited to sole proprietorships, partnerships, holding companies, joint ventures, corporations, business trusts, or other entities that are publicly or privately owned.

Job creation requirements

EB-5 commercial enterprises must create a certain number of full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within a required period of time. Job creation requirements are complex and depend on the type of "new commercial enterprise" that is the subject of the investment.

Capital investment requirements

EB-5 investors must invest $1 million dollars for most investments. For investments in a Targeted Employment Area (high unemployment or rural areas), only $ 500,000 dollars is required.

By law, the capital invested must come from legitimate activity; unlawfully obtained capital cannot be invested. Needless to say, USCIS requires strong documentation of the source of invested capital.

"Capital" means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur, provided that the alien entrepreneur is personally and primarily liable and that the assets of the new commercial enterprise upon which the petition is based are not used to secure any of the indebtedness.

For EB-5 purposes, all capital is valued at fair market value in United States dollars.