EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Overview

 

The U.S. Congress established the employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) immigrant visa program in 1990.  If the immigrant investors invested in enterprises which benefited the U.S. economy and created or saved ten full-time jobs, they could get a visa.

Under the program, each investor must invest a minimum amount of one million U.S. dollars.  If the investment is in a rural or high unemployment area, this amount can be reduced to $500,000.  Out of the ten thousand EB-5 green cards issued each year, three thousand are set aside for those applicants who invest through a regional center.

 

EB-5 Regional Center Investment Plan


In order to encourage immigrants to seek green cards through the EB-5 program, Congress established the Regional Center pilot program in 1993. 

Regional Centers are public or private entities which are authorized to administer funds through the EB-5 program in designated geographic area.  The Regional Center program has been very successful in the UK, Canada, Australia, and other countries.

If an investor wants to invest through a designated Regional Center, they will need to invest a minimum of $1 million and prove that they created or saved at least ten jobs.  If invested in some rural area, areas of high unemployment or Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), the minimum is reduced to $500,000.  Texas Investment Regional Center (TexIRC) focuses mostly on projects located in TEAs.

If investors want to apply through a designated EB-5 Regional Center, each investor must prove that their investment has directly or indirectly created at least ten jobs.  Texas Investment Regional Center (TexIRC) uses USCIS approved methods to measure and validate the necessary job creation numbers.

Investors who apply through an EB-5 regional center and are approved will receive a conditional green card valid for two years.  The investor, their spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 21 at the time of application can also apply for green cards.  They can then apply for permanent residency based on the investment.  If approved, investors and their immediate family members will become permanent green card holders, and can then apply to become a U.S. citizen.  Once an investor obtains conditional permanent resident status, they and their immediate family members will be granted the same rights as other lawful permanent U.S. residents.

 

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