EB-5 Visa Requirements

Requirements

  1. Invest US $500,000 in a USCIS approved “Designated Regional Center”
  2. The investor must have a minimal policy-making role (the limited partnership role offered by most Regional Centers will qualify)
  3. The investment must directly or indirectly create 10 U.S. jobs

See our blog regarding the proposed reforms including an increase in the minimum investment amount to $800,000.

Annual Quota

The EB-5 visa program has an annual maximum of 10,000 visas issued per year. 3000 of these visas are reserved for the Regional Center Pilot Program. The USCIS has stated that up to the full 10,000 allotted visa slots may be used for Regional Center based visas if not used for Standard Program EB-5 visas.

Legal Issues

Because Regional Center investors place their money in a fund previously approved by the USCIS for the job creation and other requirements of the EB-5 visa, many of the legal issues in a standard program filing – such as demonstrating a qualified commercial enterprise, projecting 10 U.S. job creation, etc., are eliminated or greatly simplified. Nonetheless, issues remain.

Removal of Conditions

To remove the “conditional” nature of the initial Green Card, you must prove that you invested the required amounts in the USCIS-approved regional center, that that commercial enterprise was established, that it created directly or indirectly 10 full-time jobs, that you have continuously maintained this investment during the 2 year period and, if some of the jobs you count toward the 10 are indirectly created, that the regional center is still approved by USCIS.

Grounds of Excludability

EB-5 visa applicants are subject to the same bars against entry as are other intending U.S. immigrants. Grounds for denying a visa include:

  1. Overstay of prior U.S. visa of more than six months
  2. Prior criminal conviction
  3. Communicable illness (AIDS, infectious tuberculosis, syphilis, etc.)
  4. Membership in a Communist or any totalitarian party
  5. Illegal export of sensitive U.S. technology, goods, or information
  6. Money Laundering
  7. Terrorist Activities
  8. Sexual Abuse of Minors

Waivers are available for most of these bars, although they can be difficult to obtain.