The Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) Immigrant Investor Program grants non-Americans and their immediate family members (spouse and children under the age of 21) permanent residency in the United States and the path to U.S. citizenship. To apply, an immigrant investor must invest at least $1 million in a commercial enterprise and create a minimum of 10 direct U.S. jobs in the process. If the investment is made in a specially designated “targeted employment area” (TEA) suffering from high unemployment or economic crisis, then the immigrant investor is required to invest only $500,000 and create 10 direct jobs. The immigrant investor and his/her family are then issued a “conditional green card” to immigrate to the United States. After two years, the conditional status is removed upon a showing that the investment created at least 10 full-time permanent jobs for U.S. workers and "unconditional" or permanent green cards are issued.
To simplify the program for foreign investors and allow for more efficient investment, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has designated certain areas throughout the country as “Regional Centers.” Regional centers are operated by independent investment companies that generally pool individual investments into real estate and business opportunities to diversify their investment risk.
An immigrant who invests in a USCIS designated Regional Center must still invest $500,000 and demonstrate the creation of at least 10 direct or indirect jobs after two years. However, the immigrant is not required to live in the Regional Center, but can choose to reside anywhere in the United States, and moreover, is not required to “run” a business, though will still maintain an active role in determining policy and operations of the investment project(s). Often for a fee, the independent investment companies at the various regional centers maintain the investments, and provide the information needed to demonstrate the creation of at least 10 direct/indirect jobs when the immigrant investor seeks to remove the conditional status on his/her green card.
Our immigration attorneys are recognized for their expertise in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa area. They have years of experience assisting U.S.-based companies in obtaining Regional Center certification from USCIS to allow them to accept investments from foreign nationals seeking U.S. residency under the investor visa program, while ensuring full compliance with U.S. securities laws and reporting requirements. They regularly represent individual foreign nationals seeking U.S. permanent residency under the program. In addition, our banking and financial services attorneys represent EB-5 qualified entities in structuring, negotiating and closing EB-5 financings and investments secured by real estate, equipment and other assets.
Specific examples of our EB-5 experience include:
If you are interested in learning more about this program, contact us (hyperlink) to set up an appointment and come in to discuss.
Can I get a U.S. green card (permanent resident status) through investment in the U.S.?
Yes. Ten thousand immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise. This visa is commonly referred to as the EB-5 investor visa.
There are two ways to invest in the U.S. under this program:
What is the process to obtain lawful permanent residency through investment?
Obtaining lawful permanent resident (LPR) status is a three-part process:
What if I am already in the U.S. on another visa status?
An individual may file a I-526 petition if they live abroad or are already in the U.S. The I-526 petition process remains the same. If, however, you are already in the U.S. after the I-526 is approved, you may then file an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident, as opposed to filing for a visa with your local U.S. consulate. If you are not yet in the U.S., you must file for an immigrant visa with your local U.S. consulate. We can advise you more specifically on the process in a direct consultation.
If I get a green card, do I have to live in the U.S.?
Yes, an applicant for conditional or permanent residence to the U.S. must intend to immigrate to the U.S. and maintain as their primary residence a home in the United States.
Can I travel?
A conditional or permanent resident is entitled to travel freely for less than six months at a time outside of the United States. If such an individual needs to be outside of the U.S. for more than six months, he/she may apply (up to three times) for a travel permit that is good for two years. This travel permit establishes that the resident is not abandoning U.S. residency despite the extended absence. However, time spent outside of U.S. is counted against the 30-month physical presence requirement for citizenship.
Can I bring my family, and do they get permanent residency (a green card) if I invest in the U.S.?
A qualifying immigrant investor is eligible to sponsor his/her immediate family, which includes a spouse and all children under the age of 21 years old. All members of the immediate family are granted conditional permanent residency upon approval of the I-526, and all are eligible to apply to remove the conditions after two years.
Can I sponsor my child who is 21 years old or over?
While a child who is 21 years old, or over, cannot apply for residency under the parent’s immigrant investment application, a parent may gift that child the required investment funds in order for the child to apply individually as an immigrant investor.
What are the fees associated with applying for an investment visa?
There are filing/application fees, legal fees and investment management fees if an immigrant invests in a regional center. The current filing/application fees are:
|I-485 Adjustment of Status|
(if already in the U.S.)
|$1,225 (includes biometrics) per individual ($750 or $1,140 for applicants under 14)|
|Visa Application Fees|
(if outside the U.S.)
|$345 visa application fee, plus $220 USCIS fee|
|I-829 Application to Remove|
Conditional Status after Two Years
|$3,750 for primary applicant only, plus $85 biometric fee for each dependent|
Legal fees are based on family size. Please contact us directly for more information.