The EB-5 is an Employment-Based 5th Preference immigrant visa which was created by the Immigration Act of 1990. It provided for 10,000 immigrant visas per year to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their investment in a new commercial enterprise. Due to disappointing results with this original immigrant investor program, in 1993, Congress enacted the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, commonly referred to as the “Regional Center Program.” A Regional Center is defined as an economic unit which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, which includes improved regional productivity and job creation. 

Under Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 USC §1153(b)(5), 10,000 immigrant visas are available annually to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their investment in a new commercial enterprise. A new commercial enterprise can be established by,

  • creating an original new business
  • purchasing and restructuring or reorganizing an existing business which results in a new commercial enterprise
  • expanding an existing business so that a substantial change in net worth or number of employees occurs
  • investing in a troubled business, as defined by regulations, if the number of existing employees is being or will be maintained at no less than the pre-investment level for at least two years

The Investor's investment in the new commercial enterprise must create at least 10 full time jobs for U.S. Citizens, lawful permanent residents and other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States.

When an Investor invests in a Regional Center, the new commercial enterprise does not have to directly create 10 new jobs. It is sufficient to show that 10 or more jobs will be created directly or indirectly, using economically or statistically valid forecasting devices, as a result of the investment.

The investment must be at least $500,000 where the investment is being made in a “targeted employment area” which is an area that has experienced high unemployment or a rural area as designated by the Office of Management and Budget.

Permanent Resident status based upon EB-5 eligibility is available to investors, their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age.

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be admitted to the U.S. with you on a two-year conditional period.  If your I-829 petition to remove conditions is approved, then the conditions will be removed from your spouse and children’s Green Card status.  As a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) your spouse and children will be authorized to work or attend school in the U.S.