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EB-5, Fifth Preference

In 1990 U.S. Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5 visa, to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. 


Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) if they:


  • Make the necessary investment in a new commercial enterprise in the United States; and

  • Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.


To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area - high unemployment or rural area).


Of the 10,000 EB-5 visas available, the Congress has reserved 3,000 for EB-5 investors who invest through Regional Center in Targeted Employment Areas.





A commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:


  • A sole proprietorship

  • Partnership (whether limited or general)

  • Holding company

  • Joint venture

  • Corporation

  • Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned


A new commercial enterprise, is a commercial enterprise:


  • Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or

  • Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:

  1. Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or

  2. Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs


A Regional Center is an organization designated by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that sponsors capital investment projects for investment by EB-5 investors.  Regional centers help EB-5 investors and project developers because they lessen the difficulty of meeting qualifying job creation requirements under the EB-5 program rules.


targeted employment area (“TEA”) is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.


rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.



Job Creation Requirements


  • Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.

  • Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs:

    • Direct jobs are actual identifiable jobs for qualified employees located within the commercial enterprise into which the EB-5 investor has directly invested his or her capital.

    • Indirect jobs are those jobs shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital invested in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an EB-5 investor. A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a regional center.



Our EB-5 experience


Williams Global Law has extensive experience advising high net worth individuals on the EB-5 Entrepreneur Investment Program and performing EB-5 Regional Center representation and compliance review. We have obtained conditional Green Card status for hundreds of individual entrepreneurs and have represented foreign investors from various countries, including China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Europe, Latin America, and Canada. 


In addition, we advise on the full scope of financing options that are available for funding new commercial enterprises or reviving businesses through the EB-5 Program.  We have successfully helped Regional Centers receive and maintain their USCIS certification.


To learn more about our EB-5 experience please click here.

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