The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors is a United States visa created by the Immigration Act of 1990. This visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must generally invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a "Targeted Employment Area" - high unemployment or rural area)*, creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family. Approximately 10,000 EB-5 visas are available every year.
The investor may invest in his or her own commercial enterprise or in a commercial enterprise owned by other parties. The investor may also choose to invest through a pre-approved "regional center". Regional centers are government-approved entities in designated geographical areas for which USCIS has determined that investments will create the necessary 10 jobs per investor, whether directly or indirectly. Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation including both “indirect” and “direct” jobs.
If the foreign national investor's petition is approved, the investor and his or her dependents will be granted conditional permanent residence valid for two years Within the 90 day period before the conditional permanent residence expires, the investor must submit evidence documenting that the full required investment has been made and that 10 jobs have been maintained, or 10 jobs have been created or will be created within a reasonable time period.
*A targeted employment area 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.
A 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.