Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB-5 immigrant investor category allows a person and his or her family members to obtain a green card by making a capital investment into the U.S. that creates or saves 10 U.S. jobs. The minimum capital investment is $500,000 if the investment is located in a rural or high unemployment area, otherwise known as a Targeted Employment Area ("TEA"). If the investment is not located in a TEA, the capital investment must be at least $1,000,000.
To encourage investment and immigration through the EB-5 category, congress created the EB-5 Regional Center program in 1992. The Regional Center program allows the investor to invest in a new commercial enterprise created by an investment sponsor instead of a self-directed job creating investment. Through a Regional Center, the new commercial enterprise is allowed to count direct and indirect job creation.
To qualify as an EB-5 investment, the investor must establish that the investment has been made into a qualified commercial enterprise.
The investor must provide evidence that he or she has invested, or in the process of investing, the required amount of capital. The investment must be “at-risk” without a guaranteed return of principal.
The investor must have legally acquired or earned the capital invested, including being in legal immigration status if acquired or earned in the U.S.
The investor, along with the investment sponsor, must prove that his or her investment will create or save at least 10 full-time jobs.
The investor must be involved or a member of the new commercial enterprise management. The participation could include day-to-day responsibilities or as a limited partner in a partnership.