EB-5 Visas: Investing to Permanent Residency

October 2010 - By Shahzad Ahmed with NeJame Law

During this time of economic challenges, any immigration policy must make economic and political sense. One such program is the EB-5, which is the fifth preference of the Employment-based classification of visas.

The EB-5 Visas present a win-win option for everyone. The EB-5 Visa Program offers permanent residence in the United States to an individual who invests 1 million dollars (or half a million in certain cases) into a new business enterprise. The purpose of this investment is to create jobs for U.S. workers.

Currently, the Immigration and Nationality Act allows thousands of immigrant visas per year, which are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.

Under the regular EB-5 requirements, the investor must invest 1 million dollars into a new business enterprise. Also, this investment must result in the creation of at least 10 new jobs employing U.S. workers.

The EB-5 category also offers a Pilot Program, laxing these requirements, when one invests in a "Regional Center."

Under this Pilot Program, the investor must:

  • Demonstrate that a "qualified investment" is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center
  • There is an initial presumption that there will be 10 or more jobs created

Thus, the EB-5 investment program offers a quick path to residence for those who invest and benefit the U.S. labor market. To evaluate this visa more closely, visit our web page dedicated to the EB-5 Visa Program.