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What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa?

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The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors is a U.S. visa created by the Immigration Act 1990. This visa provides a means to obtain a green card for foreigners who invest money in the U.S. The first stipulation to obtaining the visa requires an individual to invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” – high unemployment or rural area), which creates or preserves at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers, with the exclusion of the investor and their immediate family.

Currently, a new Pilot Program allows for investments to be made directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise (new, or existing – “Troubled Business”), or a “Regional Center” – a 3rd party-managed investment vehicle (private or public). The responsibility of creating the requisite jobs will fall on the 3rd party. Contact a knowledgeable U.S. immigration lawyer to guide you through the creation of a regional center.

So how does it work for the foreign investor and their family? If the investor’s petition is approved, the investor and their dependents will be granted conditional permanent residence which shall be valid for two years. Accordingly, 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.

The EB-5 visa has traditionally been underutilized by foreign investors. However, the popularity of the immigrant investor visa has been steadily picking up in the last few years, after a few tweaks by the U.S. government. To gain additional information, contact a U.S. immigration lawyer.

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