by Eugenio Haughton
The Basics of EB-5 Investment Visas
Though it is mutually beneficial to both the new immigrant and established citizens, the EB-5 visa is more difficult to qualify for than most of the other visa options. The EB-5 visa is reserved for potential immigrants that have resources to invest either $500,000 or $1 million into a commercial enterprise that has been approved by the USCIS.Besides the monetary aspect of the investment, within a certain period of time at least ten jobs must be either maintained or created as a result of the investment. The primary aim for the EB-5 visa investment is to bolster the U.S. economy by improving the unemployment rate and increasing a business's ability to increase production, expand, or otherwise contribute to national economic growth. As a result of this financial investment, the person immigrating is given the opportunity to become a resident and naturalized citizen of good standing.
Part of the EB-5 stipulations require eligible candidates to make the financial investment in a business, whether new or existing, that operates in an area struggling with high unemployment. The candidate can also give the investment to a pre-approved "Regional Center", which must use the investment in some manner to create the required jobs. However it is done, whether directly or indirectly, and regardless if it is through a business or Regional Center, there must ultimately by at least ten jobs created through the investment. In addition, sometime before the visa runs out the investor must show evidence that ten jobs were actually created or maintained, or will be created within an established period of time.
Of course there are other rules and regulations associated with the EB-5 visa, but the guidelines have been revised since the program's inception. One very important stipulation, which required the investment to increase export sales along with job growth, is no longer in place. Immigrating investors can also now be limited partners in the invested business, rather than a managing partner as previously required. Similar to these, other regulations have been likewise been altered to be more adaptable within varying economic and social fluctuations.
Benefitting both the immigrant and the country she is emigrating to, the EB-5 investment visa essentially is a win-win.
People in other countries that have been looking to move to the U.S. now have more visa options available to them. Through one of these, the EB-5 investment visa, potential immigrants can use their desire to become a part of and invest in the American economy as part of their immigration qualifications. By making a significant investment into a pre-approved U.S. business, and adding to the employment numbers, potential immigrants can prove themselves as valuable, productive citizens. Yet, anyone considering this option must do the appropriate amount of research to eliminate any potential problems that may arise.
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