EB-5 Investor Green CardsIn order to boost the American economy through the creation of jobs and capital investments by foreign investors, Congress established the EB-5 visa programme in 1990. Foreign investors are eligible for permanent residence (often known as a "Green Card") if they invest in a business that will boost the American economy and generate at least 10 full-time jobs. The EB-5 programme requires foreign nationals to invest $1,050,000 or more, or $800,000 or more (includes infrastructure projects) in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) in the United States and to create or maintain at least 10 jobs. These investments must be made in rural or high-unemployment areas (referred to as targeted employment areas [TEAs]). A petition must be submitted to USCIS in order for an investor to receive an EB-5 Green Card. The investor and immediate family (spouse and unmarried children under 21) may apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or for status adjustment at a regional USCIS office following the petition's approval, provided the investor is already present in the country in another legitimate nonimmigrant status. The first two years of the original residence status are "conditional." The conditional resident investor must submit a petition to the USCIS asking for the condition on permanent residence to be removed before the two-year window expires. The petition should be approved if the investor can show that they invested the required cash or were actively in the process of doing so, that they kept the investment throughout their two-year period of conditional residence, and that the investment generated the necessary employment.
Direct Investment & Regional Center
One of two EB-5 programme options for obtaining a Green Card is direct investment. Instead of investing in a regional centre that the USCIS has approved, "Direct Investment" refers to an EB-5 investment in a business that the investor developed and operates. Due to the fact that the 10-employee requirement discourages many prospective immigrant investors, Congress expanded the acceptable measure of job creation for the EB-5 visa programme by establishing the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (also known as the Regional Center Program) in 1992. This programme reserves EB-5 visas for investors in regional centres that have been designated by the USCIS. An economic unit, either public or private, in the United States that is engaged in fostering economic growth is known as a regional centre.
Investing in a New Commercial Enterprise
Investments must be made in "commercial" businesses. A commercial enterprise may be any for-profit organisation created for the continued conduct of authorised commerce. According to the law, the investor-petitioner must invest in a "new" commercial firm, defined as one that was founded after November 29, 1990. However, in a few specific circumstances, providing capital to a "existing" business (that was established before November 29, 1990) may be permitted.
According to the law, an investor-petitioner must have made the necessary investments or be actively making them. 1.Capital can take many different forms, such as cash and cash equivalents, inventories, equipment, and other tangible assets. Although loans made by the petitioner to the business are not considered capital, the investor may borrow the investment funds if they are secured by assets that belong to them. This is allowed as long as the investor is personally and principally responsible for loan repayment and no assets of the business on which the petition is based are used to secure any of the debt. 2.Proof that the invested capital is "at risk" is required by USCIS. USCIS focuses on actual and intended capital uses to ensure that it will be put to use in a way that creates jobs and generates profits. USCIS demands more than just a deposit of money into a company account; it also wants to see proof that actual commercial activity is being conducted. 3.Finding a Reliable Source: There must be written evidence that the investor petitioner has invested money. The investor must provide proof linking funding from the petitioner to the business directly. Additionally, USCIS demands that an investor present proof that the source of cash was obtained through legitimate channels.
Creating or Saving Jobs
1.Job Creation: The investor is required to hire at least 10 Americans on a full-time basis. The investor, his or her spouse, and children are not included in the minimum 10-employee requirement. The 10-employee minimum does not apply to non-immigrants (i.e., people on E, H, L, and other temporary worker visas). This definition excludes independent contractors. The new roles must be full-time, that is, they must call for a minimum of 35 hours of labour per week. Jobs held part-time do not count. Job-sharing arrangements, however, where two or more qualified employees split a full-time employment, will be taken into account. 2.Saving Jobs: Investments in "troubled" companies are subject to special regulations. An organisation is considered troubled if it has been around for at least two years, suffered a net loss for accounting purposes within the 12- or 24-month period prior to the petition's filing, and the loss for that time period was at least equal to 20% of the organization's net worth prior to the loss. The petitioner is not needed to create 10 new employment if the basis of the petition is investment in a struggling company. Instead, the petition can be supported by evidence that the company will continue to employ its current workforce throughout the time of conditional status.