What are the EB-5 Visa Requirements?

Q. What are the requirements for applying for an EB-5 Visa?

Answer by Fadi Minawi, Lead US Immigration Attorney at Niren and Associates. 

The requirements for the EB-5 visa permanent residence applications are as follows

An EB-5 is a Greencard path for individual investor into a US business an amount of $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more. $500,000 is the minimum investment for a Targeted Employment Area, otherwise, the minimum investment is $1,000,000. The basic premise behind an EB-5 is that the investment funds would be made into a business or into a regional center and that the investment will help to supply 10 full-time, permanent, US jobs. It’s important that the investment made is as an individual one, and not made through a foreign corporation. Further, the funds used must be demonstrated to be from legal means.

Initially, the investor can qualify for a temporary or conditional Greencard, which would be valid for a 2 year period. After this, an application to remove the conditions would have to be made in order to make the status permanent.

Snowbirds and EB-5 Visas

I often get asked by snowbirds or retirees, who do not wish to return to their home country after 6 months of being in the US, how to obtain a Greencard? Using the EB-5 as an option, would be great for that type of person where the applicant has the minimum funds to invest in a business and have some role within the company but not necessarily, have to be involved on a full-time basis. In other words, the investor should not be a one hundred percent passive investor, but should have a minimal role in the operations.

Of course anybody with this amount to invest can apply for an EB-5 as this is not just for retirees.  Unlike an E-2 temporary investor’s visa, the EB-5 is available to everyone. This means that no matter what your country of origin is, if you can demonstrate a legal source to the investment capital, you may qualify as an EB-5 investor. The investor’s spouse and children under 21 will also benefit from this application as derivative applicants. Some families have saved thousands and thousands in university tuition fees because their children received Greencards and did not have to pay international student rates.

As there are many regional centers out there, it is important to deal with a firm that has experience with these applications as there some centres that are better than others and in some situations, you may not want to invest into a center at all. We would be happy to have an in-depth discussion on whether this option would be feasible for your situation.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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