EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

A. What is EB-5?

EB-5 refers to classification under the fifth preference category of employment-based immigration as an immigrant investor.  (8 C.F.R. §203(b)(5))

The Immigrant Investor Program was created by Congress to stimulate the U.S. economy via job creation and foreign capital investments.

Each year, a maximum of 10,000 EB-5 visas are allocated to eligible intending immigrants., 3,000 are reserved for TEAs(Targeted Employment Area), and 3,000 are reserved for regional centers.

EB-5 Requirements

EB-5 have no requirement for the investor’s education, work experience, skills, English ability and so on. But at least three requirements should be met:

1.Minimum Amount

Before Nov. 21, 2019

$500,000. OR $1,000,000.

1)$1,000,000.:Anywhere in the United States

2)$500,000:A “targeted employment area” is an area that is (1) a rural area outside the boundary of any city or metropolitan area that has a population of 20,000 or more, or (2) an area experiencing an unemployment rate that is at least 150 percent of the national average rate at the time the investment is made.

Since Nov. 21, 2019

1)The standard minimum investment amount increases to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation.

2)The minimum investment in a TEA increases to $900,000 (from $500,000) to account for inflation.

2. Legitimate Source and Path of Funds

Investor needs to show that the sources of funds are lawful.For more information, please see Source of funds Document list.

3.Investment under this category is the creation of at least 10 full-time employment opportunities for U.S. workers.

For direct investment in an NCE, the full-time jobs must be created directly by the business. In other words, the NCE (or its wholly owned subsidiaries) must itself be the employer.

For investment in a regional center, the full-time positions can be created directly or indirectly by the commercial enterprise.

For a troubled business, an immigrant investor can rely on job preservation. U.S. employees under the law include U.S. citizens, U.S. green card holders, other legal immigrants, excluding EB-5 investors and their spouse’s children.

EB-5 New regulations

Please see https://www.uscis.gov/eb-5


1.  Several changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program will go into effect on Nov. 21, 2019.

2.The investment funds of I-526 petition filed before Nov. 21, 2019 is $500,000.It is not affected by the new regulations.

1.Increased minimum investments

1) The standard minimum investment amount increases to $1.8 million (from $1 million) to account for inflation.

2) The minimum investment in a TEA increases to $900,000 (from $500,000) to account for inflation.

3) Future adjustments will also be tied to inflation (per the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U) and occur every 5 years.

2.Priority date retention

Certain immigrant investors will keep the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition when they file a new petition.

3.Targeted employment area (TEA) designations

1) USCIS will now directly review and determine the designation of high-unemployment TEAs; we will no longer defer to TEA designations made by state and local governments.

2) Provided they have experienced an average unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate, TEAs may now include cities and towns with a population of 20,000 or more outside of metropolitan statistical areas.

4.Clarified procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence

1) Specifies when derivative family members (for example, a spouse and children whose immigration status comes from the status of a primary benefit petitioner) who are lawful permanent residents must independently file to remove conditions on their permanent residence;

2) Includes flexibility in interview locations; and

3) Updates the regulations to reflect the current process for issuing permanent resident cards (Green Cards).