The Qualifications in Becoming an EB5 Immigrant Investor

Why does the United States allow Immigrant Investors?

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows qualified immigrant investors—who will contribute to the economic growth of the United States by investing in U.S. businesses and creating jobs for U.S. workers—to obtain U.S. visas.

Understanding the potential benefits (economic and cultural) of accepting immigrants under a special classification, Congress created this employment-based fifth preference immigrant visa category (EB-5). These visas are designed to incentive foreign capital investment that creates or preserves U.S. jobs—something that ultimately helps the United States as a whole

EB-5 Visas are visas created for entrepreneurs that want to come to the United States and bring their family. This is attractive to entrepreneurs because it allows them to continue to do what they have been doing, which is create jobs.

On March 23, 2018, the President signed Public Law 115-141 extending the Regional Center Program through Sep. 30, 2018.

This visa was created to promote economic growth and to reduce unemployment. There is a reason why the capital investment is reduced from $1 million to $500,000 when investing in rural or areas of high unemployment. The government wants these areas to improve, and investments brings jobs and improvement. Detroit for example had an unemployment rate of over 25% in 2009. This program is aimed to help reduce the rate of unemployment.

Qualifications/ Requirements EB5 Program: 

The first requirement is that the entrepreneur must make an investment into a business. The second requirement is that they plan to create or keep a minimum of 10 full time jobs within the United States.

The first requirement is fairly straightforward to accomplish. The entrepreneur needs to invest into a business within the United States. The entrepreneur does not need to be the only investor. They can join a corporation, partnership, joint venture, or even a sole proprietorship.

One must also consider the location where the entrepreneur wishes to make their investment. Generally, a $1 million minimum investment is required for most areas. However, if the entrepreneur chooses to invest in a rural area, or an area of high unemployment, the minimum capital investment is only $500,000.
The second requirement is also pretty straightforward. The entrepreneur must create or maintain 10 full-time jobs for the business. A full-time job requires a minimum of 35 working hours per week.

This may make certain businesses such as fast food look unattractive since the business model for fast food restaurants relies heavily on part time jobs. Regular restaurants however do become attractive. Average restaurants employ at least 50 employees, so creating 10 jobs should be manageable within the titles of waiters, chefs, host/hostess, etc. There are other businesses that may be easier to keep 10 full time employees employed, however like any good entrepreneur knows, proper research on the business is necessary.

Let us discuss which members of the family may join the applicant. The USCIS states that along with the entrepreneur, they may bring their spouse. They may also bring all of their children so long as they are under the age of 21. This makes this Visa a very attractive way for an applicant to bring their immediate family with them.

If there are any children that are under 18, they must attend school. If the dependent is over 18, they must either work or attend higher education. Your spouse may work if they choose to, but it is not required.

However, there are conditions that must be followed as well. There is a minimum number of days you must stay in the country. There is also a maximum number of days that one may spend outside of the country. All of these things should be talked to with a trained attorney that handles immigration cases, just so that in investor stays in compliance with the law.

Seek legal advice from Ramona Kennedy, our goal is to guide you with your specific case and decision regarding whether or not you qualify for TEA within the EB-5 employment visa.

Attorney Ramona Kennedy cares about your case and will fight for you.

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. Contact our office today via: 

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