UPDATED on February 6, 2020
More EB-5 Visa Information
There is a considerable amount of information that an applicant should understand prior to entering the EB-5 visa program. Our EB-5 basics pages provides in depth resources for determining one's eligibility to participate in the EB-5 visa program to immigrate to the United States. This includes EB-5 information about the program’s background, requirements, process, Regional Centers, projects, permanent residency, and U.S. citizenship. Our EB-5 forms section also gives an overview of the various forms and applications that are required during the EB-5 visa process. For a more in-depth look at the program, we have also accumulated even more in depth information about the EB-5 program. This information includes information about obtaining EB-5 Regional Center designation, Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), international immigrant investor programs, SEC securities matters, and glossary.
How to become an EB-5 Regional Center
There are many advantages to becoming an EB-5 Regional Center. These advantages include a source of low interest alternative financing for U.S. business entities that can be used across a variety of diverse businesses. EB-5 investors who invest in Regional Centers are also subject to less stringent job creation requirements than those who invest in projects that are run independent from a Regional Center. Regional Centers can count induced and indirect jobs created by their project towards the EB-5 job creation requirements which can be easier to document and generate. There are 6 general steps that those seeking Regional Center designation must satisfy. These steps include establishing the Regional Center’s scope, acquiring professionals needed to help with the establishment process, submitting the I-924 USCIS application, submitting I-526 petitions to the USCIS, administering EB-5 projects, and filing I-829 petitions.
Targeted Employment Areas
A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or is designated as an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. Federal regulations define a rural area to mean any area other than an area within a standard metropolitan statistical area (as designated by OMB) or within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more based on the most recent decennial census of the United States. Federal regulations grant USCIS the ability to designate areas that have experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. USCIS will grant this designation after reviewing the census tract in which the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business or any combination of that census tract and certain directly adjacent census tract(s) and concluding that the weighted average of the unemployment rate for the subdivision, based on the labor force employment measure for each census tract, is at least 150 percent of the national average unemployment rate. EB-5 visa applicants who invest in a project located in a TEA may be eligible for a lowered minimum investment amount. Rather than being required to invest $1.8 million dollars, those who invest to EB-5 projects located in a Targeted Employment Area may only be required to invest $900,000.
EB-5 Securities Matters
EB-5 investments may be subject to strict regulation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission if the investment qualifies as a security. Securities include stocks, bonds, notes, and investment contracts. If the investment qualifies as a security then it is subject to very costly regulations that can slow down the EB-5 visa process. However, EB-5 investments can qualify for securities exemption if all regulations are closely followed and certain criteria are met.