EB5 Visas: Green Card by investment

What is an EB5 visa?

Global Immigration Partners Law Firm - What is EB-5 - Green Card by Investment

The EB5 visa offers US permanent residency in exchange for a minimum $800,000 investment in the United States you can obtain a Green Card (US Permanent Residency) The investment also needs to create at least ten full-time American jobs.

It is one of the fastest and most effective routes to a Green Card, which offers the freedom to live, work, study, or retire anywhere in America.

You can either place your funds in an investment project run by a Regional Center or you can make and manage the investment yourself under the Direct EB5 route. An entire qualifying family unit can be included under a single investment, which includes the applicant, their spouse, and any children under 21. 

Benefits of EB5 green card.

  • Relatively fast route to a Green Card for most
  • Eligible family unit can be included in a single investment
  • It offers the freedom to live and work anywhere in the United States
  • Option to invest in your own business
  • Option to invest within a Regional Center program projects
  • While your capital is at risk, most investors see their capital returned

How do you get an EB5 Visa requirements?

To apply for this investor visa you must file a Form i-526 if you are overseas and a Form i-485 if you are already in the United States. However, long before filing the application, you should engage a lawyer to check that the sources of funds for your investment would be permissible to the US authorities. You should also explore different Regional Centers and analyze their projects long before filing. If you are filing Direct EB5 you need to build a business case in advance. This should include a clear plan on how you will create ten jobs. It is essential to consult with an EB5 Visa Attorney.

US Visa - What is EB-5 - Green Card by InvestmentHow many EB5 Visas are Available?

There are approximately 700 EB5 visas allotted to each country every year (which runs from October to September). If a country exceeds its allotment, applicants from that country get put on a waiting list. You are assigned to the quota of the country in which you were born and cannot be assigned to a different country even if you now hold citizenship of a different country. Although family members can apply under a single investment, each family member is granted their own visa. So, a family of four would take up four of the visas available to that country rather than one. EB-5 Investors for foreign nationals.

How long does it take to get an EB5 Visa?

It has become increasingly popular, so it can take some time to receive your approval. For many, it is worth the wait. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can take two to three years to process an initial EB-5 immigration application. If you are approved, you must then submit to the National Visa Center and consular processing, which can take another year. After this, you will receive a conditional Green Card, which means that you can move to the United States. After two years you can apply to have the conditions on the Green Card removed by filing Form i-829. As processing times are relatively long, some applicants seek to move to the United States on other visas such as the E2 visa, so they can start building their lives while they wait for their EB5 visa to be processed. Please check with us on the EB5 Visa costs.

US Visa Cost - What is EB-5 - Green Card by InvestmentHow much does EB5 cost?

The minimum EB5 investment amount is $800,000 for an investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and $1,050,000 outside of these areas. The aim of the program is to create investment and jobs in America and the TEA element helps to direct that towards rural areas and areas of high unemployment. You should also consider that there will be processing fees levied by the US authorities, please consult with an EB5 Visa Lawyer.


Location of Investment

Investment Amount

Targeted Employment Area:      $800,000

Non-Targeted Employment Area:  $1,050,000

What sources of funds are acceptable for EB5?

The United States closely scrutinizes the source of the funds used to pay for EB5 to ensure that the money was obtained lawfully. Permissible sources can include:

·      Salary

·      Investments

·      Dividends

·      Property Sales

·      Sale of a Business

·      Gifts

Note the if you receive the money as a gift, you would need to document where the person giving the money obtained the funds.

Can I take a loan for EB5?

You can use a loan for EB5 subject to strict criteria, namely that the loan must be in the name of the primary applicant, and it must be backed by an asset – property. In practice, taking a loan for EB5 is highly complex and it is important to seek advice before proceeding. Speak to us today. Check the latest EB5 News on our blog.

How do EB5 visa waiting lists work?

Under the EB5 program, each country receives an annual allocation of approximately 700 visas. In practice, most countries do not use up all their visa allocation. However, China massively exceeded its allocation several years ago and new Chinese EB5 investors face a multi-year wait. India also sometimes exceeds its allowance but not nearly to the same degree as China, so the waiting list for Indian EB5 applicants is shorter. Since many countries do not use their annual allocation, the remainder is made available to countries on the waiting list on a first-come-first-served basis.

Visa Bulletin - Immigration Lawyer - What is EB-5 - Green Card by InvestmentWhat is the visa bulletin?

The State Department posts a visa bulletin each month documenting the length of the waiting list for countries that are oversubscribed. If your country is not listed in the relevant table, your quota is not oversubscribed. If your country is the grid, you need to match it against the column for employment-based fifth preference (the long name for EB5) to check the status. The letter “C” denotes that you are “Current” and not oversubscribed and there is no waiting list, but if there is a date this means there is a waiting list. The date refers to a “priority date” namely the date USCIS received your EB5 application. If your priority date is earlier than the date listed in the visa bulletin you can move ahead.

What is Direct EB5?

Under the EB5 Visa Program, you are permitted to make an investment in your own business. Called Direct EB5, is a great option for entrepreneurs who have a clear idea of a business they want to set up in the United States. In practice, fewer than 5% of applicants select Direct EB5 because complying with the EB5 regulations can be onerous for a new business. You must make the requisite investment ($800,000 or $1,050,000) in the right area (Targeted Employment Area [TEA] or non-TEA), and most challenging of all for a new business, you must quickly create and then sustain ten jobs. For this reason, some EB5 investors who plan to set up a business opt for the Regional Center route then set up a business that is not subject to the rules of Direct EB5.

What are Regional Centers

More than 95% of applicants choose to invest through the EB5 Regional Center program. Regional Centers pool EB5 investors into various investment projects, often in the construction and operation of hotels, shopping centers, condominiums, logistics warehouses, etc. These job-intensive projects usually mean that the EB5 job creation requirement is easily met, which mitigates the risk of non-compliance with the EB5 program. It is important to conduct due diligence on your chosen Regional Center and its project. While these organizations are required to apply for government authorization, there are hundreds of varying quality across the United States. Careful due diligence will increase the chances of having your investment returned (but it is crucial to note that, as an investment, your capital must be placed “at risk” under the EB5 program)



Global Immigration Partners - What is EB-5 - Green Card by InvestmentGlobal Immigration Partners is a specialized immigration law firm. A substantial part of our practice focuses on assisting business owners and investors with E1, E2, L1 and EB-5 visas.Through our international presence we have specialist knowledge of the specific procedures in multiple embassies and consulates around-the-world.

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