All About the EB-5 Investor Visa Programby Jeffrey McKinney Immigration law
The EB-5 program is administered by the USCIS. This program allows entrepreneurs, their spouses, and their unmarried children that are under twenty-one years of age to apply for permanent residence if they meet the necessary requirements. It is required that those applying for this program make the investment that is necessary toa United States commercial enterprise and that they plan to create or preserve at least 10 permanent jobs that are full-time for United States worker that qualify. The program was called EB-5 because it is the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa received by participants. The EB-5 program was created by Congress back in 1990 in order to help stimulate the economy in the United States by having foreign investors create jobs and invest in capital. The immigrant investor program was created by Congress in 1992. The immigrant investor program set aside a certain amount of EB-5 visas for individuals that invested in commercial enterprises that were associated with USCIS approved regional centers.
The immigrant investor program was extended in 2016 by President Obama. It is required that all EB-5 investors put investment into a new commercial enterprise. In order to be considered a new commercial enterprise, there are a number of conditions that must be met. First of all, the enterprise must have been established after November 29, 1990. This means that they must have purchased the existing business and restructured or reorganized it in a way that resulted in a new enterprise or they must have expanded the business using the investment in a way that the net worth or number of employees increased by at least forty percent.
The term commercial enterprise includes any for-profit activity that was formed with the intention of providing ongoing conduct of a lawful business. This includes joint ventures, business trusts, corporations, sole proprietorships, holding companies, and partnerships. A commercial enterprise that consists of a holding company and all of its wholly-owned subsidiaries are included in this definition, as long as each individual subsidiary is taking part in some form of for-profit activity that was formed in order to provide the ongoing conduct of a lawful business. Non-commercial activity, like owning a personal residence, is not included in this definition.
There are numerous requirements for the EB-5 investor visa. Not only are there job creation requirements, but there are also requirements regarding capital investment. Capital is talking about the cash, inventory, equipment, and other tangible property that is owned by the foreign entrepreneur. This is assuming, of course, that the entrepreneur is liable and that all of the assets the petition is based upon have not been used in order to secure other types of debt. The minimum investment that qualifies in the United States is One million dollars. The EB-5 investor program is complicated, and a lawyer can greatly assist you in sorting through the qualifications and guide you through the application process.
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