EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a U.S. immigrant visa program that provides a path to lawful permanent residency (green card) for foreign nation who make a qualifying investment in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that creates required number of jobs. In 2022, the Congress passed the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), a holistic reform of the EB-5 program, which was effective from March 15, 2022.
1. Investment Amount:
The EB-5 program requires a minimum investment of $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or the project of an infrastructure, a new category under RIA. Other than these areas, the minimum is $1,050,000. Under RIA, these minimum amounts will be adjusted in accordance with inflation every five years.
2. Lawful Source of Funds:
EB-5 investors must provide sufficient documentation in their I-526/I-526E petition to demonstrate that the minimum investment funds, plus the administrative fees paid to a regional center have been obtained or earned through lawful means. Lawful source of funds is combined with lawful path of funds, which means the investors must provide sufficient documentation showing how the investors transferred the funds to NCE in the U.S.
3. Job Creation:
Each investor must create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s conditional permanent resident. For regional center’s projects, the required number of jobs can be created through indirect or induced jobs, such as jobs calculated by construction costs by the method of RIMS II or IMPLAN. However, for direct standalone investment, the investor must create jobs through direct jobs (W-2 employees).
4. At-Risk Investment:
To qualify as an investment, the EB-5 investor must actually place his or her capital at risk. The mere intent to invest is not sufficient. For the capital to be at risk, there must be a risk of loss and a chance of gain. Any guaranteed return will make the investment not qualified to be at risk. For example, if an EB-5 investor is given a guarantee of returning certain amount of capital, interest, a right of ownership or use of real property, the investment is not at risk.