What is an EB-5 visa and how can it help your business?

There are many paths to U.S. permanent residence, and one popular option for investors or entrepreneurs from other countries is the Employment-Based fifth preference category (EB-5) visa. This option is one of five employment-based preference visa programs in the U.S.

How does an EB-5 work?

If you live in a country outside the U.S., are interested in pursuing a permanent residence in the U.S. and are an entrepreneur, you can file the appropriate paperwork that serves as a petition to open a new commercial enterprise in the U.S.

If approved, you will be personally and primarily liable for your investment assets. You must be the legal owner, as sole proprietor or a member of a corporation, etc. of a for-profit business that employs at least ten people. Your investment could also be to restructure or revitalize a struggling business.

Investors often come from China, South Korea, Taiwan or the UK. Successful EB-5 businesses have included construction projects, tech companies, and aviation manufacturing facilities.

Capital investment requirements

EB-5 related businesses must meet certain classifications to fulfill requirements for the investor’s visa. Starting on November 21, 2019, the requirements will be changed. These new requirements include the following:

  • In non-rural or economically stable areas, business investments must be at least $1.8 million. The previous requirement was $1 million.
  • In rural areas or in areas with high unemployment in Indiana, minimum investment is $900,000. The previous requirement was $500,000.
  • Investment must create a new for-profit business that employs ten full-time employees. These cannot be the investor’s spouse or children.

There are two other options for investors.

The first is to improve an existing business. If they are attempting to revitalize a failing business, there are several further requirements such as:

  • The investor must be the new owner of the business
  • The business must maintain the pre-purchase level of employees for 2 years.
  • The business must see a 40% increase in net worth or number of employees under the new owner

The second is an option that allows immigrant investors access to useful resources and community meetings with other immigrant investors. There are twenty of these Immigrant Investor Regional Centers in Indiana that can be contacted through the federal office.

As with all immigration or financial matters, an industry professional can always provide the most accurate information related to your situation.

If you are an immigrant or future immigrant wishing to invest in a business in the United States, you can use EB-5 as a platform to permanent residency. This could be your opportunity to maximize your dreams’ potential.

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