||Employment Based Visas (EB-5)
USCIS created 3 types of Employment Based (also called EB visas) which are in simple words green-cards through investments:
1. The regular program: Investment minimum of $1 million dollars in a new commercial enterprise and the creation of at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. This program suits people who want to open or buy its own business;
2. The reduced investment program: Investment of minimum of $500,000 dollars for business opened in rural areas, or target areas where the unemployment rate is 150% above of the national rate; and
3. Immigrant Investor Pilot Program also known as EB-5 where the investor invest minimum of $500,000 in a business recognized by the USCIS as Regional Centers. The major advantages of this program is the reduce amount of investment capital; allows the investor to qualify by providing 10 direct and/or indirect employees; and finally the flexibility to live wherever the investor wishes in the United States.
The EB-5 Program was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since. EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. The EB-5 Pilot Program was recently extended by the US Congress until 2015.
All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, purchased an existing business, or expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth and number of employees occurs.
Job Creation Requirement. All EB Investors must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.
Capital Investment Requirement. The investments must be at-risk and are between $500,000 to $1 million dollars. The investment capital may consist of various forms of capital, including cash, equipment, inventory, property and other tangible equivalents. However the investment capital cannot be borrowed.
Regional Center Program: USCIS had approved approximately 200 Regional Centers. You can see the entire list of pre-approved Regional Centers at www.uscis.gov
Time frame: Generally the process is taking between 6 to 12 months. If the Investor is living abroad the application for the green-card is made at the US Consulate at the investor’s home country. Once the green-card is approved, it is conditional for a period of 2 years. Three months before the expiration date of the green-card the investor must remove the conditions and show the evidences that the investment has been made and that the employment requirement has been fulfilled. When the condition has been removed the investor will receive the permanent green-card.