Welcome to America: An Investor’s Guide to EB-5 Visa

American flagHome to thriving cities, a melting pot of cultures, and a collection of stunning natural and cultural wonders, the United States of America is the dream country for many. The land of the free and home of the brave has great career and business opportunities, a diverse market, and a relatively stable economy—making it ideal for entrepreneurs and investors.

Breaking into the U.S. market can be a very rewarding venture for foreign investors, especially those who want to acquire citizenship. If you plan to invest in the United States to gain green card status, the best option is to apply for an EB-5 immigrant investor visa.

Understanding EB-5

The EB-5 program was created by Congress by way of the Immigration Act of 1990. It aims to stimulate the U.S. economy through capital investment and job creation by foreign investors. The program allows investors to obtain a green card upon investing in any U.S. business or project that creates at least ten new jobs. Every year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service provides 10,000 visas to qualifying foreign investors.

The EB-5 immigrant investor program has brought in various investments from all over the world, including Europe, South Korea, and Canada, but majority of investors have come from China. During the time when businesses in the country had limited access to capital, money from such investments went into opening new enterprises and saving troubled businesses, helping preserve jobs that would have otherwise been terminated.

EB-5 and Investing

Green cards through investment requires an investment of $1 million ($500,000.00 in a Targeted Employment Area) in a new project or business that will employ at least ten full-time employees. You can invest in a company anywhere in the U.S., as long as you are actively engaged with the company you invest in and maintain your investment for three years.

Experts suggest choosing projects carefully. Select a business that is financially viable and marketable has a clear exit to return funds, and that creates plenty of job opportunities.

The Process

Because of the limited number of slots and processes involved, it can be difficult to establish eligibility for an EB-5 visa. This is why it’s important to have legal counsel. Lawyers can help walk you through the application process and even assist with choosing a viable company to invest in.

The EB-5 visa can be your gateway to living and starting a business in America, but make sure to put a lot of thought into it before moving forward and making a firm decision.