There are two main types of EB-5 investments: direct investment and regional center investment.
Direct Investment EB-5:
A direct investment EB-5 involves an investor directly investing in a US business. To qualify for an EB-5 visa through direct investment, the investor must invest a minimum of $1,800,000 in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers. If the investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA), which is an area with high unemployment or a rural area, the minimum investment amount is reduced to $900,000.
Regional Center EB-5:
A regional center is an organization designated by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that focuses on economic development in a specific geographic area. Regional center EB-5 inbrvestments allow an investor to invest in a USCIS-approved regional center project, which can be either a new commercial enterprise or a troubled business. The investor does not need to manage the day-to-day operations of the business. The regional center is responsible for creating the necessary jobs to meet the EB-5 visa requirements, which can be either direct or indirect jobs.
The main difference between the two types of EB-5 investments is that direct investment requires the investor to directly manage the business and create 10 new jobs, while a regional center investment allows the investor to rely on the indirect job creation as well. However, regional center investments usually come with additional fees and expenses associated with the regional center.
The applicant must invest at least $1,800,000 in a qualifying commercial enterprise. The minimum investment amount drops to $900,0000 if the applicant invests in a targeted employment area.
The investment must fall into one of the following categories:
Investment in a regional center
Expansion or re-structuring an existing business
Investment in a troubled business
The investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs within two years.The applicant is initially granted conditional permanent resident status. A petition to remove conditions must be filed within 90 days before the two-year anniversary of the EB-5 investor’s admission as a conditional permanent resident.
The primary benefit of the EB-5 visa is that it provides a path to permanent residency in the United States for the investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children under 21.
No Sponsorship Required
Unlike many other employment-based visas, the EB-5 visa does not require sponsorship by a US employer, nor does it require a job offer in the US.
No Educational Requirements
The EB-5 visa does not require a specific educational background or work experience.
No Language Requirements
The EB-5 visa does not require the investor to be proficient in English or any other specific language.
Freedom of Movement
Once the EB-5 investor becomes a permanent resident, they are free to live and work anywhere in the US, as well as travel in and out of the country without the need for a visa.
Access to Education and Healthcare
EB-5 investors and their families have access to the same education and healthcare benefits as US citizens.