What is the EB-5 Program?
Also known as the investor visa program, the EB-5 program is a US government program that allows potential immigrants seeking a visa to invest in a US-based business in exchange for a visa to live and work in the USA for the rest of their lives.
“EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Description: The fifth employment based visa preference category, created by Congress in 1990, is available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. There are two ways to invest which you may use within the EB-5 category and they are: creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business.” – USCIS.gov
What is an EB-5 Regional Center?
The Idaho Global Investment Center is a USCIS designated EB-5 Regional Center.
“A Regional Center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.” - USCIS.gov
To receive the USCIS designation, a regional center must submit an application showing:
- The geographical region of the US they would like to improve through the EB-5 Program
- Projections of how the regional center will reach the required economic stimulus for the region
- Business plan that assures a viable business model
- Assurance that the estimates and assumptions of the market conditions, project costs, and activity timelines are accurate
- How jobs will be created through the EB-5 projects and investments
- A description of what types of jobs will be created in accordance with EB-5 requirements
- The other sources and amounts of capital already committed to the regional center and the marketing strategies that are in place to attract businesses seeking funding and investors seeking visas.
How much does an EB-5 investor have to invest in order to qualify?
In most EB-5 Regional Centers an investment of $1,000,000 must be made in order to qualify and obtain and investor visa. However, the financial investment with the approved EB-5 projects at the Idaho Global Investment Center only require $500,000 of capital investment.
Who qualifies as an EB-5 Investor?
Foreign investors that can invest $500,000 or $1,000,000 US dollars in a US-based business that has been approved by the federal government as an approved EB-5 Project qualify as EB-5 investors.
Here is the 3 step qualification process for potential EB-5 Immigrant Investors trying to obtain a visa as outlined by the USCIS.gov website:
“Acquiring lawful permanent residence (“Green Card”) through the EB-5 category is a three step self-petitioning process.
- The successful applicant must obtain approval of his or her Form I-526 Petition for an Alien Entrepreneur.
- He or she must either file an I-485 application to adjust status to lawful permanent resident, or apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the United States. The EB-5 applicant (and he or her derivative family members) are granted conditional permanent residence for a two year period upon the approval of the I-485 application or upon entry into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa.
- A Form I-829 Petition by an Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions must be filed 90 days prior to the two year anniversary of the granting of the EB-5 applicant’s conditional Green Card. If this petition is approved by CIS then the EB-5 applicant will be issued a new Green Card without any further conditions attached to it, and will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States.”
Can my business qualify for funding from an EB-5 Investor?
If your business is a new commercial enterprise, or a troubled business that has been hit hard by the economy, then most likely your company can qualify as an EB-5 project.
Your business must have the ability to “create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This includes U.S. citizens, Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S.” – USCIS.gov
The 10 US workers cannot include the immigrant investor, or the spouse, or the children of the investor.
To read more of the qualifications in detail, see here: – USCIS.gov
If you are not sure if you are unsure if your business qualifies, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Am I guaranteed a visa if I invest in an EB-5 Project?
Upon approval by the CIS as an immigrant investor, a temporary visa is rewarded and guaranteed. Within the 90 days prior to your two year anniversary of obtaining your green card, you can re-apply for permanent residence for you and your family to stay, live, work, and play in the United States of America for the rest of your lives.
If I qualify, can my friends and family get visas as well?
The spouse and children of the immigrant investor all obtain US green cards upon approval as an EB-5 investor. No extended family or friends will be granted visas based on your approval as an EB-5 immigrant investor.
How long can I live in the US as an EB-5 investor?
A two-year period is granted to all approved EB-5 investors that have received green cards. At the end of two years, those who apply and are approved, can earn the right to permanent residency in the USA to work and live here the rest of your life.
How long do I have to pay off my loan as an EB-5 project accepting funding from an immigrant investor?
Unlike a grant, the EB-5 visa program does have a due date on the note. That due date will be set and agreed upon with help from the EB-5 regional center.
If I obtain an EB-5 visa, am I required to work on the EB-5 project that I choose to invest in?
Immigrant investors are required to work or at least be on the board of the EB-5 project they invest in.
If I obtain an EB-5 visa, do I have to live in the USA all of the time?
No. With your USA green card, you are still free to travel outside of the US at your leisure.
How many EB-5 visas are granted each year?
The number of approved EB-5 visas has nearly tripled between fiscal years 2008 and 2009 from 1,443 to 4,218 visas, according to the US State Department.
Do I have to live in Idaho if I invest in an EB-5 project/business in Idaho?
No. While you do have to participate in the project as an active member, or as a board member, you are not required to live in the state of Idaho to invest with the IGIC. You can do everything remotely via the internet and the telephone, and travel to Idaho as needed.
What rate of return can I expect from my EB-5 investment?
Just like any investment, the rate of return can vary from a loss, to a LARGE return. The best part about working with the IGIC is that we take time with each business researching, crunching numbers, and preparing business plans, before we bring them to you to decide if they are the right investment for you. We make sure we are confident that our foreign investors will see the kind of returns they are hoping for. Most of all, we make sure to help our investors get what they are looking for: a US Green Card.
Does it matter what EB-5 regional center I invest with?
Yes! The regional center where you invest your money should be there to help you make sure of two very important things:
- That you get your visa by meeting all of the requirements the US government has in place for you and your immediate family.
- That you invest in an approved EB-5 business that will prosper and generate a decent return on your investment.
The IGIC goes above and beyond the requirements of most EB-5 regional centers. We also help our investors provide their children with an American education at one of the state of Idaho’s finest universities.
Does it matter what EB-5 project I invest with?
Yes! Not all EB-5 projects are created equal. All of the IGIC projects are carefully selected and pre-qualified as sound investments with promising opportunity for return on investment. All of the projects that you invest in provide opportunities for you and your family to come to the USA, but not all of them can also provide you with a significant return on your EB-5 investment.
How long has the EB-5 visa been available in the US?
The EB-5 Visa has been available since 1990, minus a few years where the law no longer allowed for foreign investors in the early 2000’s.