Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories, EB-5 is short for employment-based fifth preference. This is the type of visa that participants of the EB-5 program receive. Available foreign entrepreneurs and investors, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program allows a foreign national to obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States for himself/herself, a spouse and unmarried children under age 21, in return for making a qualified investment in a U.S. enterprise.
U.S. Congress created the Regional Center Program in 1993 as a way to encourage immigration through EB-5. Investment through a qualified Regional Center allows for both direct and indirect/induced jobs to be counted, whereas a direct or non-RC investment can only count the direct jobs created at the enterprise where funds are invested. Additionally, investment through a qualified Regional Center does not require the investor to participate in active management of the enterprise.
An investor seeking an EB-5 immigrant visa must make a qualifying investment of $1,000,000 USD into a new commercial enterprise (NCE) unless that business is located in a rural area or in Targeted Employment Area (TEA) with higher-than-normal levels unemployment. In these cases, investors applying for an EB-5 visa may qualify with a lesser investment of $500,000.
A primary component of an EB-5 investment requires the investor to demonstrate that a minimum of 10 full-time jobs were created. In a Direct EB-5 investment, these jobs must be created directly by the new commercial enterprise in which the investment was made. One of the benefits of EB-5 investments made through a qualified Regional Center is the ability to count jobs that have been created both directly and indirectly. This benefit can significantly reduce the risk associated with job creation and is one of the reasons that approximately 95 percent of all EB-5 investments are made through a Designated Regional Center. To learn more, please visit United States

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website here: http://www.uscis.gov/eb-5

A Designated Regional Center is an entity or economic unit that has been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to facilitate the pooling of capital by multiple EB-5 investors. Regional Centers are approved to operate within a specific geographic area in the U.S. in order to promote economic growth and the creation of new jobs in that area. Regional Centers can be publicly owned (by a city, state, or other regional economic development agencies), privately owned, or they can be structured as a public-private partnership.
A Targeted Employment Area is either a rural location or one that has high unemployment – at least 150% of the national average.

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