EB-5 Immigrant Investors

The EB-5 Immigrant Investors Program is recently extended to September 30, 2012. The statutory requiments of the EB-5 visa are burdensom. Approximately only about 1,000 people a year have immigrated in this category — just one-tenth of the visa available.

For the regular program, the enterprise must (1) be one in which the person has invested at least $1 million (or at least $500,000 if investing in a targeted employment area), (2) benefit the U.S. economy and (3) create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.

A business can be used for employment-creation classification by more than one investor, provide that each investor has invested the required amount and the creation of 10 full-time jobs may be attributable to each investor.

The investor is required to enter the U.S. to engage in a new commercial enterprise, i.e., the investor must maintain more than a purely passive role in the new enterprise, and he or she must either be involved in the day-to-day managerial control of the commercial enterprise or manage it through policy formulation.

USCIS does not require retention of employees until a reasonalbe time after conditional visa is issued. Normally, a comprehensive business plan supporting the need for 10 employees within the next two years is acceptable.

The procedure to apply begins with submitting initial evidence with an I-526 petition. If the I-526 petition is approved, the investor becomes a conditional resident for two years. After the two years, the investor has to file an I-829 to remove the condition. It must be accompanied by evidence that the individual has invested or was in the process of investing the required captial, and the investment has created 10 full-time jobs.