In 1990 the U.S. government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. This program provides incentives and also sweeps foreign investments into U.S. businesses. Foreign investors receive, in exchange this eligibility – along with their family’s – the opportunity to become permanent residents of the United States for investing in a business that creates jobs for U.S. workers.

The EB-5 program has evolved markedly since its creation, however, there currently are only two ways for foreign investors to obtain an EB-5 Visa, they are:

Direct Investment:

Investing in a new or existing commercial venture that will create U.S. jobs

Investment through a “Regional Center”

Investing in a regional center that is a government-approved entity that manages investor funds along and complies with the immigration approval process.

Investing through a Regional Center will provide several sizable advantages to immigrants seeking U.S. residency. At least 10 jobs (direct and/or indirect) must be created as a result of the investor’s involvement – one of the biggest advantages will be the ability to include both direct and indirect job creation in job creation calculations.

By investing through the Regional Center program, investors can meet EB-5 job requirements by also showing indirect job creation from the pooled funds of all investors involved within the project. These created jobs do not require proof that the investor directly hired any employees. All proof of job creation is put upon the Regional Center.

WARC’s premier economists will provide verification for direct and indirect jobs that have been created.

EB-5 Visa applicants must invest a minimum of $1,000,000 in a job-creating venture. However, if the investment project is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) –(located within a rural area or a region with high unemployment) the minimum investment amount will be $500,000.

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) annually releases a report that has statistics for all EB-5 petitions that they have received from around the world for the previous fiscal year.

EB-5 Visas Issued Per Year

  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

I-526 Petition Approvals

In order to participate in the EB-5 Investor program, investors with the help of their attorney will file an I-526 petition. This petition exhibits the investors eligibility to participate in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

I-829 Petition Approvals

Investors will also file an I-829 petition (after a 2 year period) with the help of their attorney so that they can show that their investment has met all conditions required for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. It is during this process that investors and their families then become permanent residents of the United States if all criteria set by the USCIS have been met.

Links to USCIS website related to EB-5 Program: