What is EB-5 Green Card?

EB-5 Project

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EB-5 Green Card Project


What is an EB-5 Project?


A foreign investor must invest at least $500,000 into an EB-5 project in order to apply for an EB-5 Green Card

Most EB-5 projects are offered by Regional Centers, however, individual investors may form their own Regional Center.  The majority of investors invest through an established Regional Center that may have EB-5 projects available for investment. The EB-5 investment has to be in a new commercial enterprise and the investment must create 10 full time jobs for US workers.

The new commercial enterprise must be a lawful for-profit business that was created after November 29, 1990.  However, there are some instances in where the EB-5 investment can be used in older businesses where there is major restructuring or there is an increase in the number of employees or a 40% increase in the net worth of the business.  The business can take the form of a corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company and other available forms.


What are the requirements for an EB-5 Project?

  • The EB-5 project has to be a new commercial enterprise

  • The new commercial enterprise has to be a lawful and for-profit business

  • The new commercial enterprise has to create 10 full time U.S. jobs for each EB-5 investment


What does not qualify as an EB-5 Project?

  • Purchasing a personal residence with the EB-investment

  • The new commercial enterprise only creates part time jobs as opposed to full time jobs

  • Including the EB-5 investor and family members as part of the job creation requirement


What are some examples of EB-5 Projects?

EB-5 projects are available in many different business models and across many different sectors of the economy.  Some projects are better suited to meet the job creation requirement, which is a key factor in assessing an EB-5 Project.  Some of the more popular EB-5 projects include:

  • Hotels

  • Casinos

  • Restaurants

  • Sport Stadiums

  • Residential complexes

  • Commercial Real Estate development

  • Office buildings

  • Convention centers


Which EB-5 Project is best for me?

Selecting an EB-5 Project is one of the most challenging aspects of the EB-5 process.  The EB-5 investors needs to determine what their goals are and how they hope to achieve those goals, since some projects have a greater risk of failure as opposed to others.  The EB-5 investor should take the time to perform the proper due diligence and working with a professional could be beneficial especially if the EB-5 investor is not familiar with the industry that a particular project maybe in.  Here are some basic questions that an EB-5 investor should consider when researching EB-5 projects:

  1. Does this project belong in an industry that fit USCIS’s criteria?

  2. What is the level of risk posed by this project?  Is my EB-5 investment safe? Who is controlling my money?

  3. How many other EB-5 investors are committed to this EB-5 Project?

  4. Will this project actually create the jobs necessary to get an EB-5 Green Card?

  5. What is the EB-5 project’s exit strategy?  Has any other EB-5 investor received their investment back?

  6. Will I receive my EB-5 investment if my EB-5 petition is denied by USCIS?

  7. Who are the principals behind the EB-5 project and what are their credentials?

  8. Where are other EB-5 investors in the visa application process?

  9. How are the jobs allocated to each investor in the EB-5 project?

  10. Does the EB-5 project qualify as a targeted employment area and thus only requires $500,000 investment?

EB-5 investors should work closely with their EB-5 immigration attorney regarding the EB-5 process.  The attorney may assist the investor in reviewing risks and rewards that each EB-5 project may pose.  Furthermore, the immigration attorney may have a network of advisors that can work with the EB-5 investor to conduct an in-depth due diligence of each project.