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Employment Fifth Preference (EB-5): Immigrant Investors

This preference is set aside for immigrant investors who invest a specific minimum amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise which will create employment for a specific minimum number of US workers. No “job offer” is needed because the qualification is based on the amount of investment and not on whether a job is offered to the alien. Labor certification is not needed.


The following are the general requirements to qualify for EB-5 classification:


1. Alien needs to “invest” in a new commercial enterprise. A “new” enterprise means a company that is formed after November 29, 1990.

2. Invests or is in the process of investing capital of $1 million dollars. Investment could be $500,000 dollars if it’s in a targeted employment area (i.e., rural area of less than 20,000 populations, or an area which has experienced high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average.)

-Investment can be cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible prop, cash equivalents, and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the entrepreneur, provided the entrepreneur is personally liable and assets of new enterprise are not used to secure any indebtedness.

-All capitals are in US dollars and at fair market value.

3. Aliens must show source of funds and that they are legitimate.

4. Create at least 10 full-time jobs to qualifying US citizens or immigrant workers (excluding alien and his family) within the 2- year conditional residence period. Independent contractors hired by the entrepreneur do not count. Full-time employment is at least 35 working hours per week.


Conditional Status for EB-5 Immigrants


When the Form I-526 petition for EB-5 classification is granted, alien becomes a conditional resident for two years following the adjustment application or admission under an immigrant visa. To remove the conditions, alien must file Form I-829 petition within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of his or her admission as a conditional resident. If I-829 is not filed on time, status is automatically terminated.