Often nicknamed the “golden visa,” the EB-5 visa is one of the favorite options for foreign investors willing to put down the required amount of capital and meet the strict eligibility requirements involved in the application process. 

In this article, you will find a full overview of the EB-5 visa. 

What is the EB-5 Visa? – An Introduction 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has several employment-based visa categories. The Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference category is different from other employment-based visas, as it applies only to foreign investors that meet specific requirements. 

To qualify for EB-5 status, applicants must invest the required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise based in the United States. Additionally, the investment must create at least ten full-time positions for qualifying US workers. 

Under USCIS definition, the term “new commercial enterprise” refers to “any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business, including: 

  • A sole proprietorship 
  • Partnership (whether limited or general) 
  • Holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries (provided that each subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business); 
  • Joint venture 
  • Corporation 
  • Business trust 
  • Limited liability company, or  
  • Other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned” 

US Golden Visa – How Much Do I Need to Invest to Get an EB-5 Visa?  

On March 15, 2022, new requirements were introduced to the EB-5 immigrant visa category and the Regional Center Program upon the signature of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act.  

Since the Act was signed into law, the minimum amount of investment required for EB-5 eligibility is $1,050,000, with the possibility to qualify for a reduced investment if the applicant opts for investing in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). 

At the time of investment, a TEA can be either a rural area or an area affected by high unemployment rates. In such cases, the minimum amount of investment for EB-5 eligibility is $800,000, a threshold also applied to infrastructure projects. 

US Golden Visa – What Are the Advantages for EB-5 Dependents?  

After receiving USCIS approval, EB-5 investors can enter the United States accompanied by a spouse and unmarried children under 21. The primary advantage of the EB-5 status is the possibility to live and work nationwide legally. 

After two years under EB-5 status, the investor and any qualifying dependents can file with USCIS to remove the initial conditions on the visa. Once they have the green card, it is possible to apply for US citizenship after five years of living as a permanent US resident. 

Other employment-based and business-related categories of visas have stricter requirements when it comes to employment, limiting the ability of the principal and the dependents to work while living in the United States. 

Fortunately, EB-5 visa holders do not need to deal with any of those, as they are not subject to demanding sponsorship requirements and other employment restrictions. Similarly, foreign nationals under EB-5 status have access to the same educational system as US citizens, including schools, universities, vocational studies, etc. 

Does the US Have a Golden Visa? – Immediately Contact a Well-Versed Immigration Attorney 

With years of experience in US immigration law, Attorney Romy B. Jurado willingly wants to help you succeed. Contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] for an individual consultation.