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EB-5 Visas Enable Investors and Entrepreneurs to Obtain Residency

Since 1990, through the EB-5 visa, the United States has offered permanent residency status to qualified immigrants who will benefit the American economy by making a significant investment or creating jobs. The EB-5 visa is designed to promote commercial enterprise, particularly in locations known as targeted employment areas where there is a need for economic development. Congress expanded the program in 1992 to include eligibility for foreign citizens who invest in one of the many EB-5 regional centers designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If you are considering applying for an EB-5 visa, you should know that the application process can be arduous, requiring various types of documentary evidence. An experienced immigration attorney can provide invaluable help by advising you on relevant factors, such as:

  • Job creation — An EB-5 investor must demonstrate that they will create at least 10 jobs for American workers within two years of their admission to the country. If a company is classified as a troubled business based on USCIS rules, maintaining existing employment levels might suffice. A comprehensive business plan and tax records are required to support this type of application because the visa is tied to employment creation.
  • Capital investment — Most entrepreneurs who wish to establish permanent residency based on an investment are required to show an investment of at least $1 million. If the investment is made in a rural or high-unemployment area, the qualifying amount is reduced to $500,000. These amounts cannot include borrowed funds.
  • Regional center program — Under this initiative, immigrant investors have more flexibility as long as they are investing in one of hundreds of EB-5 regional centers. The applicant is not required to manage their business on a daily basis, so they can live in a different part of the country. Also, the jobs can be created indirectly, such as those involving construction workers whom someone else employs to work on the investor’s project.

It’s important to understand that each case is unique and the immigration landscape in the United States is volatile. Skilled representation from a knowledgeable visa attorney is necessary to explain how the law applies to you.

Rifkin and Fox-Isicoff, P.A. represents immigrant investors and other visa applicants from around the world. Contact us online or call 305-371-2777 today to schedule a meeting. We have offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida and Lima, Peru.

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