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EB-5 Immigrant Investor / Investment-Based Green Card


1. Who is eligible for an EB-5 Immigrant Investor status / Green Card through investment?
Anyone who invests a minimum of $1 million in creating a new U.S. business or expanding or restructuring of the existing business. The amount of investment may be reduced to $500,000 if the business is located in a rural area or in an urban area with an unemployment rate certified by the state government to be at least 150% of the national average. The investor must be actively engaged in the company, either in a policy-forming role or in a managerial capacity. The investment must be an equity investment (ownership share).
2. Are there any requirements for the business?
It must employ at least ten full-time (35 hours or more per week) workers, produce a service or product, and benefit the U.S. economy. The investor, his/her spouse, or their children are not counted towards the ten employees. The investment must be made in a new enterprise, which means that you need either to create an original business, to buy a business that was established after November 29, 1990, or to buy a business and reorganize it so that a new entity is formed. Exceptions to this rule: (a) you buy an existing business and expand it. Expansion here means an increase of either the number of employees or the net worth of the business by at least 40%; (b) you buy a troubled business and save it from going under. For this, you must show that the business has been in existence for at least two years and has had an annual loss of 20% of the company’s net worth at some time over the 24 months period prior to the purchase. In this case, you are not required to show that you
created ten jobs; you’ll need to show that for 2 years after the date of purchase, you employed at least as many people as were employed at the time of the investment.
3. Does it matter where I got the money?
No, so long as you obtained it lawfully.
4. Must the investment be in cash?
No, cash equivalents (certificates of deposit, promissory notes, etc.), value of equipment, inventory, or other tangible property can count in the total. Borrowed funds may be used only if the investor is personally liable in the event of a default and the loan is adequately secured by some other assets.
5. Will my family be able to immigrate with me?
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be included on your immigration petition.
6. Do I get a permanent Green Card right away?
No, a Green Card for an investor is first issued only conditionally, for two years. When the two years are over, you will have to file a request with USCIS to remove the condition and make your residence permanent. The petition for removal of the condition must be filed within the final 90 days of the two-year conditional period.
7. Admissibility
In order to receive a Green Card based on investment, you must be admissible to the United States. If you have ever committed a crime, lied on an immigration application, been involved in a terrorist organization, lied to an immigration officer, suffered particular physical or mental illness as specified by USCIS, or are otherwise inadmissible, you may be unable to receive a Green Card unless you qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility.
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