EB-5 VISA Program

Services / EB-5 VIsas

What is the EB-5 VISA Program?

The United States offers several different options for citizens of other countries to obtain a US green card or permanent US residence. One of the most straight-forward options is the EB5 program, in which a person with some means (along with their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21) can invest in a commercial enterprise that creates full-time jobs, and thus become eligible for a green card. EB-5 is generally a faster route, as there is no quota or waiting list for an EB-5 visa, unlike other US visa programs. There are 10,000 US EB-5 visas available each year.

Almost all of Puerto Rico has been designated as a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which means that it has been identified as an area with high unemployment.

TEAs qualify by having unemployment rates that are at least 150 percent of the national rate at the time of your investment.

Additionally, the 10 jobs created within 2 years of you establishing conditional permanent residency can be full-time indirect or induced jobs; the employees don’t have to work directly for your investment company. Indirect jobs refers to new staff hired on by companies that supply goods and/or services to your EB-5 business, and induced jobs are those created in the community around your EB-5 business as a result of your EB-5 employees spending money in the area.

Who could benefit from a EB-5 Viisa program ?

EB-5 may be right for you if you are:

  • A CEO or Manager of a US company
  • A non-US citizen investing in a US business they don’t want to directly manage themselves
  • An entrepreneur, especially if you don’t qualify for an E-2 visa
  • An investor from a non-treaty country
  • A doctor
  • A retiree
  • An F-1 student who is also interested in becoming an entrepreneur
  • An owner of a non-US business who intends to set up a new US business
  • Parents who own businesses and would like to have their children educated in the US

What qualifies as a EB-5 investment business?

Generally, EB-5 is for new commercial projects.  However, an older business may qualify, if your investment results in at least a 40% increase in the net worth, or a 40% increase in the number of employees.  Also, an older business could qualify if your investment results in a restructuring that leads to a new commercial enterprise.

It is also possible for an EB-5 investor to put their money into an EB-5 Regional Center, which is set up to administer EB-5 projects.  If you invest in a Regional Center, you will not be directly responsible for independently setting up and running the business yourself.

How to Qualify for the EB-5 Visa Program

The investment must be in an approved EB-5 business, and must create at least 10 permanent, full-time jobs for US citizens within two years of you receiving conditional permanent residency.  In most cases, the capital investment must be $1.8 million, but for Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), the requirement is reduced to $900,000.  The program is administered by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

Application Process the EB-5 Visa

  1. Initially, an EB-5 applicant would research and select an investment opportunity that could work for these purposes.  The project must be submitted with a full plan.
  2. The next step would be to file Form I-526, “Petition by Alien Entrepreneur”.  This would detail the proposed investment and request approval to move forward in the process.
  3. After I-526 is approved, depending on their circumstances, the EB-5 applicant would either file Form I-485 to register for permanent US resident status or Form DS230 or DS-260 to obtain an EB-5 US Visa.
  4. After approval, the EB-5 investor and their family members would be granted conditional permanent residence for a two-year period (this is also referred to as a “Green Card”).
  5. 90 days before the end of the initial two-year conditional period, the EB-5 investor and their family could file Form I-829.  Upon approval, the Investor and their family would be allowed permanent US resident status.

Obtaining an EB-5 Visa for you and your family can be time-consuming and complex. 

Contact us for a free initial consultation!

We Can Help

Our company helps people like you take advantage of Puerto Rico’s excellent tax incentives!  We can help you determine which tax incentives are right for you, help you plan your residency and relocation strategy, and simplify the entire process for you.

Contact us for a free initial consultation.

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