What is the EB-5 investor visa and how does it work?

Specifically, the EB-5 program authorizes the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant up to 10,000 immigrant visas each year to foreign nationals who wish to establish permanent residence in the US.

Interested parties must invest at least $1,000,000 in a new or existing US business anywhere in the country, and create 10 jobs through their funding.

However, USCIS now accepts investments of at least $500,000, as long as the target business is located in an area where the unemployment rate exceeds the national average by at least 150 percent, or has been approved as a regional center. EB-5.

Businesses can apply for certification as an EB-5 regional center, a group that can collectively issue up to 3,000 visas each year and match foreign investors with American startups.

Over the past year, the number of businesses certified as regional centers for the EB-5 visa program has increased from about 20 to 82, according to USCIS.

Ron Drinkard, director of the Alabama Center for Foreign Investment, told NPR: “To qualify [for investment]A company must show a loss of a minimum of 20 percent of its net worth in the last 12 to 24 months.”

He added: “There’s hardly a company that can’t demonstrate that right now.”

The popularity of EB-5 investment opportunities has not been limited to regional centers.

According to the State Department, the number of approved EB-5 visas in all areas of investment has nearly tripled between fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

In exchange for their investment, foreign nationals can become permanent residents of the US within 5 years of their initial application.

Brian and Jane Thompson, a couple from Essex, England, recently became interested in the EB-5 visa program after pointing to Florida as an ideal place to retire, noting its low real estate costs, the Daily Mail reports.

After investing in a Seattle-based real estate company, Brian told the news source, “I feel as secure as you do.”

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