New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Green Card Based On Investment

Author: US Green Card Lawyer Alena Shautsova

A substantial investment is one of the ways of receiving residency in the United States. This type of immigration can also be referred to as EB-5 visa.

What is an EB-5 visa?

The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.

What are the main requirements for the EB-5 visa?

An investor must invest in a new commercial enterprise which is defined as a business established after November 29, 1990, or as a business which was established before November 29, 1990, but was expanded with the 40% growth in employees or net worth or through investment became a new business.

Commercial enterprise is any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership (whether limited or general)
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation
  • Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned

Can I get a green card by buying a house in the USA?

Commercial enterprise does not include owning or operating a residence. It means that those who would like to immigrate to the US by purchasing a place for a residence cannot obtain EB-5 visa.

In addition, to get the EB 5 visa, the government also imposes job creating and capital investment requirements.

What are the Job Creating Requirements?

An investor also has to create or preserve in a troubled business 10 full time jobs within the 2 years of the investor’s admission as a conditional permanent resident. The jobs may be direct or indirect, but indirect jobs must be connected to the regional investment center.

Finally, the most important requirement, is the amount of the capital that needs to be invested by the potential immigrant.

Capital Investment Requirements

This amount must be a minimum of $900,000 USD if the investor is investing in a targeted employment area or rural area. The “normal” investment’s amount would be $1.8M USD. Capital does not include only cash, but can be counted towards inventory, tangible goods, property and other assets for which the investor is personally liable. The capital cannot come from unlawful sources.

This is just a very basic explanation for the EB-5 visa requirements. Should you have more questions about the requirements and process, please call our office at 917-885-2261.

14 August 2013
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