In a few short words, the EB-5 Investor Visa is a type of visa issued by the United States for people who invest at least $1 million, or $500,000 in a high-unemployment area, to create or protect at least ten jobs for Americans.
It’s the one visa that is covered by the Immigration Act of 1990. It is another way for foreigners to secure a green card in the country.
In the past, investors could only get a visa if they setup an entirely new enterprise or a startup company along the lines of Uber and other exotic businesses, but over the years this has changed to allow applicants to invest in an existing enterprise.
When the foreign national investor’s papers are approved, he and his family are granted a conditional permanent residence that’s valid for 2 years. Within 90 days, evidence must be submitted to prove that the investor has made the full investment and that 10 jobs have been created or preserved.
In 1992, Congress produced a pilot program for stimulating business activities and job growth, while permitting qualified aliens to become authorized permanent citizens. Under this program, a foreign investors can invest inside a pre-approved economic regional center or economic hub (collectively known as Targeted Employment Area). Investing inside a pre-approved center allowed investors to directly count the number of jobs created, which means that an investor can instantly know from first glance if the ten-job requirement has been created.
A Targeted Employment is a place where there’s a population of at least 20,000 and where the unemployment rate is 150% that of the national average. If an area is not a recognized TEA, an investor can gather and submit his own data to the immigration service so that a TEA determination can be made, however, the immigration service itself is not responsible for that.
Since the United States employs a worldwide taxation system where all national-based and overseas assets of its citizens are taxed, once a foreigner becomes a permanent resident, all his assets overseas are also taxed.
In recent years, thanks to the EB-5 Investor Visa, Las Vegas has enjoyed a fresh injection of life into its economy. The first project made in the area using EB-5 money was the Downtown Grand Casino, followed by SLS, known before as the Sahara Hotel. Other projects that followed include World Resorts, Clarion Hotel, Dynasty Hotel Casino, and Lucky Dragon.
And there are companies that are actively soliciting foreign investors. A very good example is Silverstein Properties, which marketed its Four Seasons Restaurant in downtown Manhattan as an EB-5 investment opportunity. Other TEA that have received EB-5 investor funding include the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, and the New York Wheel, among others.
If you are interested in investing in the United States, you can and should do it through the EB-5 Visa. It’s relatively easy to do when you decide to invest in a designated TEA project that needs a fresh infusion of funding.