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July 19, 2017

EB-5 Visa: Immigrant Investor Visas Explored

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More than 20% of the 2016 Inc. 5000 CEOs are immigrants, many of which required immigrant investor visas to start their businesses. These American companies are growing quickly, and paving the way for innovation in several industries (science, technology, and real estate development are but a few).

More than 20% of the 2016 Inc. 5000 CEOs are immigrants, many of which required immigrant investor visas to start their businesses. These American companies are growing quickly, and paving the way for innovation in several industries (science, technology, and real estate development are but a few). If you are a foreign entrepreneur and have aspirations to join the ranks of these and other growing industries in America, read on for important information regarding Immigrant Investor Visas.

The Basics of Immigrant Investor Visas (Specifically, the EB-5 Visa):

You are eligible to move permanently to the United States with your family if:

  • You invest a required amount of capital
  • The investment is made in a new business
  • The investment would maintain (for businesses in trouble) 10 full-time employees or create full-times jobs for at least 10 employees in the United States.

Observations:

Capital: The general minimum requirement for capital to be invested is $1 million. However, for high unemployment areas (at least 150 percent of the national average rate) or a rural area, the minimum investment required is $500,000

Business: To qualify as a troubled business, the business must have been created for at least 2 years, and during the 12 or 24-month period prior to the visa application, incurred a net loss of at least 20% of the company net worth prior to the loss. Only US citizens, lawful permanent residents or immigrants authorized to work in the United states qualify as employees. The criteria for full time employment is a position that requires a minimum of 35 working hours per week.
Investment: You can invest individually or through a larger investor pool via a regional center (RC).  Applicants have the choice of investing individually, or they can choose to work through a larger investor pool via regional center (RC). A regional center is a federally approved third-party intermediary that “connects foreign investors with developers in need of funding, and takes a commission. One advantage of investing via a center is that jobs may be created indirectly through economic activity, as opposed to a direct investment, where the investment vehicle must directly employ 10 U.S. workers.

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