Deciding that you want to apply for the EB-5 investor visa may leave you with a few questions. Navigating the application process can be tricky without the right information. In late 2019, there were updates made to EB-5 regulations that changed the previous requirements and raised the minimum EB-5 investment.

Keep reading for answers to some of the most pertinent EB-5 investor visa questions you may have. Need more information and can’t find it in this article? Click here to contact experienced Project Representatives for further help breaking down the EB-5 visa.

What is the EB-5 investor visa?

The EB-5 investor visa allows foreign nationals to gain United States permanent residency through capital investment. It can also be referred to as the entrepreneur visa or the immigrant investor visa. This visa type was created in 1990 to stimulate the American economy through foreign investment and job creation. Investments are made into approved projects (usually real estate or manufacturing) and must create at least 10 jobs for American citizens and residents.

What is the minimum EB-5 visa investment?

The current investment minimum is USD$900,000 after changes in regulation in November of 2019. Only EB-5 applicants who have invested in TEA projects may invest the minimum amount. Those applicants whose projects are non-TEA must invest $1.8 million USD.

What is a TEA project?

TEA stands for Target Employment Area. These areas must have an unemployment rate that is more than 150% of the national rate. They also may not be within a metropolitan statistical area and should lie past the outer boundaries of a city with a population of 20,000+. New regulations state that only the Department of Homeland Security can designate areas as TEA.

What are the visa requirements?

EB-5 visa applicants should be 18 years of age or older and hold citizenship in a country other than the United States. The applicant should ideally also have a clean criminal record and be able to pass any requested drug or background tests.

Are there any visa restrictions?

There are no real restrictions for applicants to the EB-5 visa. It is advised that the applicant is over 18 years of age. This is to ensure that the applicant is of legal age to sign and authorize the project and financial documentation. Unsure of which family member should apply for the EB-5 visa? Working with an experienced regional center will help you determine which family member should apply as the visa holder.

What is an EB-5 regional center?

An EB-5 regional center is a United States government-approved institution aimed at connecting EB-5 applicants with approved projects. Each regional center will be affiliated with different approved projects. There is quite a lot of financial information that must be included with the EB-5 application. This is to satisfy the job creation requirement and other important data. An EB-5 regional center compiles all necessary data and helps guide the applicant during the application process.

What is a conditional green card?

Each EB-5 visa holder is issued a conditional green card which signifies their permanent residency. This green card is considered conditional for two years after issue. The visa holder is eligible for status adjustment and can apply to have the conditionality of their visa status removed after two years. Visa holders can live, work, and study freely within the United States even while their visa is under conditional status.

Can dependents be included on the visa application?

EB-5 visa holders can include their spouse and any unmarried dependents under 21 on their application. These dependents will also receive conditional green cards on EB-5 visa approval. They can later adjust their status in the same manner as the visa holder.

What funding sources can be used for the EB-5 investment?

The funding for EB-5 investments can be gathered from any number of places. EB-5 applicants can use monetary gifts, business or personal loans, business revenue, stocks and bonds, and/or inheritance to amass their EB-5 funds. Each funding source must be proved to be lawful and legal. Applicants should be sure that they are certain of the origin of any funds they acquire from external sources, such as inheritance or monetary gifts. There must be extensive proof that the source of the funds is legal and lawful. This verification is important even if these funds have been acquired legally by the EB-5 applicant.

What are the benefits of an EB-5 investor visa?

There are countless benefits to applying for and receiving the EB-5 investor visa. The EB-5 visa is the fastest immigration option for those interested in permanent U.S. immigration at the moment. Other visa types or paths to residency can take over 10 years from the date of application to the date of receipt or approval. There is also a range of requirements and restrictions around other visa types that are not applicable for the EB-5 investor visa.

EB-5 applicants do not have to have employment or familial ties to the United States. Once an applicant is of the appropriate age (ideally 18 or over) and has the funds necessary for the investment they are likely to be eligible for visa application. An applicant can be directly involved with the running of their project, which some may desire. Using a regional center allows an applicant to take a more backseat position regarding their project. This means that their investment can be made with very little responsibility for the management and running of their chosen project if any at all.