The U.S. EB-5 visa program needs overseas applicants to invest a minimum amount of money from $500,000 to $1 million, depending on the location of project, and requires at least 10 jobs to be either created or preserved. When these criteria are met, the applicant and their family become eligible for a green card. There is an annual cap of 10,000 applications under the EB-5 program.
An EB-5 investor must invest the required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees.
For a new commercial enterprise not located within a regional centre, the full-time positions must be created directly by the new commercial enterprise to be counted. This means that the new commercial enterprise (or its wholly owned subsidiaries) must itself be the employer of the qualifying employees.
For a new commercial enterprise located within a regional centre, the full-time positions can be created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise. In the case of the regional centre program, permanent employment also means employment of a qualifying employee in a position that has been created indirectly that requires a minimum of 35 working hours per week. Direct jobs are those jobs that establish an employer-employee relationship between the new commercial enterprise and the persons it employs.
The amounts of $500,000 and $1,000,000 have not changed since 1990, and most recent proposals have attempted to raise these numbers to account for inflation. Unfortunately, the way in which an area is determined to be suitable for a EB-5 regional centre had a few loopholes, leading to some of the more recent scandalous abuses of the program, such as the fact that money from the EB-5 program has gone to fund prime properties in Manhattan and Beverly Hills, or more recently in Florida, than the poor and impoverished areas that this type of investment was supposed to improve. The vast majority (over 80%) of the people receiving these visas come from China, leading the program to be characterized as a scam to bring in wealthy Chinese. The sum was set at $1,000,000.
The EB5 program allows the foreign investor, their spouse and all unmarried children under the age of 21 to immigrate to the US Live, work or retire anywhere in the United States. The foreign investor and his family are not required to live in the area of their investment and may live or work anywhere in the US Study in the USA with reduced education costs. Foreign nationals who wish to study in the US receive great cost savings, as much as 75% by being a permanent resident, and can take advantage of in-state tuition rates, grants and scholarships.