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EB-5 Visas for Immigrant Investors

The EB-5 visa is a relatively new type of visa that was implemented by Congress in 1990. Its original intent was to boost job growth and the U.S. economy overall. Those who are granted visas in this category are called "investors" because they must be immigrating for the purpose of investing in a new commercial enterprise. There are strict qualification standards for what type of business meets "new commercial enterprise" standards.

The business or organization must be at least ONE of the following:

  1. Date of establishment after November 29, 1990
  2. Established after 11/29/90 but has either:
  3. Been bought out and restructured so that the company is essentially a new enterprise, or
  4. Been expanded due to various investments. These investments must have increased the size of the enterprise by 40 percent in net worth or total number of workers.

If you are investing in a new commercial enterprise, that enterprise must also be a for-profit organization. Non-profit and not-for-profit ventures will not quality an individual for this type of visa. This means that the business could be characterized as a partnership, a joint venture, a sole proprietorship or a related type of business structure.

Since the purpose of the EB-5 visa is to create new jobs in the U.S., the new commercial enterprise being invested in must be expected to create and sustain at least ten full-time employees. These employees must be American workers or fall under the category of permanent U.S. resident.

We represent individuals throughout Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Rockland County and Westchester County.

Direct and Indirect Job Creation Requirements

The new commercial enterprise that you are planning to invest in must also create direct or indirect jobs. The USCIS breaks down what is meant by direct and indirect jobs.

  • Direct Jobs: These are tangible jobs that are the obvious and natural result of the business' creation. These jobs are located within the actual enterprise the immigrant investor is investing in.
  • Indirect Jobs: These are jobs that are not directly created by the investment into the new commercial enterprise, but are in some way a result of that investment. According to the USCIS, "A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a regional center."

How much money do I have to invest to qualify?

First of all, the investment is calculated in terms of U.S. dollars rather than foreign currency. The assets must not create any indebtedness, which means that the investor must be investing actual capital (cash, inventory or other tangible assets). The investment money/assets must not have been obtained by illegal means. These investments will be prohibited.

The USCIS also establishes minimum amounts that foreign investors can invest in order to obtain an EB-5 visa:

  • For a general investment, the investor must meet the minimum monetary requirement of $1 million USD.
  • For an investment in a business located in either a high unemployment or rural area, the minimum monetary requirement is $500,000 USD.

If you are unsure whether your investment is a general or targeted investment, we encourage you to speak directly with a Queens immigration attorney at our firm.

How Musa-Obregon Law PC Can Help in Queens

The New York City employment immigration lawyers at our firm have what it takes to ensure that deserving workers and investors get employment visas. We understand that not everyone will qualify, but it is our goal to help all qualifying individuals gain access to the EB-5 visa. The immigration process in the United States can be complicated and present a number of issues. Our law firm is here to walk you through this process step-by-step so that you can file a successful petition for a visa.

To learn more, please don't hesitate to call our New York City immigration attorneys today!

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