All About EB-5 Investor Visa Program


This article provides information on the eligibility requirements for the EB-5 investor visa program. The program focuses on investing in a new commercial enterprise, active involvement in the company, and national security screenings. The application process is complex, so learning all the information necessary to make the best decision for your situation is essential.

Investment In A New Commercial Enterprise

The EB-5 investor visa program allows foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency by investing in a new commercial enterprise in the United States. To qualify, an investor must create at least 40 jobs. These jobs must be permanent, full-time, and must be created by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The investor must also participate in the management activities of the business.

To be eligible for an EB-5 investor visa, the proposed commercial enterprise must be primarily located in an area with a high unemployment rate. An applicant must identify the census tract number using a map to determine whether an area is eligible. In Maryland, applicants can find qualifying tracts using the Census Share or ACS-Only methods. The method used may vary slightly from state to state.

To qualify for a green card under the EB-5 investor visa program, an investor must invest a minimum of $500,000 in a business that creates jobs. The investment must also be in an area that meets the USCIS’s defined targets. An immigration attorney can help investors understand their eligibility requirements. 

Active Involvement In The Company

The EB-5 investor visa program requires direct investors to participate in the day-to-day operations of their investment company. This means they need managerial and policy-forming power. Several business structures can facilitate this. Selecting the right one will determine the level of involvement an investor needs to maintain. Some business structures will allow the investor to delegate daily operations to others or rely on the expertise of other employees. The EB-5 investor visa program requires a minimum of 10 full-time U.S. jobs, although indirect jobs do not count. A direct investment must also create at least 10 full-time jobs. Some additional restrictions and requirements apply to direct investments. Furthermore, active management is required. However, a regional center can offer a more flexible and passive investment option.

National Security Screenings

The EB-5 investor visa program requires stringent background screenings and vetting before a person can qualify to participate. Applicants must demonstrate that they are investing lawfully and have the necessary funds to make the required investment. The screening process is similar to the one required for other visa categories. Applicants must submit the same application form. Although some risks are involved in the program, the screening process has been designed to reduce these risks. The process includes detailed proof of the funds’ legal source. The government and banks will check these funds to ensure they are not used to sponsor criminals or terrorists. The screening process is also designed to minimize the possibility of money laundering or fraud.

Background Checks

You need to take certain steps to ensure that you’re a good fit for the EB-5 investor visa program. This includes ensuring you have the required investment amount and personal background documentation. The government has stringent requirements regarding this program, and there are no exceptions. Background checks for EB-5 visa applicants are conducted against various government databases. These checks aim to identify national security threats and people on watchlists. This means that an applicant’s name is matched against databases maintained by the FBI, state and local governments, and security agencies. Then, the applicant’s file is sent to an analyst who uses the information to verify that they do not appear on any lists.

USCIS says all EB-5 investors are subject to a background check when their petition is submitted to the USCIS. Those with clean criminal records have little to worry about, but those with complicated political histories should seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney.