Fernando Valley Los Angeles CA Immigration Attorney Donald M. Pecchia, formerly the author and founder of the newspaper column, “Ask the Immigration Lawyer,” offers a FREE, INITIAL CONSULTATION to help you determine your options for immigrating to the United States or if already in the U.S. in legal status changing that status. Simply CLICK HERE or call him at (818) 963-8238 between the hours of 10 A.M. and 6 P.M. (PST), Monday through Friday, to schedule a consultation.
Recently, I have been receiving calls concerning Employment based visas. Given that interest, I will discuss briefly and in general terms one of those categories. There are other investment and business, immigrant and non-immigrant visas which may be options if you meet certain requirements.
One way in which the U.S. provides for wealthy individuals to invest is the U.S. economy and become legal permanent residents is called the employment Fifth Preference or EB-5 immigration visa. It has been much attention lately, particularly from residents of China. Residents from many different countries may be eligible for the EB-5 if certain requirements can be met. An individual can either get a greencard alone or along with a spouse and minor children (under 21 years old). An individual and his or her family can become a permanent resident immediately upon entry to the U.S., or if already in the U.S. and in legal status, adjust to Permanent Resident. “Eligible” individuals include those who:
(1) Establish a new business by:
- Creating a new business;
- Purchasing an existing business with simultaneous or subsequent restructuring or reorganization resulting in a new enterprise; or
- Investment of an amount required to that a substantial change, such as an expansion of an existing business by 40 percent of pre-investment jobs or network, or retaining all existing employees in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and
In general, the applicants can invest directly in a new commercial enterprise or in a regional center. There are several types of business entities in which an EB-5 visa applicant can invest.
(2) Who have invested – or who are in the process of investing – in a new commercial enterprise:
- At least $1,000,000 (one million dollars); or
- At least $500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars) where the investment is being made in a “targeted employment area,” (a “TEA” project must either be in a rural area or in an area that has high unemployment in order to qualify for TEA designation),
which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 50 percent of the national average rate or rural area as designated by the Office of Management & Budget, or a Regional Center.
The EB-5 investment can take the form of cash, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness, tangible property, or cash equivalents and is valuated based on U.S. dollar fair-market value. The EB-5 investor must at “at risk” for his investment.
(3) Whose engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the U.S. economy:
- Create full-time employment for no fewer than 10 qualified individuals that are U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other immigrants authorized to be employed, other than yourself, your spouse, your sons or daughters, or any non-immigrant aliens; or
- Maintain the number of employees at no less than the pre-investment level for at period of at least two years, where the capital is made in a “troubled business,” which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost at least twenty percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.
The jobs must be created within the two year period after the investor has received their conditional permanent residency. In some cases, the investor must be able to prove that their investment led to the creation of direct jobs for employees who work directly within the commercial entity that received the investment. However, the EB-5 investor may only have to show that 10 full-time indirect or induced jobs were created if the investment was made in a regional center. Indirect jobs are those created in businesses that supply goods or services to the EB-5 project. Induced jobs are jobs created within the greater community as a result of income being spent by EB-5 project employees.
The EB-5 as a direct investor in an individual business can have a day-to-day involvement or be in a policy making position in the business. For the EB-5 investor in a Regional Center Investment, the investor will be a limited partner and not involved in the business.
The EB-5 investor and immediate family members receive conditional permanent residence after approval of the I-526 – Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. After two years, the EB-5 investor files to remove the condition of permanent residence by showing the certain conditions have been met.
Green cards for investors are limited in number, to 10,000 per year. Of these, 3,000 are reserved for investors in rural areas or areas of high unemployment. If more than 10,000 people were to apply per year, you would be placed on a waiting list based on your Priority Date (the day you filed the first portion of your application).
The information provided is general in nature and not intended, and should not be considered legal advice. Filing as an EB-5 Investor is a complex undertaking. There are other requirements not addressed above. See the disclaimer section of this site Click Here.
There are other types of visas that may be more suitable, and preferable, for various individuals. Immigration Attorney Pecchia provides a FREE, INITIAL CONSULTATION to discuss your options. You can schedule a consultation with him by calling (818) 963-8238 or emailing him at dpecchia@AsktheImmigrationLawyer.com.