EB-5 Investor Visa As a Path to Residency / Citizenship

The EB-5 investor visa offers a path to U.S. residency and eventual citizenship for foreign citizens who invest a substantial amount of capital in the U.S. economy. In general, the biggest requirements of the EB-5 visa program are that the capital must be invested in a new American enterprise and that the enterprise create at least 10 permanent jobs.

Certain other conditions will apply on a case by case basis, but, for the most part, these are the requirements that will apply to most EB-5 investors.

U.S. immigration policy is constantly changing and evolving, which is why its always best for a prospective EB-5 investor with questions about the application process to contact an experienced immigration attorney, however, one common question posed by foreign investors is whether or not they can invest in residential development. EB-5 rules are very clear when they state that an investor cannot use capital invested in a personal residence as the basis for an EB-5 investor visa, however, this rule does not limit investors from funding residential development projects for a strictly commercial purpose.

Does the Enterprise Qualify?

One hurdle that EB-5 investors may experience while they attempt to fund a residential development project is that the enterprise into which an investor invests must be one that will create at least 10 permanent jobs. In many cases, the jobs created by construction projects are not permanent – which may present difficulty for the investor in meeting the job creation requirement.

For a more detailed analysis on the viability of a residential development project serving as the basis for an EB-5 investor visa, foreign investors should contact an experienced immigration attorney who can sift through the facts of their case and give guidance on the investor’s visa options. Preferably, this guidance should be sought before any money is invested so the investor can ensure that the enterprise into which he or she is investing is one that will be recognized by the U.S. for the purpose of approving an EB-5 visa.

The short and simple answer to the residential development question is that the rules of the EB-5 visa program do not specifically block residential development from serving as a qualified enterprise for the purpose of getting the visa. The more complicated answer is that, in order to qualify, the residential development must meet the same qualifications as other enterprises under the program.

The EB-5 Investor Visa: A Win/Win for America

The EB-5 investor program is a win/win for both investors and the United States. Foreign investors get to experience a chance at the American dream, and America gets an investment in its economy and the creation of at least 10 new jobs for every investor approved. Before these benefits can be realized, however, foreign investors have to first meet certain requirements.

The best way to ensure the investment and visa application process go as smoothly as possible is for foreign investors to partner with a professional immigration attorney who can walk the investor through the EB-5 process from beginning to end.