EB-5 Program Extended Through 2015
Immigration attorneys agree, the EB-5 program is likely to be around for at least several more years. The EB-5 program, which was launched in the 1990s as a way to attract foreign investors to invest in U.S. based enterprises, was set to expire in 2012 but has been overwhelmingly renewed for another three years by Congress.
The program, which trades the right to live and work in the U.S. for a substantial investment in the U.S. economy, has brought hundreds of millions of dollars to the U.S. since the program was launched. The EB-5 program sets aside 10,000 visas per year just for foreign investors, but investors and their investments are required to meet strict requirements before an EB-5 visa will be granted.
EB-5 Program Requirements
To qualify for the chance to receive an EB-5 investor visa, a foreign investor has to invest at least $500,000 into a qualified U.S. based venture. The funds are required to create 10 jobs for American citizens and must have been invested or be in the process of being invested into the qualifying venture before an EB-5 visa will be issued. For the purpose of getting an EB-5 visa, “in the process of being invested” means that the investor has made a substantial step forward in the investment process – mere preparations to invest do not meet this threshold.
If the investment fails to create the 10 required jobs, or if the investor in any way fails to maintain the conditions of the EB-5 visa, the visa may be cancelled by the government and the right to live in the U.S. revoked.
Perks for Investors
Returns on EB-5 investments are relatively low at about 8%, but most investors are satisfied with even less – around 1 or 2%. For the foreign investor, the investment isn’t made in the hopes of a windfall profit, it is made for the chance to live in the U.S. In addition to gaining residency for themselves, EB-5 investors can also gain residency for their spouses and children aged 21 and younger through the EB-5 program.
EB-5 Visa Application Tips
For best results, foreign investors are encouraged to seek the advice of an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney. With only 10,000 visas available each year, and the number of foreign investors seeking EB-5 visas steadily on the rise, filling out an application wrong or failing to meet all of the required application requirements could result in a visa denial and prolong the visa process by several months. With an experienced EB-5 attorney by their side, foreign investors can be sure to have the best possible chance of earning an EB-5 visa. Attorneys know the ins and outs of immigration law and can advise their clients with the most up to date information on their legal options. By reviewing the facts of an individual case, an EB-5 attorney can provide custom visa advice to foreign investors and guide them through the visa process from beginning to end.