EB-5 Visa - Green Card for Investment Immigration
Fifth Preference, Employment-Based Immigration
- The EB-5 Investment Green Card Visa Immigration Process
- Eligibility for EB-5 Investment Immigration Green Card
- Preference Categories & Visa Numbers
- Apply for EB-5 Green Card - Immigrant Investor Visa
- Check my EB-5 Visa Application Status
- How to Appeal if My EB-5 Visa is Denied
- HELP! for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa
We have a program to assist you. See EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
The EB-5 Investment Green Card Visa Immigration Process
An immigrant (also called a "lawful permanent resident" and Green Card holder) is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become an immigrant, and obtain a Green Card, based on the fact that you are making a qualifying capital investment in the United States, you must go through a multi-step process for an EB-5 visa:
- You must be eligible for lawful permanent residence (a Green Card) based on your investment.
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant visa petition, USCIS Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur),for you. You may file this petition for yourself.
- The State Department must give you an immigrant visa number, even if you are already in the United States. When you receive an immigrant visa number, it means that an immigrant visa has been assigned to you.
- If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available for you. For more details, see Green Card: Become a Permanent Resident While in the U.S. (Adjust Status) If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available for you, you must then go to the U.S. consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing.
Job Creation: Your investments in new commercial enterprises must benefit the U.S. economy and create full-time employment for at least ten worker-authorized employees, excluding you and your immediate relatives, and persons in nonimmigrant status. Saving ten jobs may also qualify if the qualifying investment is in a troubled business.
Amount and Nature of Assets: The capital investment must be $1,000,000 in high employment areas and $500,000 in targeted employment areas. The capital may consist of cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, and easily convertible cash equivalents.
Commercial Enterprise: Any for profit business can qualify, including sole proprietorships, limited or general partnerships, corporations, business trusts, joint ventures, holding companies and wholly owned for-profit commercial subsidiaries, mutual investment funds, etc. An existing commercial enterprise purchased by you can also qualify without necessity for reorganization or reincorporating, if your infusion of capital increases the business' net worth or the number of qualifying U.S. workers employed by 40%. Pre-existing commercial enterprises also qualify if you save ten U.S. jobs by taking over a troubled business that has operated for-at-least two years and has incurred a net loss of at least 20% of net worth during one of the two years preceding your investment.
Location: The only location criteria apply to $500,000 investments in targeted employment areas, which include rural areas identified by the U.S. census or the Office of Management and Budget and areas certified by a State government to be experiencing average unemployment of at least 150% of the national average.
Capital Contribution: You must make a qualifying investment using personally owned and legally obtained assets or indebtedness secured by personal assets (i.e. not secured by the qualifying commercial enterprise).
Management: You must be engaged in management of the enterprise, either through daily managerial control or through policy formulation as a corporate officer, director, or partner.
Multiple Investors: Each multiple investor in the same enterprise will qualify if he or she meets the minimal capital and job creation requirements. In cases where not all multiple investors seek to immigrate to the United States based on the investment, the job creation requirement can be met by those investors who seek to immigrate (based on the joint investment) by apportioning the total number of jobs created among the immigrating investors rather than among all investors. (Note: This apportionment among joint investors does not apply to the capital requirement.)
Preference Categories & Visa Numbers
If your immigrant visa petition is approved, you must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the preference system, a method of distributing the limited number of immigrant visa numbers available each year.
Apply for EB-5 Green Card - Immigrant Investor Visa
You may petition for yourself, by filing USCIS Form I-526 with the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction over the location of the business (currently limited to the Texas and California Service Centers). Your business creation, level of investment, source of funds, employment creation, and management are included in the initial examination.
If your petition is approved, you will receive conditional immigrant status. You must apply to remove conditional status during the 90 days before the second anniversary of the date you received this status, or you will automatically lose your permanent resident Green Card status. File USCIS Form I-829 to have the conditions removed. Your business and investment will be re-examined to determine compliance with regulatory requirements, including capital committed and employment created. Should the endeavor prove fruitful and successful, the conditions will be removed.
Immigration forms are available online, or by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by submitting an online request to receive immigration forms by mail. Further information on forms, filing fees, and fee waivers is available in USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations.
Check My EB-5 Visa Application Status
You may check the status of your application or case online, by phone, or by contacting an appropriate USCIS office. For details see USCIS Case Status: Check USCIS Case Status for Visas and Immigration. You may also want to review US Visa Wait Times and USCIS Immigration Processing Times. For more assistance, see HELP! (below).
How to Appeal if My EB-5 Visa is Denied
If the visa petition you filed is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal. For more information, see How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application (US Immigration, Green Card Denial).
- Have a specific question? To help you find an answer quickly, we have placed "Ask a Visa & Immigration Lawyer" boxes on this page. Simply type a question in any of the boxes to receive a response online from a visa and immigration lawyer.
- Foreignborn.com has a program to assist you. See EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
- Within the U.S., you may also contact your nearest USCIS District Office or Sub Office or call the national USCIS toll-free information service at 1-800-375-5283.
- Outside the U.S., you may also contact the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy.