Every year, the United States Congress offers immigrant visas to qualifying foreigner investors, in exchange for their capital investment contributions to new commercial enterprises and development projects. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) introduced the Employment Based 5th Preference Category (“EB-5”) visa, in order to stimulate the U.S. economy and promote growth in the U.S. job market. The EB-5 visa is available to foreign investors who meet certain investment requirements, based on amount of capital they are willing to provide and the targets of their investments.

There are 2 tiers of investment that may allow a foreign investor to qualify for an EB-5 visa. The first category requires evidence of a qualifying investment of at least $1 million, which has been invested in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. This category requires that an applicant demonstrate that his/her investment has created at least 10 jobs, and that other significant growth has resulted from that investment.

In the alternative, a limited number of visas are reserved for investors who invest their money in preapproved programs in “Regional Centers” where the minimum investment is reduced to $500,000. These Regional Centers seek to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and the generation of resulting domestic capital investment. While $1 million investors are required to demonstrate the direct creation of 10 U.S. jobs, individual control of the funds invested, active investment, and active management of the U.S. enterprise; Regional Center investment allows a showing of indirect job creation and there need not be active management of the enterprise by the foreign investor.

All EB-5 applicant investors must prove that the funds used to invest were obtained legally.

At Gavlin & Associates, P.C., we encourage investors seeking lawful permanent residence in the U.S. to consult with our firm. Gavlin & Associates is recognized for providing successful assistance to clients in navigating the complex EB-5 application process. Our firm will counsel you in proving both your own financial stability, as well as sustainability of the projects in which you hope to invest. Our experienced team of professionals will help you demonstrate that the funds to be invested are “at risk” as required for EB-5 investors, proving lawful acquisition and prospective viability of your source of funds, and advise you and your family members of alternative options to explore during your EB-5 visa’s preparation and processing.