EB-5 PROGRAM OVERVIEW
- The EB-5 program, administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), was created in 1991 to encourage foreign investment in the United States.
- In 1990 Congress created the employment-based 5th preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category. The EB-5 offers 5,000 "green cards" (permanent resident status) annually to immigrants who invest in U.S. businesses or economic development projects that benefit the economy and create or save jobs.
- The EB-5 program requires that an investor contribute $1,000,000 ($500,000 for either rural areas or areas of high unemployment) to a commercial enterprise that creates 10 jobs in the United States.
- In order for the foreign investment to be eligible, the investment must be made to a regional center approved by USCIS. A Regional Center is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by USCIS; focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation or preservation of jobs and increased domestic capital investment.
- The program is projected to achieve $1 billion in total aggregate immigrant investment per year by the end of the calendar year in 2009, and in excess of 20,000 new jobs created annually in the U.S. in 2009 and beyond.