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Since 1990, the EB-5 investor program has gradually increased in popularity in the United States over the years. Initially, not that many people—including prospective foreign investors from China, India and Africa—knew about this glorious opportunity to become a legal citizen of the United States. That is not the case anymore, especially during the last (5) years. The demand for EB-5 visas seems to have reached new heights considering the huge spike in new hotel and real estate developments and crowdfunding platforms operating in the United States. In addition, a lot more real estate developers and issuers have been actively pursuing foreign investors overseas by flying out to promote their project proposals in person. As a result, there has been an increase in applications for EB-5 visas— which led to a cap of 10,000 applications being set in the United States.
What is an EB-5 visa?
The EB-5 visa program is a process that allows foreign immigrant investors to become permanent legal residents of the United States by performing and satisfying certain conditions. If these conditions are satisfied, that particular immigrant investor will receive a visa (equivalent to a green card) that will allow them to live in the U.S. To be eligible for an EB-5 visa, the immigrant investor must invest at the minimum $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (high unemployment or rural area) or $1 million in a new commercial entity that produces a for-profit business.
Furthermore, through this investment, there are more conditions that need special attention from prospective foreign investors. First, foreign investors should be aware that they must be able to demonstrate that their investment created or preserved at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified employees within the United States. Secondly, if foreign investors can provide proof that 10 full-time jobs were created within two years, the investor and his family (spouse and children under the age of 21) will be eligible to have the temporary restrictions removed from their status and to become permanent residents of the United States.
What’s so special about the EB-5 visa?
In addition to being a proven foreign investment program, the EB-5 visa program has the potential to inject some life into the United States economy as well. For starters, the money associated with the million dollar investment will contribute to the funding of new business entities in the U.S. In addition, these respective foreign investors will own a share in that particular project or company they choose to invest in. And lastly, there will be an influx of jobs into the U.S. economy— thus allowing for the unemployment rate to decrease and for the Americans to sustain their quality of living.