Qualifying for an EB-5 investor visa

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2020 | immigration law

Immigration looks vastly different today than it did a year ago or even a decade ago. Nonetheless, there remain vast reasons for immigrants to come to the United States; many of them for business and investment purposes. In fact, the creation of the immigrant investor program allows for job creation and capital investment in America, which is why it is important to maintain foreign investors in the U.S. In order to do so, a certain number of EB-5 visas are set aside specifically for those seeking to invest in commercial enterprises.

EB-5 visa

In order to qualify for an EB-5 investor visa, one must invest in a new commercial enterprise. This enterprise must have been established after November 29, 1990; however, if it was established on or before November 29, 1990, it must have been purchased and restructured or reorganized in such a way that it results in a new commercial enterprise or is expanded through investments that result in at least a 40% increase in the net worth of the enterprise or the number of employees.

For the purposed of this requirement, a commercial enterprise refers to any for-profit business activity that is formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business. This includes a sole proprietorship, partnership, holding company, joint venture, corporation, business trust or another entity that may be publicly or privately owned.


Two main requirements exist for an EB-5 visa. This includes the creation of jobs and the generation of capital investments. With regards to the job creation, the new commercial enterprise must create at least 10 full-time positions for qualified employees. For capital investments, this refers to cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents and any indebtedness secured by assets owned by immigrant investors. Before November 21, 2019, the minimum investment amount as $1,000,000, the targeted employment area investment amount was $500,000 and the high employment area investment amount was $1,000,000. On or after November 21, 2019, the minimum investment is $1,800,000, the targeted employment area investment amount is $900,000 and the high employment area investment amount is $1,800,000.

While there are designated forms and steps to move forward with the visa application process, it can be challenging to navigate the process. Whether it is language barriers or the limited understanding of the legal system in the U.S., it is important to gain assistance when necessary. This not only helps ensure that one completes the processes successfully but is also prepared to address any pitfalls that occur along the way.