EB-5: Immigration through Investment by Alien Entrepreneur
  • Employer - Not Required
  • Labor Certification - Not Required
Under EB-5 category, 10,000 visa are available annually to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.

Pilot Program
Out of 10,000 investor visas available per year, 5,000 are set aside for those applying under a pilot program involving an USCIS-designated "Regional Center".

A "Regional Center"
  • Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service;

  • Focuses on a specific geographic area within the U.S.; and

  • Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.

"Alien investors" must:
  • Demonstrate that a "qualified investment" (see below) is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center; and

  • Show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created either directly or indirectly by the new Comerica enterprise revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program.

An investor can either get a green card alone or along with the spouse and unmarried minor children. Alien must have either already invested or actively in the process of investing the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise established by them. It must further be demonstrated that the investment will benefit the U.S. economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the U.S.

In general, "eligible individuals" include those:
  1. Who establish a new commercial enterprise by:
    • creating a new business;

    • purchasing an existing business with simultaneous or subsequent restructuring or reorganization resulting in a new commercial enterprise; or

    • investment of the amount required so that a substantial change, such as expansion of an existing business by 40 percent of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or retaining all existing employees in a troubled business that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months; and

  2. Who have invested - or who are actively in the process of investing - in a new commercial enterprise:
    • at least $1,000,000 (one million dollars), or

    • at least $500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars) where the investment is being made in a "targeted employment area", which is an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 50 percent of the national average rate or a rural area as designated by OMB.

      Investor visas in such category are limited to maximum of 3,000 per year.

  3. Who engagement in a new commercial enterprise will benefit the U.S. economy and:
    • create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 qualified individuals that are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized to be employed, other than yourself, your spouse, your sons or daughters, or any nonimmigrant aliens; or

    • maintain the number of existing employees at no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years, where the capital investment is being made in a "trouble business", which is a business that has been in existence for at least two years and that has lost 20 percent of its net worth over the past 12 to 24 months.
  • Application fee must be sent with the application.
    There is no biometric fee.

    Fee details

  • Form I-526, Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

  • The following evidence must be filed with your petition:
    • Evidence that you have established a lawful business entity under the laws of the jurisdiction in the United States in which it is located, or, if you have made an investment in an existing business, evidence that your investment has caused a substantial (at least 40 percent) increase in the net worth of the business, the number of employees, or both.

      Such evidence shall consist of copies of articles of incorporation, certificate of merger or consolidation, partnership agreement, certificate of limited partnership, joint venture agreement, business trust agreement, or other similar organizational document; a certificate evidencing authority to do business in a state or municipality, or if such is not required, a statement to that effect; or evidence that the required amount of capital was transferred to an existing business resulting in a substantial increase in the net worth or number of employees, or both.

      This evidence must be in the form of stock purchase agreements, investment agreements, certified financial reports, payroll records or other similar instruments, agreements or documents evidencing the investment and the resulting substantial change.

    • Evidence, if applicable, that your enterprise has been established in a targeted employment area. A targeted employment area is defined as a rural area or an area which has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. A rural area is an area not within a metropolitan statistical area or not within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more.

    • Evidence that you have invested or are actively in the process of investing the amount required for the area in which the business is located.

      Such evidence may include, but need not be limited to, copies of bank statements, evidence of assets that have been purchased for use in the enterprise, evidence of property transferred from abroad for use in the enterprise, evidence of monies transferred or committed to be transferred to the new commercial enterprise in exchange for shares of stock, any loan or mortgage, promissory note, security agreement, or other evidence of borrowing that is secured by assets of the petitioner.

    • Evidence that capital is obtained through lawful means. The petition must be accompanied, as applicable, by: foreign business registration records, tax returns of any kind filed within the last five years in or outside the United States, evidence of other sources of capital, or certified copies of any judgment, pending governmental civil or criminal actions, or private civil actions against the petitioner from any court in or outside the United States within the past 15 years.

    • Evidence that the enterprise will create at least ten full-time positions for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or aliens lawfully authorized to be employed (except yourself, your spouse, sons, or daughters, and any nonimmigrant aliens). Such evidence may consist of copies of relevant tax records, Forms I-9, or other similar documents, if the employees have already been hired, or a business plan showing when such employees will be hired within the next two years.

    • Evidence that you are or will be engaged in the management of the enterprise, either through the exercise of day-to-day managerial control or through policy formulation. Such evidence may include a statement of your position title and a complete description of your duties, evidence that you are a corporate officer or hold a seat on the board of directors, or, if the new enterprise is a partnership, evidence that you are engaged in either direct management or policy-making activities.

Filing The Application
Application filing instructions

If the new commercial enterprise is located, or will principally be doing business in: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia or West Virginia, mail the petition to:
USCIS Texas Service Center
P.O. Box 852135
Mesquite, TX 75185-2135

If the new commercial enterprise is located, or will principally be doing business in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin or Wyoming, mail the petition to:
USCIS California Service Center
P.O. Box 10140
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-0526

Conditional Green Card
Once the petition I-526 is approved, the alien may become a conditional resident either by Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing.

Conditional green card expires within 2 years.

In order to become a lawful permanent resident, eligible investors must file a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Form I-829 must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of an Alien Investor's admission to the United States as a conditional resident.