EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visas

Virginia Immigration Attorney Explains the EB-5 Visa

The Immigration and Nationality Act establishes five different categories of employment immigration visas, the last of which is reserved for foreign nationals who hope to immigrate to the United States for the purposes of investing in a business or other enterprise. Relatively few people from around the world are capable of satisfying the strict requirements for this type of visa; in fact, only 7.1 percent of the total number of employment-based visas was made available for immigrant investors. Far fewer than the 9,940 EB-5 visas that are available through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are typically granted in any given year. According to statistics provided by the Department of Homeland Security, only 64 EB-5 visas were given out in 2003, while the highest number of visas granted in the past decade was 3,688.

Immigrant Investor Visa Eligibility

In order to qualify for an EB-5 visa, you must be planning to make a substantial investment of capital in a new enterprise that will create new jobs for U.S. workers. The investment must a minimum of $1 million, though this figure may be as low as $500,000 if you are investing in a rural area or an area where unemployment rates are high. Furthermore, the investment must be expected to result in the creation of at least 10 new full-time positions within the next 2 years. There are, however, certain variations to these basic requirements. For example, rather than creating entirely new employment positions, the investment can be one that will save the jobs of workers whose employment would otherwise be in jeopardy as a result of the threatened failure of the business.

What qualifies as a "new enterprise?"

The definition of a "new enterprise" is far more generous than you might think: A business may have been founded as far in the past as November 29, 1990 to be eligible. Even if it is older than that, it may qualify if your investment will involve a restructuring or reorganization that causes an increase of 40 percent in net worth or the number of employees. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for an EB-5 visa, contact Fayad Law, P.C. now for a consultation with a Virginia immigration attorney from our team. Our firm serves clients internationally, as well as throughout Virginia and North Carolina. We can help you explore all of your options and help you pursue a course of action for achieving your immigration goals.