Chicago EB-5 Immigration Law Firm

Everything You Need to Know About EB-5 Visa

Find out what the EB-5 visa is, Why it has become one of the fastest growing visas, How to get started applying, and more.


What is the EB-5 Visa, How much does it cost and who qualifies?


The EB-5 investors can either invest directly into a new commercial business or they can invest through regional centers. The minimum that an investor can expect to spend is $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). Most investors look to invest in TEA to qualify for the lower minimum investment requirement. 


Investors can qualify for the EB-5 visa if they have the investment capital needed and can prove that the funds they are using to invest came from lawful sources. An investor must invest in a project that will create 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. If the investor chooses the direct investment program, the jobs created must be directly related to the project. If the investor goes through the regional center program, the jobs created can be indirect or induced jobs. 

High Unemployment Areas

  • Projects located in high unemployment areas require a lower investment amount – $900,000.
  • Up to 10,000 visas are allocated each year to investors in the EB-5 Program.
  • The minimum capital investment amount within a high unemployment area is $900,000.
  • The minimum capital investment amount outside a high unemployment/Urban area is $1,800,000.
  • Create or preserve 10 full-time jobs in the United States
  •  Green Cards to investor, Investor’s spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and unmarried adopted children under the age of 21

Steps after deciding to invest in an EB-5 project Through EB-5 Regional Center

  1. Investor will retain attorney and complete a survey of questions by Regional Center
  2. Investor will complete attorney questionnaire. Provide detailed source of funds for the investment to lawyer. We will then analyze the source of funds and request a detailed list of documents to be collected for the source of funds. Tax returns for 3 years, bank statements for 3 years, etc.
  3. Investor begins to send lawyer requested detailed source of fund documents. Lawyer will review the source of fund documents and may request more documents and provide feedback. Lawyer will begin preparing the source of income packet.
  4. Lawyer begins preparing USCIS forms G-28 and I-526 and sends them to investor for review and signature. 
  5. Investor will then be asked to wire funds to Regional Center or to a trust account or escrow

    account. After the wiring of funds, investor will send path of funds documents for the transferred funds.

    These documents relate to the funds being transferred into Regional Center’s escrow account.

    complete at this step.

  6. Lawyer will collect all necessary immigration documents, investment and financial documents. The I-526 will be filed with USCIS. 

  7. Lawyer will retrieve Escrow receipt letter and related documents. The source of income packet will be

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Using a regional center streamlines the immigration process. With Regional Center projects, USCIS has already pre-approved the projects. The sole remaining issues are tracing the funds from the investor to the regional center and proving the lawful source of the investor’s funds. This eliminates the need to deal with the many complicated issues involved in a direct EB-5 petition for which the investment enterprise has not been pre-approved. 

  • The investor can live anywhere he or she wishes in the U.S.;
  • The investor can work anywhere he or she wants; or not work.
  • What is it you want- if for your real estate development, then you have to go through regional center to approve you

EB-5 Investment Requirement: NON-REGIONAL CENTER

  • EB-5 investments are either $800,000 or $1,900,000
  • Must prove all the necessary jobs will be created within 2.5 years. The regional center can qualify based on in-direct employment creation within a community.
  • Investor must show that they will be engaged in the “management” of the project as opposed to “purely passive role” required through investing in the regional center. Regional center investments are limited partnerships or LLC’s and the rights of the investor will be provided by the limited partnership agreement.
  • Investor must prove the lawful source of his funds. This is the same for individual and regional center EB-5 petitions
  • Most I-526 petitions are approved within three to six months of filing. Since the quota is current for this

    category of immigrants, within three to six months of filing of the I-526, the investor and his or her

    family who are in the U.S. are able to file applications for permanent residence, employment

    authorization and advance parole travel documents. For investors and families outside of the U.S., the

    procedure for issuance of immigrant visas generally averages 5 to 9 months

STEPS:

  1. As above, Lawyer will work with investor on documenting lawful source of income, and request detailed source of funds for the investment
  2. Investor will choose investment project based on due diligence, which we provide, and financial due diligence, which is provided by a financial professional.
  3. I-526 EB-5 petition will be filed by lawyer. Average wait time is 12 months
  4. After approval of I-526, lawyer will file Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing, depending on where the investor is living. 

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