Work Visa Attorney In Los Angeles

Short for employment-based fifth preference, the EB-5 visa program is available to foreign nationals who make qualifying capital investments into new or certain existing United States businesses. Up to 10,000 applicants could qualify for immigrant visas under the EB-5 program each year. These visas may also be offered to investors’ spouses and unwed children under 21 years of age.

Understanding the requirements and how to document your qualifications properly can be complex, but you don’t have to go through it alone. The Law Office of Fred Voigtmann has experience guiding many foreign investors through the detailed process of obtaining their green cards through the EB-5 program.

Visa Program Requirements

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) administers the EB-5 visa program, so it is subject to federal laws and regulations.

If you wish to obtain your green card, or permanent residence, from the EB-5 program, you must meet or exceed specific requirements. These are primarily dependent on your level of financial investment in a new commercial enterprise (“NCE”)  and whether the NCE will create 10 jobs per investor for qualified U.S. workers within two years.

According to the federal government, an NCE is defined as one of the following: the establishment of a new business (before November 1990), the expansion of an existing business, or the acquisition of an existing business whose reorganization or restructuring leads to a new commercial enterprise.

As a general rule, the minimum capital requirement you have to make is $1,000,000. You can create or expand a business anywhere in the United States at this investment level and potentially qualify for the EB-5 program.

Your investment can be as low as half of that, or $500,000, if you choose to open or restructure a commercial enterprise in a designated targeted employment area (TEA). These TEAs are either located in rural areas or urban areas where the average rate of unemployment exceeds the national average by 50% or more. You can prove that your business is in an urban TEA in one of two ways:

  1. Contact the state government and request a letter from an authorized department that specifies the area has a high unemployment rate.
  2. Collect your own evidence showing your business’s location has an excessive unemployment rate. In this case, you can use statistics for your metropolitan statistical area, a specific county within that metropolitan statistical area, or the county if it is home to a city or town with a population of 20,000 or greater.

In addition to providing substantial financial backing in a new commercial enterprise, job creation also matters.

Any investment you make in a commercial enterprise must result in at least 10 new full-time positions for qualified American workers. The only exception to this is if you invest in a troubled business and help it retain the same number of employees (at least 10) it had when you acquired it.

Permanent Residence Status

Once you have satisfied the EB-5 program’s criteria for investment level and job creation and documented them correctly, you could be given a conditional permanent residence status for two years. After this period, you, your spouse, and qualified children may receive a permanent green card. If you wish to become a citizen of the United States, you are eligible to apply five years after you originally obtained your conditional permanent residence.

Call us at (818) 887-7839 to schedule your free EB-5 consultation.

EB-5 Documents & Questionnaire



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