questions and answers What is EB-5 Investor Immigrant Visa?

It is an immigrant visa category in which a foreign national who invests $500,000 in the USCIS approved investment projects or $1 million in a business that creates 10 jobs in the United States may be granted permanent resident status. 

What is Investor Visa called "EB-5"?

Because it is listed at the fifth place on the statutory book that provides the rules for employment based (EB) immigration petitions.  It is a special immigration category different from the commonly used EB-1, EB-2 or EB-3 categories.

Who can apply for EB-5 Investment based green card?

Generally speaking, any foreigner who has the financial ability to invest at least $500,000 at one time in the United States and who can prove the legitimate sources of the investment funds can apply for the EB-5 investor visa.  However there are some other restrictions.  Interested potential foreigners can contact us  for more information.

What are the basic statutory requirement for EB-5 Investment?

  • There is an investment of $500,000 (in a rural or high unemployment area or USCIS approved regional centers) or $1,000,000 investment in other areas including major cities;
  • Investment must be in a business, not a passive security such as the stock market;
  • The investment can create 10 jobs - no direct job creation is required if the investment is in a "Regional Center".
  • The investor can provide documentataion about the legitimate source of the investment funds.

What does legitimate source of funds mean?

It means that the money used for the investment in the US was obtained through legal means or was "lawfully gained".  Therefore money obtained through illega or unlawful methods such as illegal gambling, money laundry, embesslement, robbery, stealing, etc. cannot be used for EB-5 investment in the US.

So what are the funds "lawfully gained"?

The investor must demonstrate that his or her assets were gained in a lawful manner, that is, the investment funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan, or other lawful means.

I have a rich father who wants to give me money for investment.  Can I use it to invest in the US to obtain the green card?

Yes, a gift from a parent or other person, provided the appropriate gift taxes are paid, if required, can be used for EB-5 investment.  But documentation about the source of fund will still be needed.

Must the foreign investor have previous business experience?

No, the investor is not required to have any prior business experience.

What level of education is the foreign investor required to have?

The investor is not required to demonstrate any minimum level of education.

Must the foreign investor speak English?


So the investor can be someone who does not have any work experience.  He or she does not need to have received any education.  He or she does not have to be able to speak English.  Is there any requirement on the investor?

The only requirement for the investor is that he or she has the required net worth and capital.

Must the foreign investor be in good health?


I heard  that the foreign investor will receive a temporary green card.  Is it true?  

Yes, the foreign investor who is approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a "conditional" green card, which is good for two years. 

What is a 'conditional' green card?

A conditional Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application with the CIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested and employment created, - in a regional center whether directly or indirectly. . When the conditional resident status has been lifted, full resident status is granted and a permanent Green Card is issued.

Who receives the permanent residency ("green card")?

Husband, wife and any unmarried children under the age of 21. It is possible for adopted children to be included in the family.

I have a green card and plan on traveling out of the US for a long time. Can I keep my green card?
You can.  But you need to contact  an experienced immigration lawyer before you leave the US.

What is the difference between green card and citizenship?

Once you obtain a green card, and become a legal permanent resident, you have most of the rights and obligations of U.S. citizens, but you cannot vote and are not entitled to some public benefits. You are subject to the same tax filing requirements and entitled to the same tax rates and deductions as U.S. citizens.  However you are still a citizen of your passport country until you become a naturalized US citizen after you have had your green card for five years.

Can my green card be taken away from me?

Once you receive a green card, there are two situations in which you could lose your green card. First, you must not become removable or inadmissible. The most common way of doing this is to be convicted of a serious crime. The second one is that you have not abandoned the United States as your permanent residence. For example, after you received your green card, you leave the US and have stayed overseas for longer than at least one year without applying for any travel documents.

Ok!  I am ready to invest in the US.  How can I get started?

You can contact GRC for more details and updates.