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Employment-Based Permanent Residence Petitions: Immigrant Investors
EB-5 is an employment-based visa. As with family-based immigration, the United States Congress has designated those employment-based groups to which it gives preference in immigrating to the US. All employment-based groups are subject to an overall numerical limitation. There are five employment-based preferences.

The fifth employment-based preference, EB-5, is set aside for immigrant investors who invest a specific minimum amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise which will create employment for a specific minimum number of US workers. Qualification is based on the amount of investment, and the alien investor must play an active role in the investment. Labor certification is not required for EB-5.

Immediate family members of an EB-5 immigrant can also immigrate with the immigrant investor.

The grant of residence under EB-5 is conditional for a two year period. The alien investor must file a petition prior to the two-year anniversary requesting that the conditional basis of his or her residence be removed. To remove the conditional status, the investor must establish that he or she continues to meet the conditions for participation in the program.

To qualify for immigrant investor status, the alien investor must meet each of the following requirements:

  • The investor must invest or be actively in the process of investing between $500,000 and $1 million, depending upon the enterprise;
  • The investment must take the form of a contribution of capital that has been placed at risk for the purpose of generating a return on that capital;
  • The capital invested must have been obtained through lawful means;
  • The enterprise must benefit the US economy and must create full-time employment for not less than 10 US workers;
  • The investment must be made in a “new commercial enterprise” or a “troubled business”; and
  • The investor must be engaged in the management of the enterprise, either through day-to-day managerial control or through policy formulation.