The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5.” The EB-5 visa category was created by the United States Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
Through the Immigration Act of 1990 Investor VISA Program, Congress enacted the Immigration Act of 1990, which includes a program permitting foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Section 121(b)5 of the Act created a new investor immigrant visa category aimed at generating a significant inward flow of foreign capital and creating jobs for United States workers. The new legislation makes 10,000 Green Cards of permanent residency available nationwide each year for qualified immigrant investors. The Act requires a capital investment of $1 million for all areas, except in rural and high unemployment areas where a lowered investment of $500,000 may be made. The investment must also create full-time employment for at least ten United States citizens or other legal residents-other than members of the investor’s family-for a period of two years. Entrepreneurs will receive a two-year provisional visa and, if the criteria are met, a permanent Green Card may be issued.
The underlying policy of the EB-5 investor visa is to benefit the United States economy overall including United States communities that are economically disadvantaged, United States workers, and the foreign national investors. The goal of the EB-5 investor visa program is to generate a “win-win” scenario for all parties involved or affected. A 2003 United States Government report indicated that about $1 billion has been invested in the United States economy through the EB-5 program. Today we estimate that the amount invested pursuant to this visa category is nearly double the 2003 amount. There have been many success stories involved with the granting of EB-5 Visas. Due to the positive impact of this program in creating United States jobs and economic development, we strongly anticipate that the EB-5 Investment Visa program will be viable for many years to come..