EB-5 Visa is the “employment based fifth category” visa program. It is also called the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program. It was created in 1990 via the Immigration Act of 1990. It helps eligible foreign investors to become US permanent residents by investing at least $1,000,000 in a US business that supports at least 10 full time US workers.
You can also invest at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area, rural area or an area with high unemployment. The EB-5 program is designed to encourage foreign investment and economic growth. About 10,000 EB-5 visas are allotted each year. The visa helps foreign nationals, their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years get Green Cards.
Investors from several countries apply for EB-5 visas like China, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Canada, India, Mexico, Iran and Japan.
The foreign investor can directly setup a new business or invest in a troubled business or he can invest with a “regional center”. Regional Center are “economic units” that have been authorized by USCIS for the EB-5 Visa program. They work as collaborators for your investment into specific projects that qualify for the EB-5 Visa program. 90% of successful EB-5 visa applications have been made via registered Regional Centers.
Currently, there are more than 800 Regional Centers operating in the country with more than 100 of them being in the New York tristate area. In 2015, Regional Centers created billions in revenue and generated tens of thousands of jobs across the country.