The requirements for the EB-5 Regional Center Program, which allows for the immigration applicant to create a new business through a designated Regional Center are as follows:
1. Investment must be made in a new business (created after 1990) or a business that was substantially reorganized or restructured after 1990.
2. The individual must invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000 of capital into that business depending upon the area in which the business is located. ($500,000 is only sufficient if invested in areas considered as “targeted employment areas”).
3. Business results must benefit the U.S. economy and create direct, indirect, or induced employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.
4. The new business owner (the immigration applicant) must actively participate in the management of the new business, which may be accomplished by being a limited partner or member in the new business.
The investor is required to invest a minimum of $500,000 for investments in a new business located within a TEA. This $500,000 amount is the minimum allowed by the United States law to qualify for the EB-5 Green Card in a TEA.
As per federal guidelines, the EB-5 investment must be made “at-risk”, and any guarantee of return of capital is strictly prohibited. If given, the guarantee negates the ”at-risk” requirement of the EB-5 law, and the investor’s petition will be denied.
Note: Investment capital cannot be borrowed.
A targeted employment area (“TEA”) is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.
A rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.