EB-5 Program Overview
The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5”, is a job creation visa program. The program was created in 1990 by Congress and is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose of an EB-5 regional center is to stimulate econometric development, create jobs, and improve regional productivity through direct foreign investment, while providing eligible foreign investors an opportunity to become permanent U.S. residents. An EB-5 regional center is an entity that has been approved by USCIS under the Department of Homeland Security. A regional center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. Simply stated, a regional center is an area designated by the USCIS as eligible to receive immigrant investor capital. The North Dakota/Minnesota EB-5 Regional Center received its USCIS designation in April 2011.
The EB-5 program requires a minimum capital investment of USD $1,000,000 per investor or $500,000 per investor if the project is located in a Targeted Employment Area. A Targeted Employment Area is defined as a rural area with a population of less than 20,000 or an area experiencing high unemployment, at least 1.5x the national average. As a result of the investment, a combined total of at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs must be created per EB-5 investor.
The North Dakota/Minnesota EB-5 Regional Center provides area companies direct access to foreign investors, while offering international EB-5 investors the benefits of U.S. citizenship.
EB-5 benefits to qualified investors and their family members include:
- Investors, their spouses, and unmarried children, under the age of 21, may be granted U.S. permanent residency
- Investors and their family members may live, work, or start a business anywhere in the U.S.
- Minor children may obtain employment (subject to age, state and governmental laws and regulations)
- Educational benefits, including admission to universities at the same cost as U.S. residents
- Multiple entry conditional green card allows the investors and their family members to travel outside the U.S. reentering the U.S. at any time with respect to U.S. residency requirements
- No requirement to manage the EB-5 investment on a day-to-day basis
- No sponsors needed as with other visas
- No requirements for age, the ability to speak English, employment experience or education
- Open to any country in the world
EB-5 benefits to companies include:
- No long-term loss of equity in company
- Access for foreign direct investors
- Flexible terms and structures
- Minimum investment amounts of $500,000 or $1,000,000 per EB-5 investor
- Not required to manage EB-5 annual filings to the government, so project principals can focus on running their business.
- Many EB-5 investors are successful business professionals that can bring not only their experience conducting business in international markets to the company, but also their international network of other business professionals.