The U.S immigration investment visa program EB-5 was introduced in 1990 as a “fast track'“ route for foreigner nationals to obtain legal immigrant visa/green cards for themselves and their derivative family. The general rules have always been known for the direct investment of $500,000 into a business located in TEAs (targeted employment areas) defined as high unemployment regions and $1,000,000 for non-TEA areas. The most challenging part of the program was creating and maintaining 10 full-time jobs per business.
These rules announced by the USCIS are increasing these baseline requirements as follows.
Minimum EB-5 investment amounts will be raised from $1M to $1.8M, or from $500K to $900K in a TEA. Minimum investment amounts will also automatically adjust for inflation every five years.
357 Investments has worked directly with projects raising both debt and equity through the EB-5 investment visa program. We were most actively involved during the years of 2010-2013 as we worked on several deals ranging from singular investments e.g restaurant concepts which involved both the acquisition of brick and mortar real estate and the implementation of the retail business itself to limited partner participation in much larger development projects which required very specific, customized operating agreements to allow for the job credit qualifications.
Overall the EB-5 program is a challenging program to select, oversee and navigate which often requires significant additional legal, transactional and sometimes carrying costs on top of the base investment. However, it has proven to also be a win-win for developers looking for competitively priced debt and for foreign investors looking for a way to obtain legal status in the U.S albeit an expensive one.
Approximately 10,000 green cards are available through the EB-5 program each year.
For the formal details check the USCIS website here.