Overview of EB-5 Immigrant Investor Category

In 1990, Congress created the employment based 5th preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category. The EB-5 offers 10,000 “green cards” (permanent resident status) annually to immigrants who invest in U.S. businesses that benefit the economy and create or save jobs. EB-5 is available to those individuals who have invested or are in process of investing at least 1,000,000 USD in a new commercial enterprise employing 10 full-time U.S workers. The purpose of EB-5 is to stimulate job-creating investment by offering to investor immigrants the benefits of permanent residence in the United States.

EB-5 candidates do not need investment experience or any specific technical skills. The candidate may invest in a new start-up business or in an existing entity. After the immigrant moves forward with the investment and is approved by Citizenship and Immigration services (CIS), s/he obtains conditional residence status for two years. After two years, if s/he proves that s/he maintained the investment and created or saved at least ten jobs, the conditional status will be removed and s/he will become a full-fledged lawful permanent resident. S/he may also apply for citizenship after five years.

The recent extension and revisions to the EB-5 category is evidence of a commitment by the U.S. to attract and encourage foreign investors. There has been no better time than now for foreign nationals to invest in the United States and utilize the EB-5 category to attain their immigration goals.


  • Qualifying investors, their spouse and children under 21 years of age will be granted U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency, otherwise known as a Green Card.
  • Since a Green Card provides legal permanent resident status, it can lead to U.S. citizenship after five years of earning the green card.
  • Legal permanent residents under the Investor Visa Program enjoy the same benefits as every other United States resident.
  • The EB-5 Visa requires no renewal or re-application which is significant since U.S. immigration laws may change and prevent future approval when a renewal of visa is required.
  • Investors may work, live, or own their own proprietary businesses anywhere in the U.S.
  • No minimum requirements as to age, to speak English, employment experience or education.
  • Education benefits including admission to Universities at US resident costs
  • The EB-5 program does not require immigrant investors to manage their investment on a day to day basis.

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