EB-5 visa applicants will be required to make a US $500,000 or $1,000,000 capital investment into a commercial enterprise in the United States. The investment may be in cash, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness, tangible property, or cash equivalents and is valuated based on U.S. dollar fair-market value.
if the EB-5 project investment is made in a commercial entity that is located in a targeted employment area (TEA), i.e., either in a rural area or in an area that has high unemployment the minimum amount of capital required may be decreased from $1 million to $500,000. A high unemployment area is a geographic location with an unemployment rate that is at least 150 percent of the national unemployment rate at the time of the EB-5 investment. Rural areas are geographic regions that are outside of a city with a population of 20,000 or more. Rural areas can also be geographic regions that are outside of what the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has designated as metropolitan statistical areas.
The EB-5 investment must generate 10 full-time jobs in the United States and must be created within the two year period after the investor has received the conditional permanent residency. In some cases, the investor must be able to prove that their investment led to the creation of direct jobs for employees who work directly within the commercial entity that received the investment. However, the EB-5 investor may only have to show that 10 full-time indirect or induced jobs were created if the investment was made in a regional center. Indirect jobs are those created in businesses that supply goods or services to the EB-5 project. Induced jobs are jobs created within the greater community as a result of income being spent by EB-5 project employees.
There are several types of business entities in which an EB-5 visa applicant can invest. In general, the applicants can invest directly in a new commercial enterprise or in a regional center. New commercial enterprises are lawful for-profit entities that can take one of many different business structures. Such business structures include corporations, limited or general partnerships, sole proprietorships, business trusts, or other privately or publicly owned business structures. All new commercial enterprises must have been established after November 29, 1990.
However, older commercial enterprises may qualify if the investment leads to a 40-percent increase in the number of employees or net worth, or if an older business is restructured to such a degree that a new commercial enterprise results. In addition to individual business enterprises, EB-5 visa applicants can also invest in EB-5 Regional Centers. Regional centers administer EB-5 projects. It may be more advantageous for an investor to invest in a regional center-run project because the investor will not have to independently set up the EB-5 projects.