EB-5 General Requirements
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5. The program was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old) are eligible to apply for a permanent resident status in the US, or a green card, if they:
- Invest $500,000 in a project that is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) (see definition below);
- Invest $1,000,000 in a project that is not located in a TEA;
- Create at least 10 full-time jobs through their investment.
In order to qualify for the $500,000 minimum investment amount, the project/business must be located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). A TEA is defined as an area with high unemployment or a rural area.
- High unemployment: a census tract that has an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate.
- Rural area: an area that is not in a metropolitan statistical area or the outer boundary of a city or town with a population of at least 20,000 (as determined by the Office of Management and Budget).
The TEA designation is issued by a state authority.
Up to 10,000 visas may be authorized each fiscal year for eligible entrepreneurs and their immediate family members.
An EB-5 Regional Center is a public or private entity involved in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment. It serves as an intermediary between EB-5 investors and projects in which they seek to invest. By doing so, it alleviates the investor’s burden in sourcing qualified EB-5 investments, complying with regulatory filings and other compliance requirements, monitoring projects’ progress, and estimating and measuring job creation. Regional Centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation, including being able to count both direct and indirect jobs.
USCIS regulations allow investors that use Regional Centers to make their qualified EB-5 investments to count direct, indirect, and induced jobs; induced jobs are a subcategory of indirect jobs.
- Direct jobs are those created by the project company itself (e.g., employees of a hotel or a manufacturing plant, or construction workers if construction lasts more than two years).
- Indirect jobs are those created by companies supplying goods and services to the project (e.g., building materials for construction of a hotel).
- Induced jobs are those generated from spillover effects of direct and indirect workers using their compensation to buy goods and services.
As a first step, the investor must complete an Investor Suitability Questionnaire and submit it to Bluegrass International Fund. This short questionnaire does not indicate a commitment of any kind; it is simply required by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Once the investor completes the questionnaire, Bluegrass International Fund will forward the Project’s Private Offering Memorandum (PPM) and Subscription Agreement to the investor for his/her review. During this time, Bluegrass International Fund’s immigration counsel offers a complimentary 30-minute consultation to answer any questions about the immigration process.
If the investor decides to invest, then he/she will sign the Subscription Agreement, which is the legal commitment between Bluegrass International Fund and the investor. At that time, the investor will wire the investment amount and the administrative fee to the Bluegrass International Fund affiliate entity set up for a specific project in which the investor is making an investment.
The investor then works with his/her immigration attorney to file the I-526. Typically, it takes three weeks to three months to compile all the documents and file the I-526 application depending on how soon the attorney receives the required information and the level of completion of the investor’s documents.
Documents typically required are:
- Investor background questionnaire
- Subscription Agreement
- Subscriber Worksheet
- W-8BEN or W-9 form
- Proof of source of funds
- Proof of transfer of funds
- Financial statement(s) and tax returns
- Copies of passports
- Employment and business documents
- Employment history
- Business experience, including but not limited to resume, diplomas and business registration
- Family certificates
- Birth certificate for each family individual
- Marriage (or divorce) certificate
- Two color photographs
The timeline can vary depending on the individual investor’s situation and country of origin.Generally, one can expect at least:
- 18-24 months to receive a conditional green card
- 5-6 years to receive a permanent green card
There are many ways investors can meet source of funds requirements, including but not limited to the following methods:
- Sale of real estate
- Mortgage real estate
- Employment earnings
- Earnings from or sale of business owned by investor
- Shareholder loan
- Sale of securities
- Retirement funds
Please note that every investor is different, and every country is different. We highly recommend that investors take advantage of a 30-minute complimentary call with our immigration attorney, Miller Mayer (See Partnerships section), to discuss their personal situation regarding their source of funds.
Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual arms-length transaction and is not a mere ruse or that the gifted funds will be given back after permanent resident status is granted. The source of funds provided by a parent, relative or other giver also must be lawfully gained, meaning that the giver will be asked to provide documentation showing that his or her funds are legally sourced and acquired.
Below is a breakdown of approximate costs for a family or an individual:
- Administrative Fee to Regional Center (Bluegrass International Fund): $45,000 – 60,000 USD
- I-526 Application Fee to USCIS: $3,675 USD
- Average Immigration Attorney Fees: $10,000-15,000 USD
Once Bluegrass International Fund demonstrates that the investor has created at least 10 permanent jobs, then the investor can file an I-829 application to receive a permanent green card. The fees for that application are:
- USCIS I-829 filing: $3,750 USD
- Sub-filing fee per family member: $85 USD
- Average I-829 immigration attorney fees: $7,000 USD
As an investor, you will have access to an online portal with your own password where you can follow the progress of your investment, the number of jobs created, and any transactions to and from your account. Bluegrass International Fund will also provide periodic reports to all investors highlighting recent developments related to their project and job creation achieved to date.
Yes. Every immigrant to the United States is required to pass a comprehensive health wellness check. Minor illnesses or non-critical conditions are not necessarily a cause for rejecting an investor’s petition.
While education and business experience can be beneficial, neither is required.
Yes. You are not required to live where your investment is located.
The difference between a conditional and a permanent green card is the expiration date. A conditional green card expires after two years of issuance. About three months before its expiration, investors can submit their I-829 application to remove conditions and receive their permanent green card. The latter will be granted only if the investor has created the required minimum of 10 full-time jobs. A permanent green card expires after 10 years of issuance and can be renewed for another 10- year term with no limit on the number of renewals. Permanent green card holders are eligible to apply for US citizenship after five years of being permanent residents, although becoming a US citizen is not required.
Conditional PR holders can live, study, and work anywhere in the US without any restrictions. PR holders (including conditional PR holders) are advised not to leave the US for more than six months in a year. By receiving a PR, it means the investor considers the US as the country of his/her primary residency. If he/she leaves the country for longer than six months in a year, the USCIS may question his/her intention of getting a PR. The only differences between a PR and US citizenship are: a) PR holders cannot run for public office, and b) PR holders do not have voting rights. Otherwise, PR holders share the same benefits as US citizens.
The US government does not provide specific benefits to the investor. Bluegrass International Fund can provide resources and references that can help your family with relocation, education, and business service support.
Yes. Rejection in the past does not disqualify you unless the reasons for rejection are related to immigration fraud or other major problems. It is most important that all criminal, medical, or US immigration history problems be disclosed to Bluegrass International Fund and the immigration counsel in advance of the application.
Our Business Partners
Primary Capital LLC (PC) is a full-service investment banking firm registered with the SEC, and a member of both the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Primary Capital has extensive experience in successfully assisting in the execution of EB-5 financings. In its partnership with Bluegrass International Fund, PC is serving as a placement agent offering document review, creation and maintenance of a compliance file for securities regulation purposes, and communication with investors, as required.
Not all regional centers partner with a broker-dealer, but we do. By partnering with Primary Capital, Bluegrass International Fund adds an additional level of third-party review to ensure that investors are protected under all applicable US securities laws.
Miller Mayer is a full-service immigration law firm. Bluegrass International Fund closely cooperates with Miller Mayer on investor immigration applications.
For nearly 20 years, Miller Mayer has provided exceptional service to EB-5 investors seeking EB-5 visas. Their EB-5 practice group combines an unsurpassed depth and breadth of experience with a demonstrated and unrivaled capacity to achieve approval of EB-5 projects and immigrant visas with a 99.8% success rate in EB-5 green card approvals. They have the proven experience, expertise, and knowledge of EB-5 law to guide clients through the complex and evolving standards of EB-5 adjudication.
As a full-service economic consulting firm, Vermilion Consulting possesses the knowledge and experience to meet Bluegrass International Fund’s analysis and planning needs. Vermilion helps inform our project assessment process by producing comprehensive economic impact reports that use USCIS-approved economic models to estimate and measure job creation for EB-5 projects. Their reports provide us with insight, clarity, and confidence that we are strictly conforming to USCIS guidelines.