EB-5 Direct Investment

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Kennedy Law

Newport Beach, CA



For foreign business people who wish to not only invest in a business in the United States, but also obtain a Green Card ( US Permanent Residency) at the same time, the United States government offers that option. Under the employment based fifth preference visa, or EB-5 visa for short, a foreign investor may qualify for a United States Green Card as long as they meet few requirements.

Unlike other visas that are offered to foreign investors, the EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa that grants the investor a permanent residence card, also known as a Green Card. This is an attractive offer for an investor who wishes to permanently stay in the United States, and not have to worry about when their visa will expire like under other non-immigrant business type visas such as the L-1, E-2, or B-1 visa.

Obtaining a permanent residence status (Green Card) offers many benefits to the investor. Not only does it allow the investor to stay as long as they wish, it also allows the investor to petition for their immediate family members to also obtain permanent residency (Green Card).

Since the investor is a permanent resident (Green Card Holder), it also removes any employment restrictions that may come with other type of work visas. This gives the investor more freedom to work in whichever field they feel will create the best opportunity for wealth and a better future for them. The investor and family members would get a “social security card” and since the investor is paying taxes on their income, the EB-5 visa allows the investor to be eligible for “social security benefits” once they meet all the requirements for applying for social security. That is, if they choose to apply.

Finally, since the investor is a legal permanent resident (Green Card Holder), international travel becomes easier. The investor can freely internationally, unlike a non-immigrant visa holder. Investors family member also can enter the US and travel internationally anytime they want.

Essentially, once the investor is granted legal permanent residency (Green Card), they will have almost all the rights of a United States citizen. One right they do not have is the right to vote. To obtain all the benefits of a United States citizen, after “4 years and nine months” the investor can apply for naturalization and become a citizen of the United States.

To qualify for the EB-5 Direct Investor Visa, the investor has to invest a minimum of 500,000-1000,000 dollars (depending on the zip-code of the place we are applying) into a business. This investment can be either cash, contribution to equipment, inventory, or other tangible property.

One of the ways business is qualified is that the invested business is a “new commercial enterprise”. This means that the investor has the option of inviting in a newly established business, establish their own new business, or invest in a business that was established after November 29, 1990. There is also a minimum number of jobs that the investors investment will create.


For those foreign investors who are interested in immigrating and investing in real estate or opening their own business, one of the best visa options available is known as the Employment Based Fifth Preference, or EB-5 visa. This visa permits qualified investors who meet a certain minimum threshold investment level to immigrate to the United States.

If the $1000,000 investment seems too steep for some investors, the EB-5 visa also allows for a significantly less investment. The investor can choose to instead invest $500,000 in a “targeted employment area.” A targeted employment area is either a rural area outside of a city which has a population of over 20,000 people or an area with an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average. To qualify for the unemployment statistic, the unemployment rate must be at least 150% higher than what the national average is.

Eb5 Immigrant Visa files are complex and many details must be factored in. We encourage you to contact an attorney to help you make a decision that is right for you and your family.