The EB-5 Category is an excellent opportunity for many foreign nationals to become permanent residents of the United States. In the U.S. so far this year almost 3,000 Chinese citizens have applied for investor visas, up from 270 in 2007. That’s 78 percent of the total applicant pool for this type of visa, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The U.S. investor visa, also known as the EB-5, requires a minimum investment of $500,000 by the applicant in a commercial project in the U.S. that employs at least 10 Americans within two years. If the Chinese applicants can’t generate those jobs, they and their family may have to leave the U.S.
A person investing $500,000 in certain circumstances or $1 million in a business that creates 10 jobs may be granted EB-5 permanent resident status. To encourage immigration through the EB-5 category, Congress created a Regional Center program in 1990. 3,000 visas have been set aside each year for people to invest at least $500,000 in designated Regional Centers.
The Regional Centers program does not require the immigrant investor enterprise itself to employ 10 U.S. workers. Instead, it is sufficient if 10 or more jobs are created indirectly as a result of the investment. Regional Centers are designated as “any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, including increased export sales, improved regional productively, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment.” The investment requirement is only $500,000 if a Regional Center is in a targeted employment area, which is either in a rural or high unemployment area, as defined hereinafter in the section on EB-5 Regulations.
According to BusinessWeek, For the most part, China’s richest aren’t permanently fleeing their country, as some Russian oligarchs have. About 80 percent of the wealthy Chinese emigrating don’t plan on giving up their passports, according to an October survey by the Bank of China and Shanghai-based Hurun Report.
So why are they looking at residency abroad? The top motive cited is to pursue better educational opportunities for their children, according to the Bank of China-Hurun and China Merchants-Bain surveys, as well as comments from émigrés. The feeling among rich Chinese is that U.S. universities beat out their Chinese equivalents, and their children need to understand the world.
EB-5 investors include people from all walks of life: professionals, business people, persons wanting to facilitate a child’s education, and retirees. Because the EB-5 visa permits employment in the US, many EB-5 investors become involved in charity or part time work. Simply put, the EB-5 visa gives you the flexibility to do what you want in the USA. Email us if you need more information about this program.