EB-5 Visa Investment Requirements
Investment Amount - Designated Regional Centers
The investor is required to invest a reduced amount of $500,000 as the EB-5 Visa investments are within a Targeted Employment area (TEA). This $500,000 amount is the minimum allowed by U.S law to qualify for the EB-5 Visa/Green Card in a high unemployment area (TEA) which is defined as 150% of the national average unemployment statistic.
Job Creation Requirements
Each foreign national EB-5 Visa Investor must create at least 10 full time U.S. based jobs as a result of their investment.
In Designated Regional Centers, the job creation requirement can utilize both direct and indirect job creation to prove they have met the USCIS requirement.
If the investment is not in an approved regional center the jobs must be directly created by the entity the investor is investing in.
Source of Investment Funds
The investor must demonstrate that their $500,000 EB-5 Visa investment capital is from a legal source.
The regulations prohibit the use of assets acquired, directly or indirectly, by unlawful means (such as criminal activities).
It is required to document the legal acquisition of the EB-5 Visa investment funds.
A petitioner cannot establish the lawful source of funds merely by submitting bank letters or statements documenting the deposit of funds. Without documentation of the path of the funds, the petitioner cannot meet his burden of establishing that the funds are his own funds. Simply stating without supporting documentary evidence is not sufficient for the purpose of meeting the burden of proof.
The EB-5 Investor can also show a "pattern of income" to justify the EB-5 investment. Income tax records should be submitted, preferably for a period beyond the five years required by the regulations. Also provide savings and personal investment records to prove that even if a petitioner has not earned a substantial annual income, there is a credible claim that the necessary funds were accumulated over time.
An investor may receive a gift of funds however in that case the USCIS will require information and track the source of the funds from the person who gave the gift.
Proving the Source of Funds obtained by loan. Clearly, it is difficult enough to prove that one's own funds are, indeed, one's own. When the funds are obtained by loan, there may be even greater scrutiny. The regulations expressly prohibit using loan money for EB-5 Visa purposes if the loan is obtained by using the new commercial enterprise as security. It does not matter if the loan is from a third party lender or the enterprise itself. In either case the petition will be denied if the loan is secured by the new commercial enterprise.
The EB-5 Visa investment must be at risk
The EB-5 Visa applicant’s capital investment must be truly at risk and not simply a loan.
There can be no guarantees on an EB-5 Visa Investment, the investment must be 'at-risk' as per federal guidelines. There can be no mention of redemption rights or guarantees.
Guarantees of return of any capital are strictly prohibited, and if given negate the ‘at risk’ requirement of the EB-5 law and the investors petition will be denied. The entire capital must be at risk and therefore reserve accounts are also not allowed.