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Los Angeles EB-5 Visa Attorney

What Are The EB-5 Eligibility Requirements?

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There are a number of factors that play into your EB- 5 application, each as significant as the next, with plenty of room for error – even after all the appropriate documentation has been submitted. It is highly recommended that you speak with the knowledgeable team at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, PC for an in-depth look at what is needed to successfully apply for an EB-5 visa. A few primary requirements to consider, prior to starting your application:

 

Funding - While the EB-5 program greatly depends on the immigrant’s activity, interaction, and dedication to the invested site’s growth, the funds in which he or she supplies are equally as important. To that point the United States Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) has established strict guidelines when it comes to the source of said funds and enforces these rules diligently:

  1. Unlawfully gained income is not considered legitimate by the USCIS and will be reported.
  2. Income gained from previous employment will require five years worth of income tax returns, bank statements, and any available salary reports.
  3. Any monies obtained as a gift will need documentation proving the transaction and why it occurred.
  4. Sums of money gained through an inheritance and used as an EB-5 investment require a death certificate of the benefactor, notarized will, and statement indicating the relationship to the deceased.
  5. Income obtained from the sale of a business, real estate, stock or other previous investment will require all appropriate documentation and receipts before being admissible.
 

Commercial Investment - In general, immigrants looking to invest in a new commercial enterprise (built after November, 29th 1990) or plan to overhaul an older existing entity (built prior to November 29th, 1990) must contribute no less than $1 million to its creation or revitalization respectively. In the latter case, immigrant investors must prove that their financial infusion increased the net worth or employee pool of the older company by at least 40 percent. In some instances, the USCIS can recommend a higher investment amount if the target investment company fails to meet certain initial criteria, although this is a rarity.

With that in mind, immigrants also have the option of investing in targeted employment areas (TEAs), or USCIS designated regional centers, to lower the dollar amount to $500,000. TEAs are mapped out and recommended by state; they can be either in rural regions with less than 20,000 citizens or situated in urban areas that have an unemployment rating calculated to be 150 percent higher than the state average. USCIS regional centers on the other hand offer a variation on what types of jobs can be created, either directly or indirectly.

In all cases, investors must assume full risk when investing; the entire capital amount must be supplied without promise of return. The USCIS has strict guidelines on monies being refunded at any time. Average investment opportunities fall into one or more of the following commercial categories:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Corporation
  • General or Limited Partnership
  • Private or Public Business Trust
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture

Job Creation - A key component to every successful EB-5 green card lies in the amount of employment developed as a result of investor’s contribution. In the span of two years, or depending on extenuating circumstances, the entrusted company must create or retain 10 full-time jobs for qualified United States workers. Employment that directly or indirectly is connected to the original investment can be considered full-time, depending on the company’s location in a TEA or regional center.

Making a Difference

Obtaining an EB-5 visa demands a considerable investment of time, money, and effort from every applicant. Since the program’s inception, Attorney Scott McVarish and the dedicated team at The Immigration Law Offices of Los Angeles, PC has assisted an untold amount of immigrants on the path to citizenship. Regardless of where you are in the process, from just beginning to investigate your TEA or regional center investment options to waiting for approval of your I-526 application, we can help. Call our office for a low-cost consultation at (310) 242-8936.


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