There are essentially two EB-5 programs: the Individual and the Regional Investment Center (RIC) program. To qualify under the Individual program, the applicant must meet the following three basic requirements:
However, an investment of $500,000 is acceptable if the business is situated in a targeted employment area (TEA). The second program—The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program—was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 on October 6, 1992. The investment could only be received by an economic unit defined as a Regional Center. The Regional Investment Center program is ideal for the investor who does not wish to actively operate a business in the U.S.
An EB-5 regional center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, engaged in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, increased domestic capital investment, and requires formal regional center designation by USCIS.
An E-1 Visa is known as a “Treaty Trader” visa. The general qualifications necessary to obtain an E-1 visa include:
The initial E-1 Visa may be granted for up to two years, and the visa holder may apply for unlimited extensions in two-year increments.
Spouse and unmarried children under 21 are eligible for E-1 dependent status, and the spouse may also obtain U.S. employment authorization (work permit).
An E-2 Visa is known as a “Treaty Investor” visa.These visas are reserved for persons who seek to enter the U.S. “solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.” General qualifications necessary are:
E-2 applicants must demonstrate they will serve in the U.S. as a hands-on manager or corporate officer of the investment enterprise. E-2 provisions for employees are similar to E-1 in that they are employed as executive or “supervisory character,” and/or have “special qualifications” within the principal applicant’s company/enterprise, and must be of the same nationality as principal alien employer.