Barshay Sanders recognizes the importance of immigrants to our economy and our culture. We help qualified investors obtain an EB-5 visa as fast as possible, in the manner that most benefits them and U.S. workers. If you are interested in obtaining an EB-5 visa for yourself and your family, contact our immigration lawyers for a free case review.
About the EB-5 Visa Program
Congress created the EB-5 program in 1990 to stimulate economic growth through foreign investor capital investment and job creation. EB-5 immigrants are an important engine of economic growth. Over a recent five-year period, EB-5 immigrants are credited with contributing more than $37 billion to the U.S. economy.
In exchange for their investments, EB-5 recipients are offered a legal path to live, work, and study in the U.S., first by obtaining a Green Card and later, citizenship. EB-5 visa holders may be eligible for citizenship in as little as five years upon achieving permanent residency status. However, an EB-5 visa does not guarantee permanent residency or citizenship. It only grants conditional permanent residence for an initial two-year period, after which certain conditions must be met to sustain lawful residency.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues a maximum of 10,000 EB-5 visas per year. This number includes investors and investor family members. The processing time for an EB-5 visa is approximately 20 months, but may take years in backlogged countries such as China. Applicants can request expedited processing that significantly reduces EB-5 processing times. Find out if you qualify for expedited processing.
No sponsorship, either by a U.S. business or individual, is required for an EB-5 visa. Instead, applicants must meet capital investment and job creation requirements. These minimum requirements vary depending on the type of enterprise that an immigrant invests in. Changes to the EB-5 program made in 2019 alter visa qualifications. Currently, EB-5 applicants must:
- Invest at least $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is defined as either a rural area or an area with unemployment levels at least 150 percent of the national average unemployment rate.
- Invest at least $1.8 million in a non-TEA.
- Invest cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents, or indebtedness secured by immigrant investor-owned assets.
- Invest in a commercial enterprise that creates full-time positions for at least 10 employees. The job creation requirement can be satisfied more flexibly by investing in a USCIS-approved Regional Center. If the immigrant invests in a so-called “troubled business,” the number of employees at the business needs to be maintained (rather than creating new jobs).
Immigrant investors and their families are given conditional two-year permanent U.S. residence when they first obtain an EB-5 visa. If they meet visa conditions, they may apply at the end of the two-year period to have the conditions on their lawful residency removed, and transition to legal permanent (Green Card) status. Foreign investors who obtain permanent residency through the EB-5 program may apply for U.S. citizenship 90 days prior to the five year anniversary of receipt of their conditional resident status.