The Immigration Act of 1990 created the employment-based fifth-preference (EB-5) category. Under the EB-5 immigrant investor provisions, 10,000 visas are available each year to immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. for the purpose of:
- Engaging in a new commercial enterprise;
- In which the immigrant has invested a qualifying amount of capital of not less than $500,000;
- Which will create at least 10 full-time jobs for persons other than the investor’s immediate family.
Persons seeking visas under the immigrant investor provisions must first file a Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, together with the required supporting documentation. Each investor will be assigned a priority date under the visa quota system based on the date the petition is filed. After approval of the petition by USCIS, which typically takes from four to eight months, and upon availability of a visa under the immigrant visa quota system, qualified investors and their accompanying family members (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old) may apply for their immigrant visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their country of citizenship or residence abroad. An eligible person in the U.S. may apply for permanent resident status with USCIS.
Learn more about investment-based immigration here.