Established by the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB-5 Program enables foreign entrepreneurs and investors to obtain permanent residence status by investing in U.S.-based businesses and real estate projects that create jobs. Under the program, a foreign national must invest at least $1 million, or at least $500,000 if the business or real estate project is in a “Targeted Employment Area”—a rural area or an area with an unemployment rate that is at least 150 percent of the national average—in order to be eligible for permanent residence status.

To qualify, each investment must create a minimum of 10 full-time, U.S.-based direct, indirect, or induced jobs. Indirect jobs are those created as a result of the capital invested in the new commercial enterprise such as those involving architects, engineers, and rental agents. Induced jobs are created when the new employees spend their increased incomes on consumer goods and services in the community.

Once U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the investment, the foreign national will receive a conditional green card. If the EB-5 investment establishes the requisite job numbers at the end of two years, the immigrant investor will receive a permanent green card.