The EB-5 visa program was introduced in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy by encouraging investments from foreign investors. However, applicants must meet strict requirements and provide extensive documentation to prove their eligibility.

Visa Application

For example, you will need to demonstrate that you have the income or net worth to afford your planned investment. Also, you will need to show evidence that you obtained your capital investment legally.

You can find a comprehensive list of EB-5 visa requirements by visiting the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

If you would like to discuss your situation with an employment visa attorney in Louisville, contact The O’Brien Law Group. Rusty O’Brien will help you avoid mistakes that would delay your visa application or lead to a denial. Call 502-400-7890 today to schedule a consultation.

Read on to learn the definitions of four important terms you will encounter when applying for an EB-5 visa:

  1. Commercial Enterprise

According to USCIS, a commercial enterprise is any for-profit activity that was designed for the ongoing conduct of a legal business. Examples include:

  • Sole proprietorship;
  • Limited or general partnership;
  • Holding company;
  • Joint venture;
  • Publically or privately owned business trust or other entity; and
  1. New Commercial Enterprise

The EB-5 visa program requires that applicants invest in a qualifying commercial enterprise. USCIS defines “new commercial enterprise” as a commercial enterprise that:

  • Was created after Nov. 29, 1990, or
  • Was created before or on Nov. 29, 1990, and:
    • The foreign investor expands the enterprise by making an investment that increases its net worth or number of employees by 40 percent, or
    • The foreign investor restructures or reorganizes the business to develop a new commercial enterprise.
  1. Qualified Employee

Employees must meet specific qualifications to count toward the EB-5 visa job creation requirement. For example, they must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or immigrants who were authorized to work in the United States. Qualified employees may be conditional residents, refugees, asylees or people living in the United States under suspension of deportation.

The foreign investor, his or her spouse, and his or her children do not count as qualified employees. Foreign nationals with nonimmigrant status also cannot count as qualified employees.

  1. Troubled Business

In order to obtain an EB-5 visa, the immigrant investor must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified employees. These jobs can be direct – for example, by buying and expanding an existing enterprise. However, the jobs can also be indirect if created collaterally or as a result of investing in a regional center.

Preserving jobs will only count if the investment is in a “troubled business.” This is an enterprise that has existed for at least two years and incurred a net loss during the 12-month or 24-month timeframe before the priority date of the investor’s Form I-526. The loss must be 20 percent of the enterprises’ net worth prior to the loss.

Obtaining an EB-5 visa is a complicated process, and one mistake could delay your application or lead to a denial. An employment visa attorney from The O’Brien Law Group can help you gather the required documentation to prove your eligibility. Call 502-400-7890 to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer in Louisville.


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