U.S. Congress enacted the EB-5 visa program in 1990 to stimulate economic growth by encouraging investments from foreign investors. There are strict eligibility requirements to qualify for the EB-5 visa, and if you intend to apply, it is advisable that you consult an immigration attorney.



Rusty O’Brien is a deportation lawyer in Louisville who will help you avoid mistakes during the application process. Mr. O’Brien will help you gather the necessary documentation to demonstrate your eligibility and to prove that your income or net worth is sufficient to support your planned investment. Call 502-400-7890 today to schedule a consultation at the O’Brien Law Group.

Here are the answers to five FAQs about the EB-5 visa program:

  1. What are the job creation requirements of the EB-5 visa?

The immigrant’s capital investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. In most cases, these jobs must be created within two years of the immigrant becoming a Conditional Permanent Resident. The 10 full-time jobs could be direct or indirect if the investment is made through a regional center.

As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains, preserving jobs will only count toward the job creation requirements if the investor preserves jobs in a “troubled business.”

  1. What is a “troubled business” according to EB-5 visa eligibility requirements?

In order for an enterprise to qualify as a “troubled business,” it must have existed for a minimum of two years and incurred a net loss during the 12-month or 24-month period before the priority date of the immigrant investor’s Form I-526. The loss must be at least 20 percent of the enterprise’s net worth before the loss.

  1. What is a “new commercial enterprise?”

An EB-5 investment must be in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise that was established after Nov. 29, 1990. However, the immigrant can invest in an enterprise that was established before or on Nov. 29, 1990 if:

  • The investment causes a 40-percent increase in the business’ net worth or number of employees; or
  • The existing or purchased business is reconstructed or reorganized in a way that creates a new commercial enterprise.
  1. What types of entities qualify as a “commercial enterprise?”

According to USCIS, commercial enterprises include but are not limited to:

  • Partnerships;
  • Holding companies;
  • Sole proprietorships;
  • Corporations;
  • Joint ventures; and
  • Business trusts or other entities that can be either publically or privately owned.
  1. What is considered a “capital investment” according to EB-5 eligibility requirements?

In order for an investment to fulfill the eligibility requirements of the EB-5 visa, the capital must have been acquired legally. Also, the alien entrepreneur cannot borrow the capital investment.

Examples of capital for EB-5 eligibility include:

  • Inventory;
  • Cash;
  • Other tangible property;
  • Cash equivalents;
  • Equipment; and
  • Indebtedness secured by assets that the immigrant entrepreneur owns, as long as the assets of the enterprise are not used to secure the indebtedness and the immigrant is personally and primarily liable.

If you have questions about the EB-5 visa program, contact the O’Brien Law Group. An immigration attorney in Louisville will help you gather evidence, prove eligibility and avoid mistakes that could delay the application process. Call 502-400-7890 to schedule a consultation.


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