[August 10, 2012] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is establishing a new office to oversee administration of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (the “EB-5 Program”). The EB-5 Program allows foreign nationals to obtain permanent residence (i.e., a green card) in exchange for investing in U.S. industry, provided that certain investment, employment, and management criteria are satisfied, as set forth below.
The EB-5 Program has been credited with creating tens of thousands of jobs and injecting billions of dollars into the economy since its creation in 1990. The dedicated program office that USCIS is establishing will consist of attorneys and expert economists, managed under a single leadership structure. Through this step, USCIS hopes to enhance efficiency and predictability in administration of the EB-5 Program.
Participation In The EB-5 Program
To qualify for participation in the EB-5 Program, a foreign national must satisfy one of three basic criteria:
Applicants are also subject to various complex participation requirements, which interested employers should discuss with counsel.
It should be noted that “new” commercial enterprises eligible for investments under the EB-5 Program include businesses formed after November 29, 1990, as well as businesses formed before that date that have undergone significant restructuring or expansion. Therefore, existing enterprises may qualify to receive investments from foreign nationals under the EB-5 Program. Qualified employers also may be able to benefit by applying to USCIS for regional center designation under the pilot program.
Recommendations For Employers
Employers interested in participating in the EB-5 Program should consider taking the following steps:
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the EB-5 Program or any other aspect of immigration law. The Firm regularly assists employers with preparing and processing employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications, and would welcome the opportunity to assist you.