What is the EB-5 visa?

Many of my clients pursue the EB-5 visa. It is a popular visa option for foreign investors and their families looking to become green card holders. The program allows an individual with a desire to invest to gain a visa if they make an investment in a for-profit business in the United States, and plan to create and preserve ten or more full time jobs in the U.S. The program started in 1990 to bring foreign investment to the United States, as well as stimulate the economy. One can also apply to the program through a regional center, which is an approved third party connecting investors with investment opportunities.

Who benefits from the EB-5 visa program?

Ten thousand EB-5 visas are available each year, however, this visa extends not only to the individual investor, but to their family as well. As a result, while ten thousand are available, significantly less go to the individual investing. Investments can be made in the form of a one million dollar investment in more densely populated areas, or of a half million dollars to more rural regions. Investments can be made to for profit businesses established after 1990.

Up until recently, the demand for this visa did not exceed the cap, however, in 2014 and 2015, twenty five thousand applications were received. The demand for EB-5 visas has gone up, resulting in reconsideration of whether to explore revising the visa cap.

How does the EB-5 visa program benefit the US Economy?

The EB-5 visa program contributes to thousands of jobs for American residents. The purpose of the program is to stimulate the economy, create jobs, and increase capital investments in US businesses. The program was underutilized until the financial collapse of  2008, when applications for the visa soured. State Department data shows that in 2007, 793 visas were granted, with the number rising to 9,947 by 2016.

Will the administration reform the EB-5 visa program?

The current iteration of the EB-5 visa, as it stands, remains intact with its original language until September 2017. The current administration, along with Congress, are considering making changes to the visa, with regards to the total number of visas, the investment minimum, and whether to continue to include family members on this visa, or whether to create a new visa specific to EB-5 recipient family members.

A vast majority of EB-5 visas are granted to Chinese nationals, and the current president’s investments in China may play a large part in the future of this visa. Jared Kushner, son-in-law to President Trump, was recently mentioned in an investment meeting between Chinese investors and Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer.

Current language between Congress and the Office of the President do not indicate whether changes to this visa will be immediate, or if they will be detrimental. If you are interested in applying for an EB-5 visa for yourself and your family, please contact Lim Law at 407-897-8870. If you would like to read more about investor visas, click here.

Ask Henry Lim
Do you have a question for Henry Lim? During over 20 years of practicing law, he has helped more than 10,000 families move to the United States. You can Ask Henry a question at [email protected] or submit a video question by sending a link to one of our channels. For legal assistance, email or call for an appointment: 407-897-8870. Our first consultation is complimentary.