Sell Business Business Broker: Your exit advisor on your side. Exit Advisor Business Broker
Eligible Businesses for Your EB5 Visa Investment - Sell Business A person's hand holding a pencil next to a magazine titled "EB5 investment" with arrow graphics, a smartphone, and a coffee cup on a wooden table. Exit Advisor Business Broker

Eligible Businesses for Your EB5 Visa Investment

The EB-5 Program offers a unique opportunity for investors and their families to obtain permanent residency in the United States. By investing in eligible businesses, individuals can contribute to the U.S. economy while pursuing their dreams of U.S. residency.

We at Exit Advisor offer a turnkey service for visa approval and will help you find and operate the business for you.

The program, administered by USCIS, was established in 1990 to stimulate economic growth through job creation and capital investment. It provides two investment options: creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business. In 2019, the program underwent updates to enhance transparency and increase minimum investment amounts.

Businesses eligible for EB5 must meet USCIS criteria. They can be from any lawful for-profit industry, including real estate development, hospitality, technology, and more. The essential factor is their potential to generate jobs for U.S. workers.

Whether you choose direct investment or investing through a regional center, the EB-5 Program offers flexibility to suit your preferences and involvement level.

Key Takeaways:

  • EB-5 Program allows investors and their families to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. through business investments.
  • Investment options include creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business.
  • Eligible businesses can be from any lawful for-profit industry.
  • Investors can choose between direct investment or investing through a regional center.
  • The program underwent updates in 2019 to increase transparency and minimum investment amounts.

USCIS Criteria for Eligible Businesses

To qualify for EB5 investment, businesses must meet the criteria set by USCIS. The eligibility requirements vary depending on whether the business is a new commercial enterprise (NCE) or a troubled business. Both types of businesses must operate within the guidelines of USCIS and be lawful entities.

New Commercial Enterprise (NCE)

A new commercial enterprise is a for-profit organization created or restructured after November 29, 1990. It can take many forms, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company.

To meet the USCIS criteria, a new commercial enterprise must:

  1. Be created or restructured after November 29, 1990
  2. Operate as a for-profit entity
  3. Create at least 10 new full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers

The new commercial enterprise must demonstrate that the investment will lead to the creation of these new jobs. The jobs must be full-time and meet the USCIS definition of a qualifying position for U.S. workers. This criterion ensures that the investment contributes to job creation and stimulates the U.S. economy.

Troubled Business

A troubled business is an existing enterprise that has experienced a minimum net loss of 20% in the 12 or 24 months before receiving EB-5 investment capital. This type of business presents an opportunity for revitalization and job preservation through the infusion of EB5 investment.

To meet the USCIS criteria, a troubled business must:

  • Have sustained a minimum net loss of 20% in the 12 or 24 months prior to the investment
  • Operate as a for-profit entity
  • Preserve or create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the investment

The troubled business must demonstrate that the investment will help overcome the financial challenges it faces and contribute to the revitalization of the enterprise. By preserving or creating jobs, the investment strengthens the business and contributes to the employment opportunities in the community.

To learn more about the USCIS criteria for eligible businesses, you can visit the official USCIS website.

Sector Eligibility for EB5 Investments

The EB-5 investment program presents diverse sector eligibility, without limitations to any specific industry, ensuring investment appeal across various sectors. Businesses that meet the criteria set by USCIS can qualify for EB5 investment, provided their sector demonstrates economic viability and potential job generation for qualified U.S. workers.

Eligible sectors for EB5 investments encompass a wide range of industries, including but not limited to:

  • Real estate development
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism
  • Technology
  • And more

The sector eligibility is determined based on the economic contributions businesses can make and their ability to create employment opportunities for qualified U.S. workers. Potential EB5 investors should carefully evaluate investment opportunities in different sectors, considering factors such as market potential and investment appeal.

Sector Investment Appeal Job Generation Potential
Real Estate Development Strong demand for residential and commercial properties, potential for high ROI Construction jobs, property management, and related services
Hospitality Booming tourism industry, potential for growth and profitability Jobs in hotels, restaurants, and tourism-related services
Tourism Attractions, entertainment venues, travel agencies, potential for significant revenue Jobs in tourism-related services and hospitality sectors
Technology Innovation-driven industries, high growth potential, continuous advancements High-skilled jobs in technology development, research, and IT
And more Diverse investment opportunities in other sectors based on market trends Varies based on the sector and business model

Investing in a sector that aligns with an investor's knowledge, experience, and interest can enhance their chances of success in the EB-5 program. It is crucial to conduct thorough market research and evaluate the potential for job creation and investment returns before making a final decision.

Investment Options: Direct or Regional Center

When considering an EB5 investment, investors have two main options: direct investment or investment through a regional center. Both options offer unique benefits and considerations depending on the investor's preferences and circumstances.

Direct Investment

Direct investment involves making a personal investment in a specific business venture and actively participating in its operations. Investors who choose this option typically have a strong desire to oversee and manage their investment directly.

This investment option offers investors more control and involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business. It allows them to actively engage in decision-making and contribute their expertise and experience to the success of the venture. Direct investors often prefer industries they are familiar with and have prior experience in.

However, direct investment requires a significant commitment of time, resources, and expertise. Investors need to have the necessary management skills to handle the complexities of running a business. They are responsible for creating jobs and meeting the minimum job creation requirements set by USCIS.

Investment through a Regional Center

Investing through a regional center, on the other hand, offers a more passive approach to EB5 investment. A regional center is a designated organization approved by USCIS that sponsors investment projects and manages the investment process on behalf of investors.

By choosing this option, investors can take a less hands-on role in the day-to-day operations of the business. They become limited partners in the regional center's projects, allowing them to rely on the management expertise of the regional center and its designated project developers.

Regional centers often specialize in specific industries or geographic regions, providing investors with a diverse range of investment opportunities. They typically have established networks and resources to identify and evaluate potential projects. This option is particularly attractive to investors who may not have the time, experience, or desire to actively manage a business.

Investing through a regional center also offers potential benefits in terms of job creation requirements. Regional centers can include indirect job creation in their calculations, which allows investors to meet the necessary requirements more easily.

Ultimately, the choice between direct investment and investment through a regional center depends on the investor's level of involvement, management experience, and availability to oversee the project. Both options have advantages and considerations that investors should carefully evaluate before making a decision.

To learn more about the EB5 investment program and eligibility criteria, visit the USCIS website.

Investment Options Direct Investment Investment through Regional Center
Investor's Involvement Active participation and management Passive involvement as a limited partner
Control over Operations High level of control and decision-making Relying on the regional center's management
Job Creation Requirements Responsible for directly creating jobs Can include indirect job creation
Management Experience Required Not required
Time Commitment Significant Less demanding

The Cost of the EB5 Process

Investing in the EB5 program comes with various costs that potential investors should consider. Let's break down the different expenses involved in the EB5 process:

1. Minimum Investment Amount

The minimum investment amount required for the EB5 program is $900,000 for investments in targeted employment areas (TEAs) and $1.8 million for investments outside of TEAs. These amounts reflect the capital that must be invested in eligible businesses to qualify for the program.

2. Administration Fee

In addition to the minimum investment, investors should budget for administration fees. These fees typically range from $40,000 to $100,000 and cover the costs associated with processing and managing the EB5 application.

3. Legal Fees

Engaging the services of experienced immigration attorneys is crucial for navigating the EB5 process. Legal fees for EB5-related services can range from $15,000 to $25,000. These fees include assistance with preparing and submitting the application, ensuring compliance with USCIS requirements, and providing guidance throughout the process.

4. USCIS Filing Fee

There is also a USCIS filing fee of $3,675, which must be paid when submitting the EB5 application. This fee covers the processing and review of the application by USCIS.

It's important for potential investors to carefully consider these costs when planning their EB5 investment. By budgeting for the minimum investment amount, administration fees, legal fees, and USCIS filing fee, investors can ensure they are fully prepared to embark on their EB5 journey.

Processing Times for EB5 Petitions

In the EB5 program, processing times for petitions have historically been unpredictable, averaging around 14.2 months. However, USCIS has implemented several measures to enhance efficiency and minimize processing times, ensuring a smoother experience for investors. These proactive measures include streamlining procedures, optimizing digital systems, and expanding staffing levels.

One significant development that is expected to expedite processing is the introduction of the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Rule. This rule aims to further streamline the process for certain petitions, particularly those associated with targeted employment areas (TEAs), which are regions with high unemployment rates.

USCIS has also demonstrated its commitment to addressing the backlog of pending EB5 petitions. By allocating additional resources and prioritizing their efforts, USCIS is actively working towards reducing processing times and ensuring a more efficient system for EB5 investors.

Table: Processing Times for EB5 Petitions

Petition Type Average Processing Time
Direct EB5 Petition 12-18 months
Regional Center EB5 Petition 14-20 months
EB5 Petition in TEA 10-16 months

Expedited Processing Options

For investors who require faster processing times, USCIS offers expedited processing options. These options allow for a quicker adjudication of an EB5 petition under certain circumstances:

  1. Premium Processing: This expedited service is available for direct EB5 petitions and typically provides a response within 15 calendar days. However, it is important to note that premium processing is subject to additional fees.
  2. Expedite Request: Investors may submit a request for expedited processing if they meet certain criteria, such as compelling financial or humanitarian reasons or urgent business matters. USCIS will review the request on a case-by-case basis and may grant expedited processing if the criteria are met.

It's important for investors to consider their specific timeline and needs when deciding on the best approach for their EB5 petition. The USCIS measures and expedited processing options provide flexibility and options to accommodate individual situations.

Increasing Chances of Success in the EB5 Program

When it comes to the EB5 program, the chances of success can be influenced by various factors. To improve your chances, it's crucial to engage in due diligence and conduct comprehensive evaluations before making any investment decisions.

Thorough due diligence involves conducting extensive research and verifying the credibility of projects. This includes assessing the business plans, financial projections, and potential risks associated with the investment opportunities.

Working with reputable professionals can greatly enhance your prospects in the EB5 program. Experienced immigration attorneys and consultants specializing in EB5 can provide valuable guidance throughout the entire application process. Their expertise and knowledge can help you navigate the complex requirements and avoid potential pitfalls.

When evaluating investment opportunities, it's essential to carefully consider the reputation and track record of project developers and regional centers. Look for developers with a successful history of completing projects and fulfilling their investment commitments. Choosing projects with a proven track record can help mitigate risks and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

By conducting due diligence, working with reputable professionals, and evaluating investment opportunities comprehensively, you can significantly improve your chances of success in the EB5 program. Remember, careful evaluation and informed decision-making are key to unlocking the potential benefits of U.S. residency and making a meaningful economic contribution.

For more information on the EB5 program and how it works, you can visit the American Immigration Council's research page.

Factors to Consider for Increasing Chances of Success Actions to Take
Conduct thorough due diligence Research and verify project credibility
Work with reputable professionals Hire experienced immigration attorneys and consultants specialized in EB5
Evaluate investment opportunities carefully Assess business plans, consider reputation and track record of project developers


The EB-5 Program provides an exciting opportunity for investors to obtain U.S. residency while making a significant economic contribution. By carefully evaluating investment opportunities and ensuring compliance with USCIS criteria, investors can unlock the potential for U.S. residency and contribute to the growth of the economy. With options for direct investment or investment through regional centers, the program offers a range of investment opportunities in various sectors.

We at Exit Advisor offer a turnkey service for visa approval and will help you find and operate the business for you.

Understanding the EB5 process, including costs and factors that influence success, is crucial for potential investors. By conducting thorough due diligence, seeking guidance from experienced professionals, and evaluating project credibility, investors can confidently pursue their EB5 visa investment. Through these efforts, investors can make informed decisions and increase their chances of a successful outcome.

Those who participate in the EB-5 Program not only have the opportunity to obtain U.S. residency but also contribute to job creation, economic development, and the overall growth of the country. By investing in eligible businesses, investors play a vital role in stimulating the economy and creating a brighter future for themselves and their families. The EB-5 Program is a pathway towards achieving U.S. residency and making a positive impact on the United States.

Source Links

Scroll to Top