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Residency through investment


The EB5 is an immigrant visa for investors.  Once approved, it allows the investor and his family to seek residency in the United States.  To qualify for an EB5 visa, the investor must make an investment into a for profit enterprise and the investment must create at least 10 jobs.

The minimum investment for an EB5 visa is typically $1.8 million.  However, if you invest in a targeted employment area or a rural area, the investment amount can be downgraded to $900,000.

A targeted employment area is an area that has an unemployment rate that is 150% above the national average.  For example, if the national unemployment rate is 5%, then a targeted employment area is an area that has at least a 7.5% unemployment rate.

A rural area is any area located outside of a metropolitan statistical area and outside a city or town having a population of more than 20,000.  This means that suburbs of major cities, regardless of their population are typically not rural areas, even if they have less than 20,000 people.

The funds must be committed to the enterprise before you seek the EB5 visa.  This means that the funds must be out of your account and into either the business’s account or an escrow account.  The funds do not have to be spent at the time of filing the visa, as long as there is a business plan that details how the funds will be spent.

Yes.  Multiple investors can invest in the same business or project, and you can have US citizens or residents invest into the business or project, without this affecting your ability to apply for the EB5 visa.

No.  You can own any percentage of the business from less than 1% to 100%.  You just need to show that you will make certain decisions on behalf of the company. 

Ten jobs must be created for each foreign investor who seeks an EB5 visa.  For example, let’s say that there are five investors into a business, and only one is seeking an EB5 visa, then only 10 jobs must be created.  If there are 2 investors seeking the EB5 visa for the same project, then 20 jobs must be created.

Not necessarily.  If you are investing in your own business, then ten direct jobs, meaning the company directly employs 10 people, must be created.  If you are investing in a regional center project, where you have less control and management over the business, then you can show that at least 10 direct, plus indirect and induced jobs are created by the investment.

A regional center is a legal entity that was created to promote economic growth, including job creation, in a set geographical location.  The appropriate US immigration agency determines which businesses qualify for the regional center qualification.

Indirect jobs are full-time jobs created by the company but not necessarily employed by the company.  For example, if you invest in a bakery, the direct jobs are the ones hired by the bakery.  The indirect jobs are the jobs created to fund the supplies needed for the bakery, such as drivers to deliver ingredients to the bakery or the baked goods to the stores, as well as the extra hired hands needed by the farm to plant and harvest the ingredients will be counted.  Typically, the regional center will hire an economist to determine the indirect jobs created by your investment.

Induced jobs are those created to service the needs of those hired by the company.  Taking the example above, the bakery employees are now employed and are using the money to buy lunches during their breaks.  Businesses will have to hire new employees to service the bakery employees.  These new hires are the induced jobs calculated in EB5 regional center calculations.  As with the indirect jobs, the regional center will typically hire an economist to determine the number of induced jobs created by your investment.

There are many regional center projects to choose from, and the process could be overwhelming.  We have worked with various regional centers and different projects in the past.

The jobs do not have to be created when you file the EB5 visa.  Rather, they must be created within two years of obtaining your residency in the US, or within a reasonable time thereafter.

Currently, immigration guidelines do not allow for investors to seek their green card until after their EB5 visa has been approved.

Because the EB5 visa is contingent upon job creation, you and your family will initially receive conditional residency, valid for two years. 

The only difference between conditional residency and permanent residency is that the conditional residency is valid for two years.  You and your family will be able to work anywhere in the US, go to school anywhere in the US, and live anywhere in the US.  You will be freely able to travel in and out of the country, during the two-year period of conditional residency status.

You must file for your permanent green card within the 90 days immediately before your conditional residency expires.  For example, your conditional residency expires on May 1, 2020.  You can file for your permanent green card at any time between January 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020.  The application must be received by immigration by May 1, 2020.

Yes, your spouse and any child under 21 is eligible to apply for the green card based on your one EB5 investment.  You do not have to make separate investments for each family member.

Your child who has turned 21 after you applied for an EB5 visa may still be able to apply for a green card based on your investment.