Under U.S. immigration law, there are approximately 10,000 immigrant visas or Permanent Resident positions available each year to non-citizens who invest one million dollars in a new enterprise in the United States and create 10 new fulltime jobs.  By law, the one million dollar amount is reduced to $500,000 if the new enterprise is located in a designated high unemployment or rural area.  Currently, 3,000 of the total number of immigrant visas available in this category (EB5) are set aside for high unemployment /rural areas and 3,000 are set aside for Regional Centers.

To be considered a new commercial enterprise, the business must have been created after November 29, 1990.  However, the non-citizen investor is not required to start the business and is allowed to purchase an existing commercial enterprise.

In addition, if the investment is made in a pre-approved Regional Center, the 10 new jobs do not have to be directly employed by the enterprise and indirect job creation may be counted towards the total.  In Hawaii, there are currently six pre-approved Regional Centers.  In Oregon, there are currently 8 Regional Centers, including Seattle’s Golden Rainbow and Gateway Freedom Fund.

Initially, an Investor’s application (I-526) for Permanent Resident status is considered conditional and is only valid for 2 years. After 2 years, the Investor is required to file a second application with USCIS, an I-829 Petition to Remove the Condition, in order to demonstrate that the required capital has been invested and the requisite number of new jobs have been or are being created.

According to the latest processing times posted by USCIS, as of March 18, 2014, USCIS was processing initial I-526 applications filed on April 3, 2013, and adjudicating I-829 petitions for the Removal of Conditions filed on May 16, 2012.  In other words, it is currently taking USCIS approximately one year to decide the initial application and almost 2 years to decide the petition to remove the condition on Permanent Resident status.  Why so long?  Good question.  We too would like to know the answer to that one!

If YOU have a million dollars and would like to discuss the EB5 or other employment based options for Permanent Resident status for you and your family, please feel free to contact NELSON | SMITH, LLP, at Philip@visaoregon.com

To learn more, please see:

USCIS Processing Times 3.18.2014

EB5 Investor Program