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Employment Based Visas
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Foreign nationals who wish to use the EB-5 investment visa category for permanent residence have two basic choices.
The first option.
Individuals may find their own investment vehicle in which they will invest $1,000,000 or more in a business venture, which creates 10 U.S. jobs, or invest $500,000 in a designated targeted employment area (or TEA), and play a role an active role in the management and/or policy making.
The second option.
Individuals can invest in a USCIS approved "Regional Center".
There are many designated Regional Centers throughout the United States with a variety of investment opportunities ranging from real estate development to cancer research.
However, the investor is not running the business, and the rate of return may be substantially lower than that of a successful individual investment.
As set forth above, generally the amount of the investment is $1,000,000, unless the investor can prove that the investment is in a "rural area" or TEA -an area with high unemployment, at least 150% of the national average. If so, the amount of the required investment is $500,000. Many of the regional centers are located in such $500,000 TEA's. Both options require investors to prove that their investment has resulted in the creation of “full time employment” of 10 US workers. Individual investors must prove direct employment of these 10 employees.
However, with Regional Centers, depending on the nature of the aggregate investment, employment creation is determined using econometric modelling to determine whether the investment meets the regulatory employment creation criteria.
Of the utmost importance is that the individual investor be able to show that the investment capital comes from a “lawful source of funds.”
Substantial documentation is required to prove that the investment capital has been acquired in a legal manner. Documentation used to meet this requirement includes tax returns, real estate transactions, securities transactions, inheritance documentation, stock dividends, employment records, bank records, etc.
E1, E2, & EB-5 Visas