EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Residency | May lead to US Citizenship

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, is administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and was created by the US Congress through the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990 and further supported through the enactment of the Immigrant Investor Programme of 1992.

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  • Mobility : Permanent Residence in the United States

  • Minimum Capital Outlay : $ 958,720

  • Application Processing Time : ~ 36 Months

  • Physical Presence : In-country or outside of country adjustments may be made

  • Minimum Criteria : Invest in a business in the US or create and preserve 10 jobs

  • Pre-requisites : Main applicant must be at least 18 years of age;

About United States (EB-5)

The United States has a population of approximately 329 million. Its capital is Washington DC, and the official language spoken is English, whilst Spanish is also widely spoken. The country’s currency is of course, the United States Dollar.

The US represents the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP fuelled by its status as the leading importer and second largest exporter of goods. The country is comprised of 50 states that offer a wide range of business environments that are suited for all requirements. This business-friendly environment, quality of life considerations to specific technology, supply chain, infrastructure and workforce factors, the nation’s diversity and openness, allow businesses from all countries and industries to find their place in the market.

The United States offers the largest consumer market on earth with a GDP of USD 20 trillion and 325 million people. Household spending is the highest in the world, accounting for nearly a third of global household consumption. At the same time, free trade agreements with 20 other countries provide enhanced access to hundreds of millions of additional consumers – and the United States continues to work with companies to increase opportunities for US exporters.

As a recognized leader in research and development (R&D), the US registers more international patents than any other country. Today’s innovators are safeguarded by a robust intellectual property protection framework, while the innovators of tomorrow are nurtured at leading universities and incubators across the nation. Companies of all sizes help make innovation in the United States a global enterprise, benefiting from – and contributing to – a flourishing ecosystem for invention and inspiration.

Benefits of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program grants the right to reside in the US indefinitely for the main applicant and immediate family, together with the ability to travel freely within the 50 states. It also facilitates travel to countries that have a green-card visa waiver arrangement with the United States, including countries such as Canada and Mexico. The US green card does not expire nor do the applicant’s children lose their residency status when they turn 21.

The United States is consistently ranked among the best internationally for its overall competitiveness and ease of doing business. Backed by a regulatory environment that is particularly conducive to starting and operating a business, US business culture encourages free enterprise and competition. As a stable democracy with a transparent and predictable legal system, all companies – regardless of national origin – compete on an even playing field.

The program also gives access to the public education system at all age levels and the US is also home to thousands of highly regarded private schools, many of which are multi-lingual and provide a route to some of the world’s highest-ranking universities and colleges. Lower tuition costs and access to scholarships, have resulted in a surge in applications from international students, thus, competition for acceptance into American universities is fiercer than ever.

Qualifying for the program is relatively simple, because there no specialized skills are required. There are no travel or age restrictions, and no language skills requirement. Investors use the U.S. dollar denominated EB-5 investment as a depreciation hedge against local currency.

Commitment expectations

To apply for permanent residence under the United States’ EB5 program, one of the following conditions is required:

  • Invest a minimum of USD 1.8 million in a commercial enterprise, that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees; or
  • Invest a minimum of USD 900,000, in a Targeted Employment Area, or through a third-party managed Regional Centre approved by the USCIS;

Further to this, USCIS-related administrative fees covering all stages for a single main applicant amount to approximately USD 8,725. If opting for the Regional Centre investment route, an additional USD 50,000 will be required.

This means that the least total capital outlay for a single applicant, for an application through a Regional Center would amount to approximately USD 958,725. This excludes service providers’ professional and/or legal fees.

The Application Process

The acquisition of permanent residence through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme, is typically achieved in three stages.

The process starts by choosing a service provider, who can also provide access to a lawyer or law firm, who specialise in US immigration. This is then followed by choosing an investment, preparing the documentation to evidence lawful source of funds and submitting the statutory form expressing interest as an entrepreneur who wishes to immigrate to the United States. For this first part of the process, the waiting time for a response from the USCIS is typically 18-24 months.

The second part of the process is to apply for lawful permanent resident status. This part of the process depends on whether the applicant is already in the United States, or is outside of the country, either status involves the submission of the applicable statutory forms to the USICS, who take approximately 9 months to grant a conditional permanent residence status, in the form of a 2-year green card.

The final part of the process in obtaining permanent residence, commences a few months before the expiration of the 2-year green card, through filing a petition to remove conditions on residence. This petition is submitted through another form to the USCIS, who after 24-30 months will provide a response and thus, a permanent green card.

The process can be furthered by filing for naturalisation and thus, acquiring US citizenship, however this aspect does not form part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and should be seen as an additional step.

The Route_startResidencyThe Route_end

Real Estate

  • This programme does not have a real estate investment route;


  • A minimum capital of USD 1.8 million in a commercial enterprise that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying? employees;

  • A minimum investment of USD 900,000 through a third-party managed Regional Center approved by the USCIS, or in a Targeted Employment Area;


  • This programme does not require applicants to make a financial contribution to the state


  • Investment funds need to remain ‘at risk’ during the immigration process, meaning that no guaranteed return on, or of principal may be offered, nor possess any redemption rights on capital

Administrative Fees

USCIS fees for the relevant forms forming part of the process include:

  • USD 3,750 for Form I-526;
  • USD 1,140 for Form I-485. USD 750 if under 14 years of age;
  • USD 3,750 for Form I-829;
  • USD 85 for biometric fees (may be required multiple times depending on timeline)

 Furthermore, approximately USD 50,000 in Regional Centre administrative fees will be required if choosing this route

And Also:

  • USCIS approval of an EB-5 regional center application does not constitute USCIS endorsement of the activities of that regional center. Neither does it guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws or minimize or eliminate risk to the investor. Potential investors are encouraged to seek professional advice when making any investment decisions.