In today’s challenging economic times when traditional forms of capital are coming up short in providing the necessary funds for growing businesses, many entrepreneurs are looking for other sources of capital that can close the gap between the requirements for either growth or development capital and the available sources of funds. One source that has gained more favor over the past few years is the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as EB-5. The program’s requirements are described in Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and is a highly beneficial permanent residency option for a wealthy foreign national investor. The program enables a foreign national to obtain permanent residence status more expeditiously than would most other options and it provides much needed investment capital to projects that otherwise lack capital sufficient for completion or expansion.
In general, the program is a federal government program that allows foreign nationals to invest capital in the United States through designated investment funds. These designated investment funds are created through regional centers that are approved by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS). Regional centers are geographical areas for which the USCIS has determined that investments will create the necessary 10 jobs per investor, whether directly or indirectly, in that geographical area. These regional centers will provide capital to projects with the intent of creating jobs. In turn, the investors who invest in funds created by these regional centers will receive permanent United States residency status if the investment creates the required number of jobs.