Overview of Fifth Preference (EB-5): Investment Based Green Cards
This avenue of obtaining a green card is provided to wealthy individuals who will invest between $500,000 and $1 million in a United States business. However, the applicant must not only invest in a United States business, but must also take an active role in that business.
- Investment based green cards are limited to 10,000 per year
- The investment can be anywhere in the United States
- The investment must be maintained at least three years
- You must take an active role in the business, but you don’t need to control it
Eligibility for a Green Card Through Investment
In order to obtain a green card through investment, an individual must invest a minimum of $1 million in creating a new United States business or restructuring or expanding one that already exists. The $1 million minimum may be reduced to $500,000 if the business is located in a rural area or in an urban area with an unemployment rate certified by the state government to be at least 150% of the national average. The business must employ at least ten full-time workers, produce a service or product, and benefit the United States economy. Neither the investor, his/her spouse, or children may be counted among the ten employees.
Two-year Testing Period (Conditional Period)
The green card for an investor is issued initially only for a period of two years. The investor will have to file a request with the USCIS when the two years are over to remove the conditional nature of his/her green card. The purpose of this is to allow the USCIS to determine whether or not the investment has met all the requirements. If any of the requirements have not been met, the investor will lose his/her green card and be subject to removal from the United States.