The EB-5 (or Employment Based: Fifth Preference) Visa was created by Congress in 1990 (under the administration of George H.W. Bush) to stimulate the United States economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.  As overseen by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 Visa is one of the most flexible visas available by the U.S. government, offering numerous benefits, including:

  • One of the fastest ways to obtain a U.S. green card and U.S. citizenship
  • Provides permanent residency in the United States for the applicant, spouse and any children under the age of 21
  • Provides similar benefits as a U.S. citizen
  • No language, age or minimum education requirements
  • Ability to work and live anywhere in the U.S.
  • Ability to travel to and from your homeland without a visa
  • Access to education at colleges and universities at U.S. resident costs
  • Ability to start a business
  • Ability to become a citizen after 5 years
  • Ability to sponsor family members for a green card

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program is outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act §203(b)(5), as codified in 8 U.S.C.A. §1153 (2006), and 8 Code of Federal Regulations §204.6.  According to these regulations, 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified foreign individuals seeking permanent resident status in the United States on the basis of their engagement (investment of at least US $1,050,000, the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs and active management or policy-making position) in a new commercial enterprise.

Of the 10,000 EB-5 visas available annually, 3,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving a USCIS designated “Regional Center.”  The 3,000 is not a limit, but it reflects an amount specifically reserved for Regional Centers.

The Regional Center program was created pursuant to Section 610 of the Appropriations Act of 1992 by USCIS, to facilitate economic growth and increased capital investments in job-creating enterprises in the United States, through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program.  An investment that takes place through a USCIS approved Regional Center allows an immigrant investor several advantages:

  • The amount of investment is lowered from $1,050,000 to $800,000 if the investment is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), defined as a rural area or an area which has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate.
  • The 10 jobs to be created by each investor can include direct, indirect and induced jobs (based on an approved econometric model) such as the RIMS II Input/Output Model and the IMPLAN Model.
  • Passive Investment, such as a limited partner, is sufficient to comply with the EB-5 Program’s regulations that require a management or policy-making position.

In order to warrant favorable consideration for the EB-5 Program, the petitioner must demonstrate that:

  • The investment is being made in a “new commercial enterprise” (8 CFR §204.6(e) and (h))
  • The investment is being made in a “targeted employment area” for purposes of reducing the threshold investment from one million eight hundred thousand dollars ($1,050,000) to nine hundred thousand dollars ($800,000) (8 CFR §204.6(e), (f)(2) and (j)(6)(ii))
  • The investor will be engaged in the management of the new commercial enterprise (8 CFR §204.6(j)(5) and 8 CFR §204.6(j)(5)(iii)
  • The investment is creating the requisite number of full-time positions given the fact that there are “multiple investors” in the qualifying investment enterprise (8 CFR §204.6(g))
  • The investment capital is “at risk for the purpose of generating a return on the capital placed at risk” (8 CFR §204.6(j)(2)

Atlantic American Partners has developed its unique Diversified Fund structure to comply with these requirements of the EB-5 Program.  Each Fund’s limited partnership interests are only being offered to EB-5 applicants, and therefore non-EB-5 investors will not be included in any Fund.  For additional information related to the EB-5 Program and its requirements, please refer to the USCIS website.

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