EB-5 Visa

USA EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Overview of EB-5 Visa

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services by EB-5

Created by Congress to stimulate and promote economic growth, the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB 5 investment immigration program offers a fast-track route to the US green card to applicants fulfilling the prescribed investment and job creation requirements.

As an addition to the traditional EB5 program, the Immigrant Investor Visa Pilot Program, enacted in 1992, offers foreign investors applicants the option of qualifying for the visa through Regional Centers investments. Setup as an alternative to the direct investment option available under the ‘traditional’ program setup in 1990, this temporary program has received numerous extensions.


The EB-5 program is a permanent residence program allowing for immigration by investment to the United States of America. CMB Regional Centers offers investment opportunities to foreign nationals who would like to utilize the EB-5 program to obtain permanent residence in the United States.


The EB-5 visa gives permanent U.S. residency to those investing into government-approved projects across the United States of America. The USA EB5 investment visa can be beneficial as it grants access to the U.S. education system, the right to live, retire, work and study in the USA, the ability to receive investment back upon the completion of the project and residency for the investor, any children (under 21) and their spouse. The main applicant must reside in the USA for 6 months per year.

The Benefits of the EB-5 Visa Program for UAE Residents

  • One of the Fastest Ways to Immigrate to the U.S.
  • No Visa Waiting List
  • Investor & Family Members All Eligible For Green Cards
  • Ability to Live and Move Anywhere in the U.S. at Any Time
  • Flexibility to Work Anywhere or for Anyone in the U.S. or Start Your Own Company
  • Lower Tuition Rates and Higher Acceptance Rates to College
  • No Sponsorship Needed from Employer or Family Member
  • No Education or Employment Requirements For Visa Process
  • Direct Path to U.S. Citizenship after 5 Years of Permanent Residency (if the Investor Chooses)

Process for EB-5

  1. Invest in America: Invest a minimum of $900,000 (plus associated costs) into an open CMB EB-5 Project. CMB EB-5 investment offerings are structured such that each EB-5 investor should meet the requirements of the EB-5 investor visa program. A primary requirement is the creation of 10 new American jobs.
  2. Immigrate to America: Success in EB-5 ultimately provides U.S. permanent residency (green card) to the EB-5 investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children less than 21 years of age.
  3. Live in America: U.S. permanent residents may live, work, and travel anywhere in the United States. Permanent residents pay ‘resident’ tuition rates at U.S. colleges and universities in their home state. Permanent residency also offers a path to U.S. citizenship.


“Visa” is another word for “green card.” In simplest terms, this program is known as a residency-by-investment option.  There are five different employment-based visa programs, and the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Program is one of them.

This program is open to all foreign nationals who have the fiscal means to invest the minimum amount required into a government approved EB-5 investment project. An EB-5 applicant is considered an individual investor and because it is one of the quickest paths to U.S. permanent residency and eligible family members – spouses and dependent children – may apply under a single investment, it is often a primary choice for families with access to investment capital.

Although the EB-5 process can be time-consuming and a bit more complex under the surface, the basic requirements for securing an EB-5 visa through this program are fairly straightforward and can be counted on one hand:

  • Invest $1.8 million in a program-approved project either directly or with the help of an EB-5 regional center (or $900,000 when the project lies within a designated targeted employment area, or TEA).
  • Ensure your lawfully obtained EB5 investment capital remains at risk for the duration of the EB5 investment period (two years).
  • Prove that the project you have invested in has created and maintained a minimum of 10 new full-time employment positions.
  • Eligible family members who plan to obtain permanent residency in the United States will submit the required petitions at the same time you do.

The above answer describes the job creation requirement for regional centers as “more relaxed.” EB-5 investors weighing their options may wonder exactly what that means. Whereas a direct investor may only attribute jobs that were added to the project’s direct payroll toward the 10-job minimum requirement, regional centers are allowed greater flexibility in calculating job creation. Indirect and induced jobs may be attributed as long as a reasonable methodology is used to establish job creation.

Reasonable methodologies normally approved by USCIS encompass input–output models that the U.S. government and other reputable entities have used. The methods accepted involve a mathematical estimation for the jobs created and other factors of economic stimuli that can impact a particular sector of an economy (including capital investment).

One of the primary requirements for participation in the EB-5 program is that EB5 investment capital must remain “at risk” for the duration of the investment period. While the name of the requirement alludes to investing in risky projects, this is not the case. The central goal of the EB-5 investment program is to strengthen the economy. How do you do that with an investment? By successfully growing the original amount invested.

The actual purpose of the EB-5 “at risk” requirement is to ensure EB5 investment capital is specifically used to fund a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that will create real jobs and stimulate the economy. Ensuring your funds remain “at risk” refers to both the risk of financial loss and the opportunity for financial gain. The specific terms of your investment will be unique and should be clearly outlined in your investment documents – including how you will see your capital (and any gains) returned.

Hopeful EB-5 investors have heard this program is one of the shortest paths to U.S. permanent residency, but that doesn’t really answer this question, does it? This is because the time it takes to complete the EB-5 process depends on a plethora of variables, including but not limited to:

  • How long an investor spends vetting projects
  • The time necessary to prepare documents for submission
  • USCIS adjudicators’ processing times
  • Post-approval waiting periods on EB-5 visas
  • How long it takes for eligible parties to enter the United States
  • The processing times on USCIS petitions for condition removal

What is certain are the eight steps each investor will pass through on their journey to an EB-5 visa.

Immigration to the United States is based on a quota system, and there are limits to the number of visas allocated each fiscal year. For the EB-5 program, for instance, approximately 10,000 visas are made available to foreign national investors. However, those visas are further split relatively evenly among participating countries. If demand exceeds supply in a certain country, as with anything, a backlog can manifest. This is why you may be required to endure an additional wait even beyond EB-5 visa approval.

Part of the reason the EB-5 program is so popular is that the backlog for the EB-5 category is relatively recent compared to other green card categories with long-standing backlogs. A bit of recent history: Indian nationals experienced a visa backlog for the first time in July 2019, but after a year of erratic priority date shifts, the India EB-5 backlog became current again (in July 2020) with no additional delays expected. Only two countries are dealing with backlogs as of November 2020 (China and Vietnam).

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