How to get an EB5 visa

Since 1990, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has provided a path for foreign investors to become U.S. residents.

Knowing how to navigate the process is essential for potential investors who want to successfully secure an EB-5 Visa and become U.S. Green Card holders.

This guide provides an overview of how to get an EB-5 Visa. For a detailed breakdown of the process, read our dedicated guide.

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How to get an EB-5 Visa – program requirements

Before diving in, EB-5 investors must understand the program’s basic requirements.

The minimum investment amount

Invest at least $1,050,000 in a business or $800,000 if the project is in a targeted employment area (TEA).

Investors have two investment options. They can either make a direct investment or go through an EB-5 regional center. Read our guide to learn more about EB-5 investment options.

Job creation requirements

Your investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of receiving your conditional permanent residency.

Read our guide to the EB-5 job creation requirements to learn more.

Legal source of funds

Investors must show that investment funds are from a lawful source and obtained legally.

Capital at risk

The source of capital must be considered ‘capital at risk’. This means the investor cannot receive any rate of return guarantees or contractual rights for repayment.

Discover more details about the EB-5 Visa requirements by reading our dedicated guide.

Steps to getting an EB-5 Visa

Below is an overview of the EB-5 process and the steps investors must take to secure their Green Card.

Step 1 – Selecting an EB-5 project

Selecting the right investment project is a crucial part of the EB-5 process, and proper due diligence is essential.

This includes understanding potential risks and return on investment (ROI). Investors should also consider the project’s job creation potential, which is vital to the program.

Around 95% of EB-5 investors choose to invest in regional center projects, making them the most popular way to invest in the EB-5 program. Those who choose this investment option should first research the regional center’s track record.

Read more about EB-5 investment projects for a more detailed breakdown.

Step 2 – Finding a lawyer

Knowing how to get an EB-5 Visa can seem straightforward on paper. However, the process often requires legal expertise. Hiring an experienced immigration attorney who specialises in EB-5 Visas is strongly advised

An attorney can help you understand the legal requirements, assist with document preparation and represent you throughout the application process.

If you want to learn more, we have a dedicated guide on how to find an EB-5 attorney.

Step 3 – File Form I-526

The next step is to actually apply for the EB-5 Visa.

Once you have selected and made your investment, the next step is filing Form I-526 or Form I-526E. The type of EB-5 Visa petition you file will depend on whether you make a direct investment or go through a regional center.

The I-526 petition shows that you meet all the requirements of the EB-5 program. This is usually submitted by your immigration attorney.

Step 4 – Conditional permanent residency

Once the I-526/I-526E petition has been approved by the USCIS, you and your eligible family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21) will be granted conditional permanent residency (Green Card).

This conditional status is valid for two years and allows you to live, work and study in the U.S.

Step 5 – Removal of conditions

Within the 90-day period before your two-year conditional Green Card expires, you must file Form I-829.

This petition demonstrates that you have fulfilled the requirements of the EB-5 program, including creating the required jobs. Once USCIS approves your I-829 petition, the conditions of your residency are removed, and permanent residency status is granted.

How to get an EB-5 Visa with Holborn

The EB-5 program is one of the world’s most sought-after residency-by-investment (RBI) schemes. Investors who successfully apply for the EB-5 Visa can become U.S. residents, opening up a world of benefits.

Download our factsheet for more information on the program. Alternatively, speak to one of our specialists.

Holborn Pass is an international leader in investor visas. Our experienced team provides a bespoke, end-to-end service and tailored advice to support your needs.

We are part of the wider Holborn Assets Group, a leading, award-winning financial advisory company with over $2 billion in assets under management (AUM).

We have successfully helped hundreds of people and their families secure golden visas. Book a consultation with one of our advisers to find out how we can assist you with your EB-5 application.

Frequently asked questions

The EB-5 Visa Program provides a pathway for foreign investors to become U.S. residents (Green Card holders). Investors need to make a capital investment and create full-time employment for U.S. workers.

The EB-5 Visa program offers several benefits, such as:

  • Live, work and study anywhere in the U.S.
  • Access to world-class education
  • A route to becoming a U.S. citizen

To qualify for an EB-5 Visa, an investor must invest:

  • $1,050,000 OR;
  • $800,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA) project

The investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years.

The EB-5 processing time is typically between six months to one year. However, the timeline can vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • USCIS processing times
  • Completion of documents
  • The investment project

Speak to a specialist who can advise on timelines based on your situation.

The USCIS allows investors to use almost any form of collateral to fund their EB-5 investment.

The source of the borrowed funds must be legally obtained, and you must be personally liable for the loan repayment. The loan must also be secured against the investor’s personal assets, such as:

  • Real estate
  • Stocks/shares or other securities
  • Gold

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