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The EB-5 Program Overview
To encourage immigration through the EB-5 program, Congress created a pilot program in 1993. The program specifically sets aside 3,000 visas annually for foreign investors who apply through a United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) designated regional center investment program. An investor seeking an EB-5 immigrant visa through a designated regional center must generally make a qualifying investment of $1 million and demonstrate that at least 10 jobs were directly or indirectly created through the investment.
Certain rural, high unemployment or Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) qualify for a lesser capital investment of $500,000. Carolina Center for Foreign Investment is a designated regional center that focuses solely on qualifying projects within targeted employment areas.
An investor seeking an EB-5 immigrant visa through a designated regional center must also demonstrate that at least 10 jobs were directly or indirectly created through the investment. CCFI utilizes a USCIS approved job methodology to measure and verify a qualifying project’s required job creation.
Before participating in a regional center EB-5 investment program, each investor independently petitions USCIS for an EB-5 visa. Qualified investors investing through a regional center receive a conditional green card valid for two years. The investor, spouse and unmarried children (under age 21 at the time of petition) can then apply for permanent residency based on investment. If approved, the investor and his immediate family become permanent green card holders and can later apply to become U.S. citizens. Upon receipt of conditional permanent resident status, the investor and immediate family are entitled to the same benefits as other lawful permanent residents.