Common Questions About The US EB-5 Program

What is the EB-5 Program?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was created by the US Congress in 1993.  The US government started the EB-5 program in order to create new US jobs.  Congress designed the program to create new US jobs by encouraging qualified foreign investors to invest into job creating activities in the US.  In return for making an investment, a qualified foreign investor and his or her family may be eligible for a US green card. 

The EB-5 program is a terrific program for the United States:

  • It generates new foreign direct investment
  • It requires that new US jobs be created,
  • It finances new US growth and development, and
  • It raises new US tax revenue.

At the same time, the EB-5 Program encourages qualified investors to invest into the US in order to obtain a US green card.  The EB-5 Program is a real “win-win” for the United States and for foreign investors and their families.

What is the first step?

A potential EB-5 Investor must first sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and complete an Initial Information Form which will help determine if the potential Investor meets the basic requirements to make an investment in the US and to obtain a US green card pursuant to the EB-5 program. There is no cost to complete this form, and it does not require the investor to invest or proceed with the EB-5 process. Rather, these forms only provide initial information and insure confidentiality.

For a copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement and Initial Information Form, please follow this link. Then return the completed forms as described in the link.

What are your current EB-5 investment projects?

EB-5 New York State has identified investment project which meet the new EB-5 Regional Center program requirements. Please contact us for more information about specific projects.

Click here for more information about our current EB-5 investment project.

What is the process of earning an EB-5 green card?

Please refer to our Process page for more information about the process for EB-5 investors in EB-5 New York State, LLC projects.


Have EB-5 investors been successful with EB-5 New York State Regional Center projects?

We have helped immigrant investors and their families earn US permanent residency (US green cards) through the EB-5 program since 2007. EB-5 Investors in our projects are in all stages of the EB-5 process, including Investors who have received:

  • US green cards for themselves and their families,
  • I-526 and I-829 petition approvals and
  • 100% repayment of their investment.

Click here to see our past projects.

Do I need an immigration attorney?

Yes. EB-5 New York State requires that all investors in all affiliated projects have their own an immigration attorney with EB-5 experience who will represent that Investor. Your immigration attorney will represent you in your EB-5 immigration process and file your immigration petitions with USCIS.

How long does the EB-5 visa process take?

For a list of the current USCIS average times to process EB-5 Program petitions, see the USCIS Service Center processing times online at: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do At the bottom of the page, see:

  • See the “Immigrant Investor Program Office (also known as EB-5),” and
  • Click on the link to “IPO Processing Dates” This lists the current average posted times it takes USCIS to process specific EB-5 petitions. For a Form I-526 you can check the status of your case online

What is the risk of loss requirement?

The EB-5 Program requires that the EB-5 investment include elements of “risk.” Specifically, the EB-5 Investor must have a:

  • Possibility of gain and a
  • Risk of loss of the entire EB-5 investment.

It is against US law for an EB-5 Investor to be guaranteed the return of, or return on, his or her EB-5 investment. Having a risk of loss of the investment is a requirement of the EB-5 program.

Please note: the EB-5 program does allow a Job Creating Enterprise (often a borrower of EB-5 funds) to guarantee the return of a loan to a New Commercial Enterprise (often a lender of EB-5 funds). This loan model structure, with a guarantee of repayment from a borrower of EB-5 funds to a lender of EB-5 funds, is acceptable, and is NOT a guarantee of repayment to the EB-5 Investor of that Investor’s $800,000 investment.

If you learn of an EB-5 investment which “guarantees” the return of the EB-5 Investor’s investment, please inform USCIS at USCIS.ImmigrantInvestorProgram@uscis.dhs.gov.

Does the Investor and his or her family all earn a US green card with one investment?

The individual investor, his or her spouse and children under 21 may be eligible to obtain a US green card as a result of the one investment by the EB-5 investor.

How many jobs must my investment create and how are they counted?

The EB-5 Program requires that the job creating activity create (or retain) at least 10 new US jobs for every EB-5 investor.  All EB-5 New York State affiliated New Commercial Enterprises count job creation using an economic model of the direct, indirect and induced jobs created.   As a result, EB-5 New York State affiliated projects do not rely on the actual human beings working at a facility, but instead use standard economic models of job creation based on, as appropriate for an individual project, (1) construction spending and (2) operating activities. 

The specifics of every investment are different and we encourage anyone considering an EB-5 investment to carefully examine the investment before investing.

Can the new jobs be created before I invest?

An EB-5 investor may be allowed to take credit for jobs created before the investor makes his or her investment. The EB-5 Program has specific rules for “bridge financing” which may permit EB-5 investors to take credit for jobs created before they invest.

The specifics of every investment are different, and we encourage anyone considering an EB-5 investment to carefully examine the investment before investing.

What is the difference between the "Regional Center" program and a "Direct" EB-5 program?

The one major difference is that investors who invest into a project affiliated with an EB-5 Regional Center program are allowed to count the number of US jobs created using an economic model of the direct, indirect and induced jobs created. Alternatively, under the “direct” EB-5 program, only the direct jobs of actual workers may be counted, which is a significantly more difficult process. In addition, recent statutory changes permit only 1 EB-5 investor per direct EB-5 investment project, which has greatly limited the appeal of direct EB-5 investments.

Am I required to make an equity investment, or is my investment a "loan?"

The EB-5 program requires that each EB-5 investor make an equity investment into a commercial activity which is designed to create new US jobs.

Many people confuse the requirement to make an equity investment, with the “loan model” of job creation.

Under the “loan model,” EB-5 investors will make an equity investment into a company referred to as a “New Commercial Enterprise” or “NCE.” The NCE will then loan all of the investors’ capital to a “Job Creating Entity” or a “JCE.”

The specifics of every investment are different, and we encourage anyone considering an EB-5 investment to carefully examine the investment before investing.

What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A “targeted employment area” is defined as either:

  1. A rural area or
  2. A high unemployment area which has an unemployment rate at least 150% of the US national average.

Investors who invest in projects which. arelocated in high unemployment areas are able to invest $800,000 versus the normal $1,050,000. In addition, investors and rtheir families may be eligible to also receive a “reserved” visa.