EB-5 Visa & How A Foreigner Can Start A Business In The US

It seems like it’s the American dream to open a business, allowing citizens to do what they love while answering to no one. Many Americans might dream about it but never get around to starting a business, perhaps due to lack of time, funds, or information. However, there are plenty of individuals in other countries who have spent their lives planning their perfect business, but never get the chance to do so in their home country. America’s reputation as the Land of Opportunity could make it the best place to open a new company, benefiting both citizens and the business owner. Now this scenario could be possible.

Many people are against immigrants coming to America only to take jobs, working for less than most Americans would. But what about those who come here to create jobs for Americans? The Immigration Act of 1990 has made this a likely situation. It created the EB-5 visa, which is a way for immigrants to obtain a green card and live here legally. But there is a catch. Each immigrant that is offered the EB-5 visa has to invest $1 million in a new business in the U.S., and must employ at least ten Americans full-time.

The EB-5 visa ensures that not only is the new U.S. resident contributing to society with a company, but is also helping other citizens by employing them. Immigrants interested in taking part in this program should note that there is a way to get around the $1 million investment minimum. If they open a business in an area that has a particularly high rate of unemployment, the minimum investment is lowered to $500,000.

If you doubt you could get access to $1 million, either through a loan or gift, there is another option. Opening a new business in a targeted area requires only $500,000 in capital. A targeted area is one that has very high unemployment rates, typically one and a half times higher than the country’s average rate. Targeted areas often have Regional Centers, which are agencies that study and strive to improve economic expansion in those areas.

The government gives out about 10,000 EB-5 visas annually. The process is not immediate, as it usually takes a year or more, but compared to the waiting lists of other visa types, this is a much quicker way to establish permanent residency. The investment is also very little compared to the consequences of coming to America illegally, and at the end of the process, each immigrant can have his or her own business. That is a dream many current American citizens will not realize.

The supply exceeds the demand most years. This means if you want to open a business in America, you have a high chance of being able to do so once you get the necessary funding to fulfill the EB5 requirements. Of the 10,000 available each year, about 3,000 are reserved for those opening companies in targeted areas with Regional Centers. This fact, combined with the smaller investment needed, makes opening a business and becoming a U.S. permanent resident even more possible when you do so in a targeted area.

With the EB-5 visa, the U.S. has created a way to benefit foreigners that want to come here, unemployed Americans who need jobs, and the economy. The extra incentive given to immigrants who open businesses and employ residents in areas that are particularly struggling is also helpful. Many people have no idea about this program’s existence, and it benefits everyone to promote it.

Immigrants interested in this type of program should contact a lawyer who specializes in immigration law. Many American citizens have never heard of this program because they assume it doesn’t affect them, and the same goes for many lawyers, who might know just the basics about it. Contacting an attorney who knows all the regulations and requirements for the EB-5 visa program is the best first step to take to ensure the process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible.


EB-5 Investor Green Card

10 thoughts on “EB-5 Visa & How A Foreigner Can Start A Business In The US

  1. Hi there. What are the visa options for Australian companies wishing to send an Australian citizen to the US to work as a correspondent? Many thanks.

  2. Hi Alicia,
    To work a correspondent you would generally go on a journalist visa as far as I understand and pass all the condition that apply to the I-visa.
    You can read more about this here; http://canberra.usembassy.gov/consular/visas/niv/journalist.html.
    ONe thing to bear in mind is that as your employer will be foreign to the US, my guess is that trasfer to any permanent residency in the US from this visa would be probably not possible.
    Good Luck,

  3. EB-5 Regional Center Investment Visa Information

    Which EB-5 research all regional centers; you make the same $500,000 investment and get independent advice from our experts at no cost to you. Our impartial advice has helped more than a hundred families obtain Green Cards.

  4. Hi Stephen,
    If you actually gave people actual help on tips on here I would keep your links active but since this is just blatent advertising, I am removing all the links and references to your business.

  5. Iam working on H1B Visa with employer A.When iam on H1B Visa with company A i registeres a company in usa B.Right now my employer a is not ready to file my Green Card.Pl let me know the best option where i can file for green card

  6. Hi Vamsi,
    I am not sure what your exact question is but your company can file for your Permanent Residency/Green Card at any time while you are on H1B visa. However it must be your employer that does this, as you can’t do it yourself.
    Good Luck,

  7. I work with these visas and I can say first hand that they are giving Americans jobs and helping local economies. You make a great point in saying that much of the discourse around immigration involves people complaining about taken jobs, but I think the problem here is that too few people know about the Eb5. I would love to see it become a more discussed topic, because it has the power to really make people reconsider their stance.

  8. Hi
    I m Australian citizen n wish to open restaurant business on large scale in USA what to do n how much legal cost to get working visa n company etc

  9. Dear Managers,
    I am Levent DEMIRCI from Turkey.I am 46 years old Businessman in Turkey.I am married and I have two boy children. 11 and 13 years old.Now I want to open company in USA as a non resident. USA companies opening.
    When I open my company in USA as non resident I want to come to USA with my family. I want to manage work in my own company and my two son will go to school in USA. I want to take visa, which visa kind can I take to live and work in USA with my family please and how much it will cost to take visa please?
    I am waiting your inform please.
    Phone : 00905464075672

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