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In 1990, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5. It was developed to stimulate the U.S. economy by encouraging foreign investors to create jobs here in the United States. Every year, thousands of investors from countries such as China are allowed to live in the United States as long as they stimulate growth by investing in new commercial enterprises.

If you are a resident of China who wishes to invest here in the United States, you will have to prove that:

  • You are investing in a new commercial business that was established after November 29, 1990 or an enterprise that was established before then but has been recently restructured or reorganized.
  • You will be able to create at least 10 full-time jobs with your investment. These jobs can be either direct (identifiable jobs that resulted from the investment) or indirect (jobs created collaterally because of the investment) if the investment is made with a USCIS approved Regional Center.
  • If you did not create jobs, you must prove that you preserved 10 jobs at a troubled business that has recently incurred a net loss.
  • You invested $1 million in the United States or $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area.

There are a limited number of visas available through the EB-5 investor program. Only 10,000 EB-5 visas are available each year, including 3,000 reserved for investors in targeted employment areas (TEA) and 3,000 for investors in commercial enterprises affiliated with regional centers that are struggling to find domestic investments.

Unlike many immigration programs, however, the approval for EB-5 applications is relatively high. The United States wants to encourage investors from China to create jobs stateside. So they tend to approve most applications from eligible applicants. Furthermore, the government has not recently given out all of the EB-5 visas available. According to IIUSA, there were 2,405 of the 10,000 available EB-5 visas granted in 2012 of which nearly 70 percent went to investors from China.

Anyone wishing to take part in the investment program should not, however, assume that his or her application will be accepted. Hundreds of applications are denied each year. Without legal guidance, your dream of investing and living in the United States may be denied. Please contact an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney who will guide you through the process successfully.