EB-5 Minimum Investment
Currently, the EB-5 Program allows for a minimum investment in the amount of $500,000. The funds should be traceable and originate from legitimate sources. While participating in the EB-5 Program involves a risk of a partial or complete loss of the investment, the EB-5 investments are subject to return within several years, depending on a project.
Participation in similar investor immigration programs in other countries often requires considerably larger investments and non-refundable contributions. For example, the minimum amount for an investment visa in the UK starts from $2.5 million and may reach $13 million. Malta investor immigration program mandates a minimum non-refundable contribution of €650,000 in addition to certain qualifying investments. Due to comparatively lower investment requirements, the number of foreign investors who became U.S. permanent residents through the EB-5 Program has increased in recent years. Permanent resident status allows one to apply for U.S. citizenship in the future.
The U.S. Congress has been considering amendments to the EB-5 Program increasing the investment threshold to $800,000 – $1.35 million. Those investors who apply for EB-5 investor visas before such amendments are enacted may still benefit from more favorable conditions of becoming a U.S. resident.
EB-5 Investment Options
The EB-5 Program offers two main options where foreign investors can (1) start their own business in the U.S. making sure it is qualifying for certain eligibility criteria or (2) invest in a project supervised by one of the EB-5 Regional Centers designated by the USCIS. Since most of the applicants find it burdensome to operate a job-creating company in the U.S., the majority of investments are being made through the Regional Centers.
We assist clients in choosing and interacting with reputable Regional Centers having a good track record of completed investment projects.
EB-5 Investments with Cryptocurrencies
With the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, large holders of digital assets may also qualify for the EB-5 Program and use their cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to make the necessary investment and receive the U.S. permanent resident status.
The USCIS EB-5 Division Chief has suggested that transfers of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, could potentially qualify under the EB-5 Program, so long as the general requirements are satisfied. At least one of the Regional Centers announced acceptance of Bitcoin to fund EB-5 investments. But in most cases, investors will need to convert their cryptocurrency into U.S. dollars upon transfer to the U.S., which should be done properly to qualify for the EB-5 Program.
We are consulting clients on participation in the EB-5 Investor Visa Program with the additional cryptocurrency component, including completing the required KYC/AML checks and retaining licensed intermediaries.
Comprehensive EB-5 Visa Assistance
Our firm provides full legal support to high-net-worth foreign individuals at all stages of obtaining an EB-5 investor visa in the U.S., including:
- Consulting on the EB-5 Program eligibility criteria;
- Analyzing options and providing recommendations on the available investment projects and Regional Centers;
- Preparing documents for the EB-5 application and transfer of the investment;
- Submitting a petition with the USCIS and preparing clients for visa interviews;
- Petitioning to remove conditions on a client’s permanent resident status and, subsequently, to become a U.S. citizen;
- Consulting clients throughout the interaction with a regional center, including in relation to a return of the client’s investment (typically, after 5-6 years from the investment date).