The U.S. EB-5 visa, the employment-based fifth preference category, is also known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. The program was established by the Immigration Act of 1990. The EB-5 program provides a method for eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents (“green card”) holders having met certain investment requirements. The requirements include investing at least $900,000 to finance a business in the U.S., a business that will employ at least 10 American workers.
The EB-5 program is a separate program to federally-designated opportunity zones. The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) created qualified “opportunity zones” in December 2017 to encourage tax-favored investment in distressed communities throughout the U.S.
Our firm as a decades-long experience with federal or state-enabled programs for incentivizing community economic investment and economic development. When the program was in vogue our co-founder provided project feasibility studies to the investment banking teams in support of California SB-99 mortgage revenue bond financing for affordable housing. He prepared similar analytics back in the day when real estate syndication through limited partnerships was in vogue. And while California redevelopment law was in effect, our co-founder was an advisor and consultant to almost a dozen local community redevelopment agencies.