In 1990, under section 203(b) (5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. Â§ 1153(b) (5), the United States Congress created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category. To encourage immigration through the EB-5 program, Congress created a Regional Center Investment Program in 1993.
The program specifically sets aside 10,000 visas annually for foreign investors who apply through a United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) designated Regional Center. To qualify for the provisional program foreign investors must:
- Demonstrate that a “qualified investment” is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center. The qualified investment must be:
- At least $1,000,000, or
- At least $500,000 within a designated Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
- Demonstrate that the qualified investment will benefit the United States economy and:
- Show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment.