The United States, like many other nations, offers a pathway for wealthy individuals to enter and contribute to its economy. The “EB-5” immigrant visa, which stands for “employment fifth preference,” enables such visitors to the country to receive a green card (permanent residency) right away.
But how can you purchase an existing business as an EB-5 investment? Read on for more information.
Are You Eligible for an EB-5 Visa Through Investment?
There are two methods for obtaining an EB-5 visa:
- Regional Center
- Direct Investment
Most investors often put money into a “regional center,” which is a company that operates a business that generates jobs. Many investors find this appealing because they do not need to start their firm and the required investment is typically only at the bottom tier.
Regional centers must be identified and approved by the USCIS and are designed to handle USCIS guidelines for the initial, conditional green card. Investors must look for a regional center that can fulfill its commitment to meet USCIS requirements for receiving the unconditional EB-5 VISA.
To learn more about the EB5 regional center, you can consult a service agent for EB-5 investors.
Another way to obtain an EB-5 visa is by making a direct investment in your enterprise. The higher-tier minimum investment must go toward starting a new U.S. firm or restructuring/growing an existing one.
Rules for Investing in an Existing Business
A successful existing business may get an EB-5 investment under specific conditions:
- If the business is restructured to become a new commercial enterprise (NCE), or
- If the investment leads to a 40% increase in the company’s net worth or the number of workers.
According to the USCIS, an NCE is a for-profit institution established or reorganized after November 29, 1990. On the contrary, EB-5 investors have the option to put their money into troubled businesses rather than having to do so in NCEs.
The EB-5 program defines a troubled business as an organization that has suffered a minimum net loss of 20% over the past 12 or 24 months before an alien investor files an immigrant petition under Form I-526. Troubled companies must have been around for at least 24 months before getting an EB-5 investment.
Since most EB-5 investors pick NCEs, they are required to create ten brand-new full-time jobs for unemployed Americans. The primary goal of investing in failing enterprises is to preserve current roles; thus, foreign nationals who choose to invest in troubled business entities may not necessarily have to create new jobs.
For instance, a struggling company receiving EB-5 investment funds might have ten workers. In this situation, the EB-5 investor is not required to demonstrate to USCIS that their investments resulted in the creation of new jobs; they simply need to maintain the business’s current employees.
Application For Purchasing an Existing Business As An Eb-5 Investment
Direct EB-5 Investment: If you’re thinking about employing direct EB-5 investment to buy, expand, or save a company that has been in operation for some time and has employees, take into account the following factors:
- Can you provide evidence of the date this company was founded? (If the history of the enterprise is undocumented or if the organization was unquestionably operational before November 29, 1990, regardless of name or ownership, USCIS will not recognize it as a “new” business)
- Can this company handle maintaining all current employees while also adding ten new jobs? If not, can you demonstrate that the company satisfies the stringent definition of a “troubled business” provided by USCIS?
- Do you have access to thorough payroll records that show employment before an EB-5 investment?
- Do you have access to financial documents that, if necessary, would provide the specifics needed to support a significant expansion or troubled business matter?
- If you are buying and expanding an organization, will your qualifying business investment cover essential expenses related to the employment-creating expansion?
Regional center EB-5 investment: Consider the following concerns if you’re thinking about employing regional center EB-5 investment to buy, expand, or save a company that has already existed for some time and has employees:
- It does not matter when the company that is producing jobs was first founded, as long as EB-5 investors first invest their funds in a new company that then injects money into the existing institution.
- It is important that the job-generating company employed people before the EB-5 investment.
The process of entering the country with an EB-5 visa is simple: determine the kind of business you want to invest in, complete an official form, and present your application to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) with the aid of an immigration lawyer.