Because the EB-5 program requires investors to create new jobs, simply adding hours to existing jobs is unlikely to satisfy the program’s employment creation requirement. It would be prudent to seek clarification from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before proceeding with such an approach.
Employment generation is one of the foundations of the EB-5 investment industry; the program renders invaluable assistance to the U.S. economy by creating new jobs and providing a source of much-needed investment capital. In fact, foreign nationals are encouraged to make an EB-5 investment in a targeted employment area (TEA). TEAs are either rural or high-unemployment areas in great need of economic development. Foreign nationals who choose projects located in TEAs are allowed to invest at only $900,000, while the minimum investment amount for non-TEA projects is $1,800,000.
Of course, there are many other requirements governing EB-5 job creation. For instance, every EB-5 investment must generate 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers. This means that the workers hired by an EB-5 project must be legally authorized for employment in the United States. Moreover, each position must last for a minimum of two years. Still, USCIS does allow a position to be filled by multiple employees during the two-year period; the agency is primarily concerned with the duration of the job.
In addition, foreign nationals interested in making an EB-5 investment should note that regional center and direct EB-5 projects count employment very differently. Direct EB-5 investors are only allowed to count jobs that were directly created by the project; in contrast, regional center investors can also count induced and indirect employment. As a result of its flexible employment calculation, the regional center program has long been popular. Many foreign nationals find it beneficial to invest in regional center projects, which make it much easier to meet the employment creation criteria.