EB-5 investors are required to make a minimum investment of $900,000 for targeted employment area (TEA) projects and $1,800,000 for non-TEA projects. This investment must be responsible for the creation of at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs for U.S. workers. For EB-5 purposes, “full-time” is defined as 35 or more hours per week, and “permanent” means that the job cannot be seasonal or temporary in nature. For projects sponsored by regional centers, jobs may be calculated using economic models and can include induced and indirect job creation, but the basic requirement remains: each EB-5 investor must create 10 or more jobs.
Of course, foreign nationals planning an EB-5 investment should hire a knowledgeable immigration attorney and learn more about the above requirements; it is important to understand the many regulations that govern the EB-5 program. All EB-5 jobs must be full-time, but EB-5 employers are allowed to use job-sharing agreements. In this scenario, a full-time position is divided among several part-time employees. Additionally, each job must last for at least two years and can be filled by different employees during this period. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires EB-5 workers to have legal permission for employment.
Regional center-sponsored projects are typically much more popular than direct projects due to their flexible job calculation criteria. Regional center investors are allowed to count induced and indirect jobs, which result from the expenditures made by the EB-5 project and its employees. For example, an EB-5 project may purchase goods, construction materials, and services from local businesses while its employees spend their wages in the area. These purchases strengthen the local economy and thus indirectly create jobs. Foreign nationals who choose regional center projects that plan on creating more than 10 jobs per investor increase their chances of filing a successful I-829 petition.