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How can an EB-5 project select employees that will meet the job creation requirement?

For jobs created directly by the EB-5 project, employees are hired in the same way that any business hires employees—the only requirement is that the positions be full time and filled by U.S. workers. Induced and indirect job creation, on the other hand, is based on money spent and does not involve any hiring on the part of the project.

In its Policy Manual, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains in further detail the criteria that must be met by EB-5 project employees:

For the purpose of the job creation requirement, the employee must be a qualifying employee. A qualifying employee is a U.S. citizen, a lawfully admitted permanent resident, or other immigrant lawfully authorized for employment in the United States including, but not limited to, a conditional resident, a temporary resident, an asylee, a refugee, or a noncitizen remaining in the United States under suspension of deportation. This definition does not include the immigrant investor, the immigrant investor’s spouse, sons, daughters, or any nonimmigrant.

The most important requirement to keep in mind is that employees must be authorized to work in the United States. To be on the safe side, some EB-5 project developers hire only employees who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and are thus guaranteed to count toward fulfilling the job creation criteria.

While direct EB-5 investment projects can only count workers who appear on the new commercial enterprise’s (NCE’s) payroll, regional center projects are also allowed to count induced and indirect employment. These kinds of jobs are generated by the EB-5 project’s expenses and the employees’ spending in the local community. Since indirect and induced jobs are not a result of the project’s hiring, foreign nationals who choose to invest in regional center-sponsored projects will typically find it easier to create the 10 required jobs. In fact, most EB-5 investors favor regional center projects over direct investment opportunities due to the flexible employment calculation.