The EB-5 program’s employment creation requirement is calculated based on the number of EB-5 investors who invest in a project, not on the project’s total capital. A project must create 10 full-time, permanent jobs per EB-5 investor. All full-time, permanent jobs created by a project are counted toward the EB-5 job creation requirement. If, for example, a project creates 500 full-time, permanent jobs, it could support up to 50 EB-5 investors, with 10 jobs being allocated to each investor. If that same project had only 20 EB-5 investors, however, the 500 jobs would be divided among them, and each investor would be allocated 25 jobs—far more than the 10 jobs required.
Foreign nationals interested in participating in the EB-5 program should carefully examine each potential project. Thoroughly checking each project’s background and credentials is critical because some investors have been the victims of fraudulent project developers. EB-5 investors should look for projects with the lowest financial and immigration risk possible. An immigration attorney who has experience with the EB-5 program can be invaluable in helping potential investors stay away from suspicious developers and identify reliable projects. EB-5 investors will need an immigration attorney’s assistance throughout the EB-5 process; it can be difficult to keep track of the numerous complex regulations set out by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Fortunately, many EB-5 projects offer investors an ample job cushion—that is, they create much more than 10 jobs per investor. In fact, investors should be on the lookout for projects that have already created the necessary number of jobs. For example, suppose that a real estate development is open to 15 EB-5 investors and plans on generating 1,000 EB-5 job positions. Once the project is halfway through completion, about 500 jobs will have been created. If a foreign national invests in the project once it is halfway through completion, then they are essentially guaranteed to fulfill the job creation requirement—the project had only to create 150 jobs to accommodate its 15 EB-5 investors.