Jobs created in two separate locations may be acceptable, but this scenario will make it more difficult to comply with EB-5 regulations. First, for investors working with a regional center, the regional center’s jurisdiction must cover the entire project area. Second, if investments are made at the lower targeted employment area (TEA) threshold of $900,000, all jobs will need to be located in the TEA. Third, if the separate locations reflect a split company structure, one of the companies must be the wholly owned subsidiary of the other. Due to the complexity of such a scenario, an investor should consult an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney before proceeding.
Regardless of the project’s location, all EB-5 investors must generate or preserve at least 10 jobs. These must be full-time positions that last for at least two years; the job itself must last for two years, but it can be filled by more than one worker during that period. EB-5 project developers are authorized to use job-sharing agreements in which several part-time employees fill a full-time position. Moreover, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all EB-5 workers to be legally authorized for employment in the United States. In light of this requirement, some EB-5 project developers choose to hire only U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Foreign nationals planning an EB-5 investment should note that the job calculation criteria for regional center-sponsored projects is much more flexible than that of direct investment projects. While direct projects can only count employment that appears on their payroll, regional center investors can count direct, induced, and indirect jobs—the latter two types of employment are generated by the spending of the EB-5 project and its employees. Using a combination of direct, indirect, and induced employment makes it much easier to create the 10 required jobs per EB-5 investor.