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What is a “permanent” job for EB-5 purposes?

Within the context of the EB-5 investment program, a permanent job is one that is not temporary or seasonal. The EB-5 definition of “permanent” does not reflect a requirement that a job position must exist for a certain length of time—however, the necessary number of jobs (at least 10 per investor) must be created or be in the process of being created when Form I-829 is filed.

It is important to note that, in some cases, all of the 10 required jobs may not be in place when Form I-829 is filed. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a bit of flexibility here: if the applicant can make a strong argument that all the required jobs are “in the process of being created,” then USCIS will likely approve their petition. A common example would be the scaling up of a new business selling widgets. If the project can demonstrate that sales are increasing, eight full-time employees have been hired, and recruiting is underway for at least two more workers, then the additional two required jobs will be considered “in the process of being created.”

Interested foreign nationals should also note that the 10 required jobs can start to be counted at the beginning of the project and not only after the investor joins the project and provides EB-5 capital.

Job creation is one of the pillars of the EB-5 investment program; the U.S. economy benefits greatly from the employment generated by EB-5 capital. Still, the job creation requirements for direct and regional center investments are quite different. Potential EB-5 investors should carefully examine each available project to make sure that it can generate the needed jobs. In fact, the most reliable EB-5 investment opportunities plan on creating more than the needed number of jobs per investor. Real estate development projects are usually very reliable in this regard.