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Guidelines

The law requires that the foreign applicant have invested in or be in the process of investing the necessary capital into an approved EB-5 project. For the most accurate and current information refer directly to the USCIS website.

Amount of capital

The basic EB-5 Visa investment amount is USD$1,000,000.  However the required investment is USD$500,000 for an established business in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) which is defined as an area with an unemployment rate of 150% or more above the U.S. national average or in a rural area (defined as being within the boundary of a city or town with a population of 20,000 or less).

Types of capital

Investment in the EB-5 Visa program can be made in the form of cash, cash equivalents, equipment, inventory or other tangible property. However, capital does not include loans made by the investor to the venture, however the investor may borrow the investment money if it is secured by assets owned by the investor, provided the investor is personally liable for repayment of the loan. Yet, the investor may receive a gift of funds, if all applicable taxes required by law have been paid.

Source of capital

When the investment is made into the respective project the USCIS is notified. The current guidelines indicate a required investment for a TEA at USD$500,000.  Prospective investors are eligible to invest the required amount alone, create a qualifying business with other foreign investors and/or with a U.S. citizen or other people not seeking classification as a foreign investor.  In these types of cases, all persons seeking classification as a foreign investor must have invested the required amount of USD$500,000, however each investor can use the same employees to reach the required 10 new positions.
 
At Risk
 
The USCIS requires validation that all capital investments are classified as "at risk" with no guarantees being made by the project to the investor.  This is to confirm that the capital will actually be used for the purpose of creating jobs and profit-generating activity.  Proof of actual business activity is also required and the use of capital investment for expenses or reserve accounts unrelated to job creation does not constitute "business activity".
 
Verification of Lawful Source
 
Proof that the capital has been invested by the actual investor is required.  The documentation should trace the capital from the investor directly to the investment. The USCIS also requires that the investor provide documentation that proves the source of their investment funds was obtained legally.  Proof of documentation is provided through previous tax returns and financial statements. 

For the most accurate and current information refer directly to the USCIS website.