The US employment based fifth preference for lawful permanent residency was created in 1990 and is currently administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Arnstein & Lehr’s team of attorneys are especially qualified to assist individuals with the Immigrant Investor Program also known as EB-5, having provided legal counsel on more than 200 projects, spanning a wide-range of industries. These offerings have amounted in excess of $6 billion. Our members are fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.
To further assist our clients, Arnstein & Lehr is the Chicago member firm of the International Lawyers Network, an association of 91 high-quality, full-service law firms with more than 5,000 lawyers worldwide. We have also recently been appointed to the USA Regional Center Project Review Board of the Shanghai Association of International Economic & Technological Cooperation, created in part to establish and strengthen relationships with relative international organizations and associations of various countries and regions.
The EB-5 program annually sets aside 10,000 permanent residency (green cards) for immigrants who make a qualified investment into a new commercial enterprise which will create no less than ten qualifying full time employment positions for US citizens or residents per investor.
Investors receive a conditional residency after taking the risk in a qualified investment of their own creation or as part of a partnership or limited liability company in a regional center. The investor may then apply for a removal of the conditional status two years after receiving such status at which time it must be shown that the ten qualifying positions have been created.
The required investment level is $1 million U.S. dollars, unless the investment is made into a business located in a Targeted Employment Area or TEA (rural area of city populations with less than 20,000 persons) at which time a reduced investment of $500,000 is required.
The petition for residency is submitted to the USCIS at the service center by detailing the source of funds being invested, the establishment of the new commercial enterprise, evidencing that the capital is at risk, showing that a minimum of ten jobs will thusly be created, and that the investor will be involved in the management of the enterprise to a degree.
A new business may be defined as the creation of an entirely new enterprise, or the purchase of an existing business with the job creation component with the simultaneous restructuring of the business and expansion via investment of the required capital so that there is a substantial increase (40% or more) in net worth where employees all count as new within the commercial enterprise.
A qualifying employee is a US citizen or other lawfully admitted permanent resident excluding the investor immigrant and must be engaged in full time employment or a minimum of 35 hours per week.
Arnstein & Lehr represents developers and entrepreneurs who are interested in either establishing their own regional center or utilizing an existing regional center to rain EB-5 capitol to invest pursuant to a loan program in a real estate project. We provide both corporate and securities counsel throughout the application process with USCIS. Utilizing our “team approach,” we bring in respected professionals such as economists, business plan writers, and marketing experts in order to facilitate the process and have been actually included in over 50 projects throughout the United States.