The United States Congress created EB-5 visas in 1990. The foreign investment program awards green cards to immigrants who typically invest $1 million in a business venture that will benefit the US economy and create the least 10 full-time jobs for US workers
Since October 1, 2006, the US has approved a total of 2,500 EB-5 visa applications. During that time, approximately $1 billion has been invested in the US economy through the EB-5 visa program and approximately 20,250 jobs have been created for US workers.
Immigrant investors who wish to participate in the EB-5 program must invest the required minimum amount of capital, establish that the investment capital comes from a legal source, and that the money is fully invested and at risk to qualify. The immigrant investor must file a Form I-526, Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur. If approved, the alien is granted conditional permanent residence. Approximately two years later, the immigrant investor files a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. At that time, they must show that the investment business plan was followed, that the money remained fully invested in the business, and that at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers were created as a result of the investment.
One of the newer EB-5 Regional Centers is Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa in Orlando, Florida. The three-year-old development is one of the largest hotel condominium projects in the US. Located one mile from Walt Disney World, it offers all the amenities of a first-class Florida resort, including 1,080 square feet of fully furnished two-bedroom, two -bathroom condos; meal; A gym; Reflections Spa-Salon and Pirate’s Plunge Aquatic Center, as well as designer shops with over 50 factory outlet stores, including Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger, Vanity Fair, Reebok, Carter’s and Nike.
Phase One of the Florida resort’s EB-5 visa program involves the sale of 105 existing condo-hotel units to 35 investors contributing $1 million each. Phase two will target an additional 35 investors who will contribute $1 million each toward financing a new 152-unit building in the complex. “Through our network of international lawyers, bankers, accountants and real estate agents, we have experienced a high degree of interest in this program,” said Sam Sutton, Managing Member of Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa.