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What prospective investors should know about the EB-5 visa program - II

In a previous post, we started discussing the EB-5 visa program, which has recently been the subject of considerable controversy in Washington, D.C. Our purpose in doing this was -- and will continue to be -- helping people arrive at their own well-informed decisions about the value of this program.

We'll continue this discussion in today's post, focusing specifically on the job creation requirements of the EB-5 visa program.

Job creation requirements under the EB-5 visa program

To recap, the EB-5 visa program enables immigrant entrepreneurs to secure permanent residence by making a capital investment in a new U.S.-based commercial enterprise, and preserving or creating 10 permanent jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of admission to the country.

While this second requirement -- job creation -- sounds easy enough to satisfy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has actually set forth some rather rigid criteria to which immigrant investors must adhere.

For starters, immigrant investors can create or preserve indirect or direct jobs.

As far as indirect jobs are concerned, they are those positions created collaterally or as a consequence of a capital investment in a commercial enterprise allied with a regional center.

A regional center, in turn, is essentially any private enterprise, public entity or private/public initiative seeking foreign investment that has been vetted by USCIS.

Direct jobs, on the other hand, are those created within the actual U.S.-based commercial enterprise in which the immigrant financier has directly invested their funds.

Having established the distinction between direct and indirect jobs, it's now important to discuss how an immigrant investor cannot be credited with preserving ten jobs -- versus creating them -- unless the commercial enterprise in question is considered a troubled business.

A troubled business is one that has been operating for a minimum of two years, and has suffered a net loss -- 20 percent of its net worth -- during the one- or two-year period preceding the priority date listed on the immigrant investor's Form I-526, Petition for an Alien Entrepreneur.

We'll continue examining the EB-5 visa program in future posts, exploring the capital investment requirement.

As is clear by the foregoing discussion, the EB-5 visa program is an extremely complex area of immigration law. Consequently, if you have questions about the possibility of securing citizenship via this program, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

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