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EB-5 Visa Lawyer

Immigrant Investor Visas in Dallas

The EB-5 visa for immigrant investors was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the United States economy by creating jobs and capital investment from foreign investors.

Seen as an incredibly useful immigration program by both foreign parties and U.S. businesses, you may understandably expect the application process to be simple. This, however, is not necessarily true. Immigration processes and applications are notoriously complex, even the ones used commonly.

To gain an EB-5 immigrant investor visa, one must invest in a new commercial enterprise that was:

  • Established after November 29, 1990;
  • Established on or before November 29, 1990 but will be purchased and restructured in such a way that a new commercial enterprise will be created, or;
  • Expanded through the investment so either a 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs.

If any of that seemed confusing or unclear to you, do not worry. Immigration law, especially those pertaining to employment-based visas, often require a legal professional’s help to interpret and follow.

To learn how EB-5 visas work and the process for obtaining one, contact Mathur Law Offices, P.C. and our Dallas immigration law attorneys.

Commercial Enterprises Defined in Immigration Law

The groundwork of an EB-5 immigrant investor visa is the existence or planned existence of a commercial enterprise. Knowing exactly what the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers a “commercial enterprise” is a must.

A commercial enterprise refers to any for-profit activity that has been formed for the ongoing conduct of a legal business enterprise, including but not limited to:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnerships
  • Joint Ventures
  • Corporations
  • Business trusts
  • Other entities that are either privately or publicly owned

EB-5 Visa Requirements

In addition to the above, there are job creation requirements that must be met in order to acquire an EB-5 visa.

  • The capital enterprise must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within 2 years from when the immigrant investor was admitted into the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.
  • If the 2-year prerequisite cannot be made, an appeal to show it will be met within a “reasonable amount of time” may be used.

The immigrant investor is expected to either create or preserve direct or indirect jobs. A direct job refers to actual identifiable jobs for employees within the commercial enterprise for which the EB-5 investor has invested their financial capital, such as an employee on payroll.

Indirect jobs refer to those jobs that have been created as a result of capital invested in the commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an EB-5 investor, like a new restaurant chain also helping local farmers find income through ingredient and produce sales. Keep in mind that investors may only be credited with preserving jobs in a troubled business.

EB-5 Visa Processing Times

Processing times can vary. The entire process can take approximately a year to a year and a half. We recommend working with an experienced EB-5 lawyer to make sure the process and paperwork are handled efficiently.

What Are EB-5 Regional Centers?

EB-5 Regional Centers are organizations that sponsor capital investment projects for EB-5 investors. They are designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

They can be a public or private entity, and are involved in the promotion of domestic capital, improved regional productivity, increased economic growth, and job creation. They are especially useful for investors seeking residency status, rather than investors interested in directly managing their investment.

A Regional Center is one of two ways an investor can gain residency. Rather than directly investing in a new project, which is the first way, a foreign investor can set up an investment fund that benefits other EB-5 investors. The minimum amount they can invest is $900,000. They can then purchase stakes in the investment fund.

From there, the fund either purchases equity in job-creating companies or loans funds to companies to increase the number of jobs they create. This way, the Regional Center indirectly creates jobs, satisfying the requirement of the EB-5 conditions.

The Regional Center model is preferred by many EB-5 investors, because there is a lower level of involvement in the project. This allows them to live where they wish, rather than needing to live near the project. If an investor chooses a direct investment into a new enterprise, they may be required to participate in the day-to-day operations of the company.

Targeted vs. Non-Targeted Employment Areas

Foreign investors who wish to gain lawful permanent residency through investment must invest $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise, and the new company must create 10 new American jobs per investor.

The amount of the investment can be lowered to $900,000 if the project is located in a “Targeted Employment Area.” A Targeted Employment Area, or TEA, is either a rural or economically distressed area that has an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average.

Because of the need for fresh investors and jobs in these areas, the investor cost is lowered to create incentive. There is a large demand for EB-5 projects in TEAs.

A rural area is defined as:

  • An area not located within a metropolitan statistical area; and
  • An area not located in a municipality with a population of more than 20,000 (defined by the most recent U.S. census data)

An economically distressed area is defined as:

  • An area located within a metropolitan statistical area; and
  • An area that has suffered an unemployment rate of 150% the national rate

A Non-Targeted Employment Area is any area that has not been given a TEA designation. These areas don’t struggle with the same economic depression and unemployment levels of TEAs. A TEA may lose its designation and become non-targeted if it no longer meets the criteria required to be listed as a targeted area.

For this reason, it is important that the counsel and client obtain the most recent document or letter designating an area a TEA. These are typically provided by a state agency, or are available online from the state’s government sites.

EB-5 Visa Investment Opportunities

In the greater Texas area, many organizations and businesses work with immigrant investors. This transaction allows the investor to earn their green card as well as contribute to the economy and job growth of the state. Overall, people and the government see the value in immigrant investors and companies powered or backed by a foreign entity.

For more information about investment opportunities in Texas, follow any of these links:

Take the Guesswork Out of Your Visa Application

If you are an immigrant investor and are seeking to obtain an EB-5 immigrant visa, you can contact a Dallas immigration attorney at the Mathur Law Offices, P.C. for all the intelligent and directed legal assistance you need.

Our founding partner, Mr. Sanjay Mathur, is an immigrant himself, so he has an insightful understanding of the complexities involved in obtaining any type of United States visa.

Our law firm has been providing superior immigration services to the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Denton areas for more than 25 years.

If you are looking to invest capital in the United States, we can help you file the necessary paperwork for the EB-5 Immigrant Visa while also streamlining the process so it goes as smoothly as possible. We understand how important your investment is and we are committed to handling your case in a professional manner.

Call now to speak with an EB-5 lawyer in Dallas: (888) 867-5191.

What to Expect From Mathur Law Offices, P.C.

  • Compassionate and Genuine Service
  • A Team With Unmatched Experience and Versatility
  • Personalized, Unwavering Commitment to You
  • An Emphasis on Making Your Needs Our Top Priority
  • A Legal Team With a Wide Breadth of Legal Knowledge

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