The Employment based fifth preference (EB-5) program is the worlds most popular immigrant investor programs for rich foreign nationals who pursue American dream.


EB-5 requires a minimum investment of $500,000 and most importantly must create jobs. Despite its popularity, the biggest problem with EB-5 is backlogs and long waiting times since filing the I-526 petition.


The EB-5 immigrant investor category has subdivisions of:

  • C5 – Direct investment outside of a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) (min. $1 million investment required);
  • T5 – Direct investment inside of the TEA (min. $500,000 investment required);
  • R5 – Regional center investment under the Investor Pilot Program not in a TEA (min. $1 million investment required);
  • I5 – Regional center investment under the Investor Pilot Program in a TEA (min. $500,000 investment required).


EB-5 Quota Limits

Each year. 7.1%  (of 140,000 immigrant visas) of that is reserved for the EB-5 category – and no less than 3,000 of these are reserved for investors in a TEA and another 3,000 are set aside for investors investing through the regional centers. A total of 10,000 EB-5 visas allotted every year including visas for family members.


EB-5 Waiting

Chinese have longest wait times for the EB-5 program, as of Oct 2018 followed by vietnamese.

The below times shows number of years between the time an I-526 petition is filed today (October 30, 2018) and the time when an EB-5 visa is likely to be available

China: 14 years
Vietnam: 7.2 years
India: 5.7 years
South Korea: 2.2 years
Taiwan: 1.7 years
Brazil: 1.5 years


EB-5 vs Europe

EB-5 still is the cheapest golden visa scheme compared to european schemes such as Portugal and Spain. Greece is the cheapest and most affordable of all schemes.

  • Portugal – EUR 500,000
  • EB-5 – USD 500,000
  • United Kingdom  – GBP 2M
  • Greece – EUR 250,000
  • Spain – EUR 500,000
  • Ireland – EUR 1M



EB-5 Wait Years

EB5 and Europe