The American Golden Visa Program (aka EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa) is the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive to become lawful permanent residents (“green card”) in the United States. The EB-5 program has been oldest of its kind running since 33 years, as of 2023.
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, which sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. Applicants must make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Public Law 117-103), which created new requirements for the EB-5 immigrant visa category and the Regional Center Program. Immigrant visas are authorized under the Regional Center Program through Sept. 30, 2027.
The minimum investment amounts by filing date and investment location are:
|Petition Filing Date||Minimum Investment||Targeted Employment Area Investment (TEA)||High-Employment Area Investment (HEA)|
|On or After 3/15/2022||$1,050,000||$800,000 (includes infrastructure projects)||N/A|
USCIS approves approximately 10,000 EB-5 visas every year and out these 3000 are reserved for petitions filed for Regional centers. The typical waiting times are expected to be around 30 to 60 months for approvals. Between 1992 to 2018, the total number of EB-5 visas granted reached 83,568 visas, according to DHS immigration statistics.
Each fiscal year, a certain percentage of EB-5 immigrant visas are available to qualified immigrants who invest in specific areas:
|Area Invested In||EB-5 Immigrant Visas Set-Aside Each Fiscal Year|
|High Unemployment Area||10%|
Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residents .