To immigrate to the United States in EB-5 status, you must invest between $900,000 and $1.8 million (depending on the location of the investment) into a commercial enterprise or designated regional center, that will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs “within a reasonable time.” Four types of jobs can be used to satisfy this requirement, depending on the circumstances — direct jobs, preserved jobs, indirect jobs and induced jobs.
Three types of EB-5 investments can generate jobs: (i) establishment of a brand-new commercial enterprise (ii) purchase of an existing enterprise and transformation of that enterprise by adding capital or employee such that it attains the character of a new enterprise and (iii) investment into a USCIS-designated “regional center”, where the regional center acts as an intermediary between the investor and the investment project.
A direct job is generated when the entity in which you invest hires a full-time employee to help carry out the project for which the investment was made. Hire 10 such people within two years of your investment, and you have met the job creation requirement for EB-5 status. The two-year deadline can sometimes be extended.
Job-sharing arrangements are also acceptable under certain circumstances. Under a job-sharing arrangement, two or more employees share the hours of a single full-time job. Under this arrangement, a full-time job shared by two or more employees counts as one job.
Two or more part-time positions, however, cannot be combined to equal two or more full-time jobs regardless of the cumulative total of hours worked.
Suppose that, instead of starting a brand-new enterprise, you opt to purchase an existing enterprise. This investment can count as a “new commercial enterprise” if you increase the entity’s capital by at least 40 percent or increase its workforce by 40 percent. If the entity qualifies as “troubled” under USCIS standards, you can meet the job creation requirement by retaining old positions that would have disappeared if the troubled entity had collapsed.
Under the regional center investment option, the investor does not directly hire employees. Instead, the regional center invests pooled investor funds into a project, and this project can generate jobs indirectly . A third-party company supplying products to the project, for example, might hire new employees to meet the increased demand generated by your investment. The USCIS will count this toward the 10-job requirement as an “indirect job.”
Suppose that you invest in a regional center, and it is impossible to identify 10 specific jobs that have been created as a consequence — third-party suppliers, for example did not hire 10 employees to meet the increased demand generated by your investment. In this case you may be able to convince the USCIS that your investment created 10 “induced jobs”, or a combination of indirect and induced jobs that collectively meets the 10-job requirement.
An induced job is a job that has been created as a result of employees spending their wages in the local community. In other words, the investment project stimulates the local economy to the point that jobs are created by companies that have no direct relationship to the original investment.
What is “a Reasonable Time”?
Even after Form I-526 is approved and you are granted “conditional permanent residence”, your “permanent residence” somehow lasts only two years. Within these two years, you must file Form I-829 and have it approved before the condition will be removed and you are granted full permanent residence.
The term “within a reasonable time” is ambiguous. A good rule of thumb is that the required jobs must be created within two years after Form I-526 is filed. The USCIS might grant you a bit of leeway beyond this informal deadline, however. The USCIS has stated that “jobs that will be created within a year of the two-year anniversary of the approved Form I-526 will ordinarily be considered to be created with a reasonable period of time.“