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EB-5 Visa Program Overview

In 1990, the United States Congress created the fifth employment-based (EB-5) immigrant visa category. The EB-5 program’s goal is to create jobs in local economies at no expense to U.S. taxpayers. In exchange for creating 10 jobs through an $800,000 or $1,050,000 investment, a foreign investor, spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 21 are granted permanent green cards.

The initial amount required for foreigners to invest is $1,050,000, although that number is reduced to $800,000 if the investment is made in an area designated as rural or facing high unemployment (TEA – Target Employment Area). Approximately 10,000 green cards are available through the EB-5 program each year.

Two Paths for pursuing the EB-5 Program:


Regional Center Route

Regional centers are licensed-entities by the U.S. government that pool EB-5 investments for funding in projects. The advantage of investing in an EB-5 project through a regional center is the ability to count indirect and induced job creation in addition to direct job creation. Approximately 95% of all EB-5 applicants invest in project through regional centers due to the higher job creation available which mitigates the risk of not having enough job allocation per investor. This route is a passive solution for EB-5 investors.


Standalone Investor Route

Although the majority of applicants invest in EB-5 projects through regional centers, some investors choose the standalone investor route. This path requires active involvement in the project or business. These types of EB-5 projects can only count direct job creation. This is an optimal path for EB-5 investors looking to be actively involved in their business or project.

How to receive an approval for your EB-5 application

There are three goals to achieve that yield a successful EB-5 petition.

1: Source and Path of Funds

This is the first hurdle to cross. An EB-5 investor must demonstrate to the USCIS in the I-526E petition that the funds used for the investment were obtained legally with regards to U.S. and the respective foreign country’s laws. Further, the EB-5 applicant must have a clear path of receiving the funds and making the investment to the project in his or her name. Each country has unique aspects when validating the Source and Path of Funds, so it’s crucial EB-5 investors work with experienced immigration attorneys who facilitate this process.

2. Equity at-risk investments

This is the second hurdle to cross and maintain until the form I-829 has been filed with the USCIS. EB-5 applicants must make an equity investment in a project. The investment must be at-risk for gain or loss. This does not translate to a risky project, but rather that there can be no guarantees for repayment of EB-5 funds. When EB-5 investors submit the I-829 petition, they are eligible to be repaid their investment. While there are no guarantees in the program, the best reassurance for repayment of funds is the regional center’s track record. Investors should seek to work with regional centers that have fully repaid EB-5 investments on all eligible projects.

3. Job Creation
This is the last hurdle to cross in the EB-5 process. When the immigration attorney files the form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status), the attorney must include the job-creation that has been allocated to the investor. Each EB-5 investor must have at least 10 jobs allocated to his or her name in order to be approved of the I-829 petition and thereby receive the permanent green card.

Start Your Journey


Are you a foreign investor interested in receiving a U.S. green card through a real estate investment? The EB-5 visa program may be perfect for you. Simply contact us to find out if you qualify and learn more about the process.

There are numerous benefits to the EB-5 visa program, and Houston EB5 makes the process of obtaining your EB-5 green card simple. Read below to learn more.


In 1992, the U.S. Congress created the Regional Center Pilot Program to further encourage foreign investment in the United States through the EB-5 program. The major advantage afforded to Regional Center EB-5 projects is the counting of induced and indirect jobs created through project expenditures. Most often, the indirect and induced job creation is quite significant, yielding much higher job creation numbers. This yields a safer route to fulfilling the immigration requirements.

A regional center is a private commercial enterprise, corporation, or regional governmental agency with a targeted investment program within a defined geographic region. The U.S. EB-5 program mirrors other successful, long-standing investment immigration programs in the UK, Canada, Australia, and other countries.

Houston EB5 is a USCIS-designated regional center that focuses on investment opportunities identified by our sponsor, DC Partners. Qualifying projects include but are not limited to those located within targeted employment and rural areas. Using USCIS-approved job creation methodology, Houston EB5 develops and maintains detailed economic reports to measure and verify direct, indirect, and induced job creation for EB-5 projects.


Are you interested in applying for the EB-5 Visa Program? Houston EB5 can help you learn more and walk you through every step of the process. Ready to get started? Simply contact us at 281-326-9347 or online today!