The U. S. Immigrant Investor Program (“EB-5″) was created by Congress in 1990 to encourage the investment of foreign capital into the American economy. This program makes it possible for an investor and his/her family to obtain permanent residence (Green Card) in the United States by either investing in the creation of a business or in the development of an existing enterprise in the United States.
Each year, 10,000 EB-5 visas are available through the program. The program has become very popular — for investors, EB-5 represents a relatively reliable means of obtaining a green card; for Regional Centers, EB-5 represents a source of financing for a variety of commercial projects. When the minimum investment amount was $500,000, the number of EB-5 investors mushroomed, peaking in 2015–2017 when more than 12,000 petitions were submitted annually. The number of approved Regional Centers also exploded, with nearly 800 approved Regional Centers throughout the United States. More than 95% of EB-5 investments are made through Regional Centers, with more than $20 billion already invested over the past five years and 400,000 jobs supported.