Monetizing the Green Card

Posted On: December 20, 2010

With the hard economic times today and the reality that many traditional sources of financing are unavailable, many U.S. companies are turning towards U.S. immigration laws to obtain money.

The EB-5 investor visa program can provide U.S. companies an unusual source of financing-a foreign investor can receive a visa for permanent residence after making qualified investments. A qualified investment has two requirements: (1) amount of the investment, and (2) number of jobs the investment creates. The investment must be $1 million or can be $500,000 if it’s made in a “targeted employment area” meaning the area has either experienced an unemployment rate that is at least 150% of the U.S. national average or is a rural area as designated by the U.S. Office of Management & Budget. At least 10 full-time jobs must also be generated by the investment; this includes both indirect and direct jobs. A benefit to the EB-5 program is that the companies are usually able to offer lower annual returns to the investors.