How to get an EB-5 "Employment-Based Visa: 5th Preference" in California

Foreign entrepreneurs may be able to come to California on EB-5 (employment-based, preference 5) visas if they

  1. invest sufficient capital in an American commercial enterprise, and
  2. intend to create or sustain permanent, full-time employment for no fewer than ten (10) U.S. workers

As the world's sixth largest economy, California is a hotbed for extensive, international investments in several fields such as technology, agriculture, and water management.

EB-5 visa holders and their families may receive conditional green card status. The EB-5 visa process costs in excess of $4,000 and takes about a year or more.

In this article, our California immigration lawyers discuss employment-based, preference 5 visas in California, including application procedures, fees, and time frames. Click on a question to jump to the answer.

Also refer to our informational articles on EB-1 visas in Los Angeles California, EB-2 visas in Los Angeles California, EB-3 visas in Los Angeles California, and EB-4 visas in Los Angeles California.

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EB-5 visas are reserved for foreign investors with deep pockets.

1. How do I qualify for an EB-5 visa in Los Angeles, California?

In order to be eligible for an EB-5 visa, the foreigner must invest in a U.S. "commercial enterprise" that was established either:

  • after November 29, 1990, or
  • on or before November 29, 1990, and:
    • (a) the existing enterprise is restructured into an overall new enterprise; or
    • (b) the enterprise saw a minimum 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), "commercial enterprise" is a for-profit activity conducted as either a:

  • sole proprietorship;
  • partnership;
  • joint venture;
  • holding company;
  • corporation; or
  • business trust or other entity (may be publicly or privately owned).

2. What are my obligations under an EB-5 visa?

EB-5 visa holders are required to create or save at least ten (10) full-time jobs within two (2) years. Any "saved" jobs must be within a "troubled business." And the visa holder must invest either $900,000 or $1,800,000, depending on the type of business.

3. What is the application process for an EB-5 visa in Los Angeles, California?

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First ,the foreigner submits the I-526 Form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Then the foreigner may apply either for an immigrant visa or conditional legal permanent residence (through an I-485 Form).

EB-5 visas are immigrant visas. This means they may eventually pave the way to U.S. citizenship.

4. What is the price for an EB-5 visa?

It costs $4,020 total for an EB-5 visa: The fee to file Form I-526 is $3,675, and the fee to file Form I-485 is $345.

5. How soon can I get an EB-5 visa?

Obtaining an EB-5 visa can take up to 18 months.

6. Can my family come with me to California on a EB-5 visa?

Yes. The USCIS may grant conditional permanent residence to an EB-5 visa holder's spouse and unmarried children under 21. Once two (2) years pass, the family members may adjust status to permanent residents.

Call a California immigration attorney...

california eb-5 legal experts and attorneys
Call us at (855) LAW-FIRM

Are you overseas and thinking about investing in the U.S.? You may be able to get an EB-5 visa and live in California. Call our Los Angeles immigration attorneys at (855) LAWFIRM for a free consultation.

Go to our California visa main page.

Also learn about our Nevada EB-5 visa lawyers.   

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