June 22, 2020 update: President Trump temporarily suspended several new work visas, including H-1B visas. Read the New York Times article.
EB-5 (employment-based, preference 5) visas allow foreign entrepreneurs to get green cards if they (1) invest enough money in a U.S. commercial enterprise, and (2) plan to create or maintain at least 10 permanent, full-time jobs for U.S. workers
Nevada is ripe for large-scale foreign investments in an assortment of areas including gaming, real-estate, and water management.
Below our Las Vegas employment visa attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about EB-5 immigrant visas in Nevada, including application processes, interviews, time frames and fees. Click on a topic to go to that section.
- 1. Do I qualify for an EB-5 visa in Las Vegas, NV?
- 2. How do I prove I am eligible for an EB-5 visa?
- 3. How do I apply for an EB-5 visa?
- 4. How long does it take to get an EB-5 visa?
- 5. How much does it cost to get an EB-5 visa?
- 6. Can my family come with me on an EB-5 visa in Las Vegas, NV?
Employment-based visas in Las Vegas Nevada are divided into five different preference categories. The fifth preference category associated with employment-based visas is unique because it is set aside for immigrant investors. To be considered an immigrant visa under employment-based visa terms, the investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise:
- established after November 29, 1990, or
- established on or before November 29, 1990 that is (a) purchased and the existing business is restructure or reorganized in a way that results in an overall new enterprise or (b) expanded with the investment so that a minimum 40% increase in the net worth or number of workers employed with the enterprise occurs.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines the term commercial enterprise to mean any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:
- A sole proprietorship;
- Holding company;
- Joint venture;
- Corporation; or
- A business trust or other entity (can be publicly or privately owned).
In the fifth preference category, the immigrant investor is required to meet certain criteria related to job creation. Typically, the immigrant investor is required to:
- Create or preserve a minimum of ten full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within a time frame of two years of the immigrant investor’s admission to the U.S.; and
- Create or preserve either direct or indirect jobs. Direct jobs are those that are actual and identifiable jobs for qualified workers that are located within the specific commercial enterprise in which the investor has specifically invested his capital. Meanwhile, indirect jobs are those that have shown to have been created collaterally or as a result of capital that has been invested in a commercial enterprise which is affiliated with a regional center by an immigrant investor.
Keep in mind that immigrant investors may only be given credit when they are preserving jobs within a troubled business. The following are definitions as determined by the INA related to the fifth preference category of employment-based visas:
- Troubled Business: This is an enterprise which has been in existence for a minimum of two years and has seen a net loss during the 12 or 24-month period prior to the priority date on the immigrant investor’s From I-526. For it to qualify, the loss must be a minimum of 20% of the troubled business’s net worth before the loss. Typically, when determining whether the enterprise has been in existence for the minimum two years, successors in interest to the enterprise will be found to have been in existence for the same period of time as the business they succeeded.
- Qualified Employee: This is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or other immigrant authorized to work in the U.S. The person may be a conditional resident, an asylee, a refugee, or an individual residing in the U.S. under suspension of deportation.
- Full-Time Employment: This requires the employee to work a minimum of 35 hours per week in the commercial enterprise.
- Job-Sharing Arrangement: This arrangement involves two or more qualifying employees who share a full-time position. Typically, this arrangement will count as full-time employment as long as the minimum amount of hours is met.
In addition, the capital investment required by the immigrant investor is either $900,000 or $1,800,000, depending on the type of area involved.
The foreigner files the I-526 form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If it gets approved, the foreigner may apply either for an immigrant visa or apply for conditional legal permanent resident in Nevada.
One to one and a half years.
The USCIS filing fee for a 1-526 form is $3,675. If this form gets approved, applying for an immigrant visa application is $345.
Once the USCIS approves the I-485 Form, derivative family members (spouses and unmarried children under 21) will be granted two years of conditional permanent residence. Afterward, they may be able to adjust status to permanent residents.
Call a Nevada immigration attorney…
If you are a foreigner interested in investing in the United States, you may be able to secure an EB-5 visa and make Nevada your new home. Contact our Las Vegas immigration attorneys for a consultation.