Visa Qualified Businesses: Rules for Foreign Entrepreneurs that Want to Invest in the U.S. (Part II)

Continuing from Part I of our discussion of visa-qualified businesses for foreign investors, here are the other two general rules for the business and individual to qualify:

The business must create or sustain at least 10 full time jobs within 2 years

The EB5 Immigrant Investor visa is a conditional permanent resident visa, meaning certain conditions must be met for the immigrant to gain full permanent resident status. The main condition that must be met within two years of purchase is that the business must either create or preserve ten jobs. When deciding if you can meet this requirement, there are some additional considerations to be aware of; including:

  • The ten jobs must go to qualified, full-time employees; U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or others with authorization to work in the U.S. that put in an average of 35 hours per week.
  • Must be direct jobs; jobs located within the business itself, unless the foreign entrepreneur is affiliated with a regional center.
  • In most cases, the ten jobs must be created rather than preserved; the only exception is if the business is considered troubled, meaning it has been in existence at least two years and incurred a net loss for the past 1-2 years prior to your purchase.
  • In some circumstances, the two year job creation requirement may be extended.

The investor must demonstrate adequate financial capability

The EB5 program is only for individuals with the financial means to invest in and grow an American business. The investor must show substantial capital and/or business assets, and be ready to make a minimum investment of $1 million. The only exception to the $1 million minimum is if the business is located in:

  • A high unemployment area (at least 150% above the national average)
  • A rural area (located outside of an urban or suburban region)

If the business meets either of these two requirements, the investor only needs to put up a minimum of $500,000.

There are visa-qualified businesses for sale throughout the country in a myriad of industries ranging from accounting practices to retail shops to Internet based companies. If you are an entrepreneur looking to invest in an American business, speak with a professional business broker to discuss your options and find the investment that is right for you.

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