In order to qualify for an EB-5 visa, the investor should be able to provide a minimum of $1 million worth of investment in a US commercial business. However, for those who do not have enough funds, there are certain circumstances where the amount of investment can be reduced to $500, 000. Such exceptions are given when the business where the investment is going is going to be located to a rural area or even an urban area as long as the location has high unemployment rate.
According to the AmLaw Group website, the state government will be the one who will decide whether the unemployment rate is high enough to qualify, but generally it should be at least at 150 percent of the national average. Rural areas are places that are on the outer boundaries of any city that has at least 20, 000 human population or any location that is outside of the official statistical metropolitan area. The state government will be the one who will determine which parts of the state are in high need of employment and will provide the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) the list of places that could qualify for EB-5 immigrant investments. Any location that may seem to have a high unemployment rate but is not on the list of USCIS will not accept business investment lower than the required US$1 million.
There are designated regional centers that the USCIS that are aimed in promoting the economic growth of the investment through various ways, and investors in these regional centers are not required to prove that they directly contributed new jobs to 10 US workers. They are simply required to prove that the regional centers which their investment went to was able to create 10 full-time jobs either directly or indirectly, or that the business was able to increase the productivity in the region. Because of these reasons, many immigration lawyers see regional centers as one of the most enticing ways to acquire an EB-5 visa. The important part of the investment, however, is that it should be on a well-managed regional center to avoid losing the investment and have the visa application rejected.