Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EB-5 Program?

The U.S. EB-5 Program is an employment creation-based immigration program designed for an immigrant investor with sufficient capital resources to petition themselves and their immediate family for Permanent Residency in United States. EB-5 is the quickest way to get a U.S. Green Card by investing $500,000 or $1,000,000 into a U.S. based business that creates documented jobs in the U.S. Upon acceptance of the USCIS I-526 application, the investor is issued a "Conditional" Green Card. After time, investment, and job requirements have been met, a "Permanent" Green Card will be issued to the investor and the investor's immediate family members. EB-5 Programs are generally low risk and provide you with a reasonable return on investment.

What is a "targeted employment area"?

The minimum investment is $500,000 in a TEA (Targeted Employment Area). A targeted employment area is a rural area or a geographical area that has experienced unemployment at a rate of at least 150% of the national average rate. Individual states are authorized to designate geographical areas within the state that qualify as targeted employment areas.

What is a Regional Center?

A Regional Center is an entity or economic unit, public or private, approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to facilitate the pooling of capital by multiple EB-5 investors. Each Regional Center focuses on a specific geographic area within the U.S., and whose goal is to promote economic growth and the creation of new jobs within the designated geographic area. The FTIDC designated geographic area encompasses Collin, Dallas and Denton counties.

Investing in a Regional Center allows the EB-5 investors the ability to invest alongside other EB-5 investors in a pooled vehicle, such as a limited partnership sponsored by the FTIDC; and to receive credit for both direct and indirect jobs created as a result of the EB-5 investor's investment.

What kinds of projects can be funded with EB-5 funds?

The EB-5 program has been used to finance a myriad of different investment projects. Some of the more common examples include the following:

  • Mixed-use
  • Hotel
  • Sports stadiums
  • Restaurants
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical facilities
  • Entertainment venues
  • Convention centers
  • Office buildings

Are there any restrictions on the types of businesses in which the investment must be made?

The investment must be in a "new commercial enterprise" in the United States. "New" means that the investment must have been made after November 29, 1990. "Commercial" is to be distinguished from a passive, speculative investment, such as a purchase of real estate for use as a personal residence or for potential appreciation in value (as opposed to an active real estate development project).

The U.S. investment can be in any one of four forms: (1) the creation of a new business; (2) the purchase of an existing business, which is reorganized to form a new enterprise; (3) the expansion of an existing business; or (4) the saving of a failing business.

Are there any specific rules regarding an investment in an existing business that enables the existing business to expand?

The investment must result in a 40% increase either in the net worth or the number of employees of the business. For example, if a business has a $10 million net worth and employs 50 people, the investment would qualify either if it increases net worth by $4 million or if it results in an expansion of 20 employees.

Must the investment result in the creation of employment for U.S. workers?

The investment must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. citizens or immigrants (permanent resident aliens and other specified immigrant categories). The required 10 positions cannot include the investor or the investor's spouse or children. The 10 jobs must be for employees of the enterprise in which the investment is made and cannot include independent contractors. However, for approved regional centers, the creation of employment can include indirect employment.

When must the employment be created?

The EB-5 petition must document that the required 10 jobs will be created within a 2 year period immediately following the approval of the EB-5 petition.

May two or more investors qualify for immigration based upon a pooled investment in a single business?

There is no limit to the number of investors who may qualify for immigration based upon an investment in a single business. However, each investor must invest the required minimum amount, and the number of jobs created must be equal to ten times the number of qualifying foreign investors. For example, if five investors each invest $1 million in a business, they can each qualify for immigration if 50 jobs are created in the business

Do I have to be involved in the day-to-day management of my investment in the FTIDC?

No. The EB-5 regulations require the investor to be involved in management or policy-making in the enterprise. A limited partner in a limited partnership that is properly structured and conforms to the Uniform Limited Partnership Act is sufficiently engaged in the EB-5 enterprise to meet this requirement. FTIDC investments are structured to comply with this requirement.

Is the EB-5 Program suitable for me?

EB-5 investors have many reasons for seeking permanent residency in the United States through the EB-5 Program. They may be seeking economic opportunity, educational opportunity for themselves or their children, or retirement in the U.S. Obtaining an EB-5 visa through the FTIDC Regional Center provides these investors the opportunity and flexibility to live and work permanently in the U.S.

What are the risks?

EB-5 regulations require that all invested capital be "at risk" of loss. Therefore, no investment can be guaranteed - that is, without risk - if it is to qualify as an EB-5 investment. "At risk" generally means subject to normal business and financial risk. Other risks include the enterprise's failure to meet the direct or indirect job creation requirement. While no investment can be guaranteed, FTIDC investments are structured specifically to minimize these risks to the greatest extent possible. These and other risks are described in detail in the documentation provided for each FTIDC investment.

How long will funds remain invested with the FTIDC?

Most FTIDC investment partnerships have a projected life of five years.

How many EB-5 visas are available?

Current U.S. law allocates 10,000 EB-5 visas per year for foreign nationals and their immediate family members (spouses and unmarried children under 21). Of these, 3,000 EB-5 visas are specifically set aside for applicants who invest through a designated Regional Center such as the FTIDC.

How long will it take to receive a permanent "green card"?

The EB-5 investment process involves multiple steps, and processing times for each step can vary. See the EB-5 Process section for an overview of the process. Overall, the entire process from the initial application to unconditional legal permanent resident ("green card") status, usually takes 27 to 36 months.

What happens if the necessary jobs are not created?

If the necessary jobs will not be created, the investor will not be able to obtain removal of conditions on permanent residence and will lose any legal status in the U.S. If there will be a change or delay in creating the necessary jobs, it may be necessary for the investor to file a new I-526 petition and obtain a new two year period of conditional permanent residence status. It may not be necessary to do this if the investor can prove at the time of filing of the I-829 petition that all of the necessary jobs will be created within a "reasonable time."

When is it possible to apply for U.S. citizenship?

Four years and nine months after obtaining conditional permanent residence status. Applying for U.S. citizenship is optional.

How do I apply?

Please see the Investors/Borrowers section to receive further details about the EB-5 Progam.

Where can more information on the EB-5 program be found?

Additional information regarding the EB-5 Investment Program application process, requirements, and benefits can be found at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services' website: www.uscis.gov/eb-5-investor.