When you first dip your toes into the waters of the popular EB-5 programme, the sea of terms and acronyms can feel like navigating uncharted territory. At La Vida, we’re all about simplifying the journey to second residency or citizenship for our clients and we firmly believe that knowledge is power.

EB5 is one of the most desired residency by investment programmes in the world. But let’s face it, the terminology can be a bit overwhelming at first glance. Don’t let technical jargon deter you. Our team is here to hold your hand through the process, breaking down the complexities into easy-to-understand terms. Find our simple glossary below:

EB5 Glossary of Terms

Green Card – A Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document that grants an individual the right to live and work permanently in the United States. EB-5 investors and their immediate family members are eligible to apply for Green Cards if they meet the programme’s requirements.

USCIS – The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security responsible for administering the country’s immigration and naturalization system. USCIS processes EB-5 petitions and applications, including Form I-526 and Form I-829.

Regional Center – A Regional Center is essentially a business entity which is regulated by USCIS to sponsor capital investment projects for EB-5 investors. Investments made through Regional Centers allow investors to participate in indirect job creation, typically through economic impact analysis.

TEA – Targeted Employment Area: TEA refers to a designated area in the United States with high unemployment or rural characteristics. Investments made in TEAs typically qualify for the lower minimum investment threshold under the EB-5 programme of $800,000. 

I-526 – Form I-526, officially called the “Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor,” is the initial application submitted by an EB-5 investor to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It demonstrates the investor’s intention to make a qualifying investment and create the required jobs. If it is approved investors receive a conditional permanent residency card which is a 2 year conditional green card. 

I-829 – Form I-829, officially called the “Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions,” is filed by EB-5 investors to remove the conditions on their conditional permanent residency. It must be filed within the 90-day period before the second anniversary of obtaining conditional residency.

Visa Set Asides – Visa Set Asides refer to a certain number of EB-5 visas that are reserved or set aside for investors who invest in projects located in rural areas or areas with high unemployment rates, known as Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs). Further explanation can be found here.

Priority Processing – Priority Processing refers to expedited processing of EB-5 petitions and applications by USCIS. Applicants investing in a rural project will receive priority processing, meaning that the I-526 petition (the initial application for the temporary residency visa) can be processed in under a year. 

Rural Projects – Rural Projects are EB-5 investment projects located in areas designated as rural by the U.S. government. These areas typically have lower population densities and are eligible for certain benefits under the EB-5 programme, such as the reduced $800,000 investment requirement. Projects offering these terms are ideal for applicants from retrogressed countries such as India and China. 

NCE – New Commercial Enterprise: NCE refers to the business entity, often a limited partnership or corporation, in which an EB-5 investor makes their qualifying investment. The NCE then deploys the capital into job-creating projects.

JCE – Job Creating Entity: JCE is the entity responsible for creating the required jobs through the EB-5 investment. It can be the same entity as the NCE or a separate business entity directly involved in the project.

The EB5 programme currently has a minimum investment threshold of $1,050,000, but applicants can qualify at a lower investment route at $800,000 provided they invest in qualifying TEA projects (targeted employment areas). La Vida offers a selection of qualifying EB5 projects, including rural projects. To find out more, arrange your free consultation with one of our expert advisors. 

Tags: eb5, residency visa, USA

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