What is EB5 Investor Immigration Program?

What is the EB5 Investor Immigration Program?

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the EB-5 program, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program. Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (become a Green Card holder) if they have invested in or are actively in the process of investing in a new commercial enterprise and satisfy the applicable job creation requirements.

Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, which sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes approximately 10,000 visas each fiscal year for immigrant investors (including their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21).

To encourage certain types of investments, on March 15, 2022, the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 was signed into law. Congress amended the INA to reserve 20 percent of the EB-5 visas for investors in rural areas, 10 percent for investors in high unemployment areas, and 2 percent for investors in infrastructure projects. In addition, EB-5 visas are authorized for investors in the Regional Center Program through September 30, 2027. The Act also raised the standard investment amount to $1,050,000. Petitions filed on or after March 15, 2022, are subject to this higher amount.

What are the Minimum Investment Amount Requirements?

The following table outlines the minimum investment amounts by filing date and investment location.

Petition Filing Date

Standard Minimum Investment Amount

Reduced Investment Amount

High Employment Area Investment Amount

Before March 15, 2022



TEA only


On or After March 15, 2022



TEA and infrastructure projects


A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) can be, at the time of investment, either a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment (defined as at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate).

A rural area is any area other than an area within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget) or within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the most recent decennial census of the United States.

An area that has experienced high unemployment consists of the census tract or contiguous census tracts in which the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business, which may include any or all directly adjacent census tracts if the weighted average unemployment for the specified area based on the labor force employment measure for each tract is 150% of the national unemployment average.

An infrastructure project is a capital investment project in a filed or approved business plan that is administered by a government entity (such as a Federal, State, or local agency or authority) that is the job-creating entity contracting with a regional center or new commercial enterprise to receive capital investment under the regional center program from alien investors or the new commercial enterprise as financing for maintaining, improving, or constructing a public works project. 

The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act created new EB-5 immigrant visa set-asides for qualified immigrant investors. Each fiscal year, a certain percentage of EB-5 immigrant visas are available to qualified immigrants who invest in specific areas:

Area Invested In

EB-5 Immigrant Visas Set-Aside Each Fiscal Year

Rural Area


High Unemployment Area


Infrastructure Project


Of these set-aside visas that go unused are held in the same set-aside category for one more fiscal year. After the second fiscal year, any remaining unused immigrant visas in these set-aside categories are released to the unreserved EB-5 immigrant visa numbers during the third fiscal year.

EB-5 investors have the option to invest either directly or through a Regional Center.