At the request of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) of the Department of Commerce (DOC) conducted an assessment of the EB-5 program to determine its size and its contribution to the U.S. economy. To accomplish this, we examined individual projects that were active during a two-year period, FY2012 and FY2013, and compiled a new dataset that includes the number of EB-5 projects, the number of investors, the amount of EB-5 and non-EB-5 related investment spending and the resulting expected1 job creation.
The EB-5 program provides two avenues for immigrant investors: the Stand-Alone process and the Regional Center process. In both cases, individual immigrant investors must make a minimum investment of $1 million, or $500,000 if the project is located in a “Targeted Employment Area” (TEA).2 Both avenues also require investment in a new commercial enterprise that will create or preserve a minimum number of jobs (10 jobs per investor). For Stand-Alone investors, the jobs must be direct jobs at the new commercial enterprise; for investors in Regional Centers, the jobs can be the total of direct, indirect, and induced employment as determined through regional economic models.
- 1 Estimates were calculated using Economic Impact Analyses for projects filed on Form I-526 petitions by investors and exemplar petitions filed with Form I-924 Regional Center applications. The Form I-829 petitions that must be filed by the immigrant investor within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of obtaining conditional permanent resident status generally include evidence of job creation from the completed project but these petitions were not available for us to use in our analysis. (See the Glossary for definitions.)
- 2 See the Glossary for a definition of Targeted Employment Area.