All the terms you need to know as you pursue the EB-5 investment journey.

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Accountants maintain financial records and prepare financial and tax reports. Accountants often help EB-5 projects or Regional Centers track EB-5 qualifying expenditures to be tracked at the I-829 stage. Likewise, accountants can also help prepare evidence for I-526, I-829, and I-924 applications.

Accreditation Questionnaire

Prospective EB-5 investors often complete accreditation questionnaires in which they affirm that they are accredited investors and, therefore, qualify for certain U.S. securities laws exemptions while participating in the EB-5 program.

Accredited Investor

Accredited investors are eligible to invest in types of high risk investments including hedge funds, angel investment, and limited partnerships. An individual can be designated as an accredited investor if they have a net worth of $1 million or more. An individual may also qualify as an accredited investor if they are single and have made $200,000 or more in the previous years or have made $300,000 or more in the previous two years if they are married.


Most visa applicants must obtain biometrics services. Biometrics collect information that enable U.S. authorities to identify via holders. Biometric services typically entail fingerprinting, taking the applicant’s photograph, and conducting a background check.

California Service Center

All EB-5 program applications are processed at the USCIS California Service Center in Laguna Niguel, California.

Conditional Permanent Resident

Conditional permanent residents are those who have been granted a green card but who have certain restrictions on their residency. EB-5 investors become two year conditional permanent residents after either their I-485 or DS-230 has been approved. Investors must apply for permanent residency within 90 days prior to the expiration of their two year conditional period.

Consular Processing/ DS-230

The DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration is submitted by EB-5 investors with approved I-526 petitions who are not in the U.S. in a valid non-immigrant visa status. This process is commonly known as “consular processing.” Once an applicant’s I-526 is approved their file is sent by the USCIS to the National Visa Center which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of State. The completed forms along with other applications materials are sent by the NVC to the U.S. consulate or embassy in the applicant’s home country. Consular processing applicants must attend an in-person interview where they are issued an immigrant visa. Upon issuance of the immigrant visa, an applicant and their dependent family members are permitted to enter the U.S. Permanent residency status commences on the first date of entry into the U.S. and the green card is mailed to the applicants shortly after their first entry on the immigrant visa.

Department of State

The Department of State is responsible for maintenance of the international affairs of the United States. The Department of State overseas the operations of all of the U.S. embassies and consulates located around the world. Those who submit the DS-230 application during the EB-5 visa process must file it with the Department of State.

Direct Equity Model

Investors receive equity in existing project company in exchange for investing capital to be used for the company’s job creating project.

Direct Jobs

EB-5 investments made to non-Regional Center projects must result in the creation of 10 fulltime direct jobs for U.S. workers for two years. Direct jobs are identifiable jobs that are created directly within the commercial enterprise that receives the EB-5 investment. Direct jobs can be created in both an individual investment or a Regional Center project.

Diversity Visa Program

The Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Immigrant Visa Lottery, makes 50,000 annual U.S. visas available to immigrants from countries that have low rates of immigration to the United States. The applicants apply for the lottery online and a computer program chooses visa recipients at random.

EB-5 Job Creation Requirement

EB-5 visa applicants must preserve or create at least 10 full time U.S. jobs. These jobs must be created or preserved within two years after the investor became a conditional permanent resident.

EB-5 Visa Program

The EB-5 visa program enables foreign investors to obtain their permanent residency (“green cards”) by investing in a U.S. business. Also referred to as the Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference, EB-5 applicants are typically required to invest either $500,000 or $1 million dollars in order to qualify for the program. The applicant’s investment must lead to the creation of 10 fulltime U.S. jobs for a two year period. After the program has been completed, EB-5 investors, their unmarried children under 21, and their spouse can permanently live and work in the United States.

EB-5 Project

The individual businesses that receive EB-5 investments are referred to as EB-5 projects. Investors can create their own EB-5 project by investing in a U.S. business or they can invest in an EB-5 project that is managed by an EB-5 Regional Center.

EB-5 Regional Center

Regional Centers can be either private or public economic entities that promote job creation, regional productivity, domestic capital investment, and economic growth. Approximately 90-95% percent of all EB-5 petitions are made through USCIS designated Regional Centers.