Investing in a residential construction company may qualify a foreign national for an EB-5 green card. This depends on the project’s capability of meeting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements for EB5 investments. In essence, all successful investments must: meet the minimum capital threshold; be made in a qualifying new commercial enterprise (NCE); and lead to the creation of at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs filled by qualified U.S. workers.
The minimum EB-5 investment amount will depend on the location of the investment project. Projects situated in targeted employment areas (TEAs) require $800,000, while projects outside of these regions require $1,050,000. If an investor wishing to start or invest in a residential construction company can provide the necessary capital, they are one step closer to qualifying for the EB5 program.
An investor who seeks to create or invest in a residential construction company must ensure the business venture qualifies as a new commercial enterprise (NCE). According to USCIS, an NCE is any for-profit entity engaging in the ongoing conduct of lawful business. An NCE can be structured in a number of ways, including but not limited to: sole proprietorship, partnership, holding company, joint venture, corporation, and business trust.
An investor starting or investing in a residential construction company will likely have to do so through direct investment, meaning only direct jobs can be counted towards the project’s job creation total. One potential issue for a construction company in particular is that these direct job positions must be permanent and full-time — 35 hours or more per week. Jobs that are intermittent, temporary, seasonal, or transient are not considered permanent and therefore do not qualify under the EB5 program. However, jobs that are expected to last at least two years are generally not considered intermittent, temporary, seasonal, or transient.