When must a direct EB-5 investor have a completed business plan?

An investor’s completed business plan must be filed along with their I-526 petition. However, because a successful business plan constitutes significant forethought and planning, investors are advised to have a completed business plan early on, before they submit their I-526 petition. After the form has been filed, they will not be permitted to make substantial material changes to the business plan.

A successful business plan must adhere to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. One hallmark of an EB-5 business plan is that it abides by the precedent laid out by the 1998 court ruling Matter of Ho. According to the Matter of Ho judgment, a compliant business plan must provide evidence that the project will generate financial profit and enough employment positions that the investor will be eligible to receive an EB-5 visa. The court ruling further stipulates the EB-5 business plan must be thoroughly and explicitly outlined and feasible. This will make the business plan more attractive to USCIS, who will be adjudicating the I-526 petition based on the business plan’s commercial potential and eligibility for the EB-5 program. The business plan should be 40–50 pages in length and include colored diagrams and figures when appropriate to properly convey the necessary information.

A compliant business plan must incorporate the following:

  • A summary of the project’s industry, overall aim, future goals, staff members, history, etc.
  • A description of the business type, which could be a corporation, individual ownership, joint venture, trust, partnership, or other legitimate business type
  • That the NCE has the necessary federal, state, or local permits to operate
  • A solid marketing strategy that includes the project’s budget and intended consumers. This will also be used as reference for prospective investors.
  • Information on the project’s staff members
  • Evidence of competitiveness. The NCE must be able to compete against other businesses in the market, which necessitates a detailed analysis of potential competitors, including products and services, prices, and market penetration.
  • Descriptions of the 10 full-time jobs that will be created
  • A hiring timeline on how and when the project will generate the required 10 jobs to qualify for an EB-5 visa
  • Five-year economic forecasts that prove the project’s financial credibility, including details on sales, profit, expenditures, and employee pay