Can an EB-5 investor split an investment between two businesses?

Yes, an EB-5 investor can split an investment between two businesses, provided they are subsidiaries of a larger corporation or holding company. For Direct EB5 investments, the corporation would count as the new commercial enterprise (NCE) and its subsidiary would count as the job creating entity (JCE) and be responsible for creating a minimum of 10 jobs, as per United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. Further, if the investment is split among several entities, each one would be responsible for meeting the job creation requirement. In a direct EB-5 investment, these jobs must be held by individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States, and they must be available for the full two-year conditional residency period. Direct investment projects can also count only jobs that are a direct result of the EB-5 project, meaning full-time employment with the JCE. In contrast, regional center–sponsored projects can count indirect and induced employment to meet the minimum requirement.

The NCE can be any for-profit entity that is formed for the purpose of an ongoing business. This includes corporations, holding companies, partnerships and sole proprietorships. In addition, the NCE must have been established on or before November 29, 1990, and must meet either of the following criteria:

  • Purchased an existing business whose reorganization resulted in a new commercial enterprise
  • Was expanded through investment, measured by an increase of at least 40% in either number of employees or net worth

The minimum investment amount for an EB-5 investment varies depending on whether or not the project is located within a targeted employment area (TEA). As of March 2022, TEAs—areas with high unemployment or that are located in rural areas—are designated by USCIS. EB-5 projects that are not in TEAs require a minimum investment of $1,050,000, but those within TEAs provide investors with a lower investment threshold of $800,000. To enjoy the lower investment threshold, all subsidiaries of a corporation that receive EB-5 capital must be within a TEA.