Does an EB-5 investor already need to have created ten jobs at the time of the investment?

The primary purpose of the EB-5 program is to encourage foreign investment in the U.S. to create new jobs. As such, a qualifying EB-5 investment must lead to the creation of at least 10 permanent, full-time jobs per investor. These requisite jobs do not need to have already been created at the time of investment. However, this is possible through special circumstances that will be discussed further below.

Job calculation largely depends on the EB5 investment model, as this influences the types of jobs an investor can count towards the requirement. Direct investments can only include direct jobs, while the indirect model may count direct, indirect, and induced. As mentioned before, these jobs don’t have to be created at the time of the investment. Instead, an EB-5 investor must demonstrate their investment’s capability to create enough jobs within their I-526 petition.

All I-526 petitions must contain a highly detailed business plan that details what jobs the investment will create and when the positions will be filled. Additionally, it’s typical for an economist to create a report using industry standard methodologies. The main purpose of this report is to prove to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the project will create the necessary jobs if the business plan is followed. Two years later, when the investor files Form I-829, this report will be used alongside documentation of actual expenditures to prove that enough jobs were created to satisfy the program requirement.

Under certain circumstances, it is possible for some or even all of the necessary jobs to exist at the time of investment. This occurs when an EB-5 applicant chooses to invest in a “troubled business”. The investment preserves preexisting jobs and allows the investor to count them towards the job creation total. However, unless at least 10 jobs were preserved through investment in a troubled business, the EB-5 applicant will still need to create additional jobs to satisfy program requirements.