How can investors count indirect jobs toward the EB-5 employment requirement?
The underlying purpose of the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program is to create jobs for U.S. workers. Naturally, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all EB-5 investments to create at least 10 jobs per investor. These must be full-time, permanent positions.
Within the EB-5 program, there are three types of jobs investors must be aware of: direct, indirect, and induced. Direct jobs are created from the EB5 project itself, typically being construction or operational jobs. Indirect positions are created from the economic impact of the project. As investment capital is spent on goods and services to support the project, indirect jobs are created. Induced jobs work in a similar fashion, in that they reflect the economic impact of the EB5 investment. These positions are created as project employees spend their income within the local community.
Regional center investments are the more popular option for several reasons, one being it is easier to create enough jobs to meet EB5 requirements. While direct investments are limited to counting direct jobs, regional center investments can count direct, indirect, and induced job positions. The way these types of jobs are calculated differs as well. Because direct jobs are filled by project employees, their creation is often proven through W-2 forms. However, as aforementioned, indirect and induced jobs reflect the impact an EB5 project has on the local economy. As such, an economic analysis is necessary to demonstrate their creation.
Calculating indirect and induced jobs generally requires the services of an economist, who generates a report using accepted economic or statistical methodologies. The main purpose of this report is to prove to USCIS that the project will create enough jobs. When an investor files their I-526 petition, this report demonstrates the job creation capabilities of the investment. Two years later, when the investor files Form I-829, this report is used alongside documentation of project expenditures to prove that enough jobs were created.