Under what circumstances can part time jobs be counted toward EB-5 job creation?
The underlying purpose of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is to encourage foreign investment in U.S. businesses to create jobs. As such, a fundamental requirement for all EB-5 investments is that they lead to the creation of at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs per investor. The way these jobs are calculated depends on the investment model: for regional center investments, direct, indirect, and induced jobs may be counted; for direct investments, only direct jobs can be counted.
Unlike indirect and induced jobs — which reflect the economic impact of the EB-5 project — direct jobs are actually created by the new commercial enterprise (NCE). In general, these tend to be ongoing operational jobs of the new business itself. Construction positions are typically calculated based on project expenditures instead of the actual number of people involved in construction. Direct construction positions can only be counted if the project’s construction period lasts two or more years.
To comply with the requirements of the EB-5 program, job positions must be filled by qualified U.S. workers. This includes employees who have proper authorization to work in the United States, either through citizenship or permanent resident status. The EB-5 investor and their dependent family members are not qualified employees and cannot be counted towards job creation. Furthermore, job positions can only be counted if they are considered full-time — 35 hours or more per week.
Part-time jobs cannot be counted toward job creation under any circumstances, even if the total number of hours equates to that of a full-time position. However, job-sharing arrangements are permitted within the EB-5 program. In such cases, a full-time position may be filled by two half-time workers as long as the position itself is a single position. For example, a full-time janitorial position occupied by two separate workers can be counted as long as both employees work a total of 35 hours or more. Two separate part-time jobs, however, cannot be counted as one full-time job.