Where can the employees of an EB-5 project live and work?

One of the many appeals to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is the ability for investors to live and work anywhere in the U.S. This may not always be the case with direct investments — in which the investor must be actively involved in the business — but it is still possible. However, the freedom to live and work anywhere regardless of the EB5 project location does not extend to project employees. EB-5 program regulations do not indicate where employees must be located. Despite this, several factors may affect whether United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers positions eligible for the EB-5 program.

The jobs created by an EB5 project must be doing business principally within the region. The employees should be living near enough to commute and be working in the area. This is particularly important for projects located in targeted employment areas (TEAs). TEAs are regions considered in need of job creation and economic stimulation. Naturally, TEA investors must demonstrate that their investment created at least 10 jobs within the region.

Where project employees live and work can also affect the creation of induced job positions. These are jobs that can only be calculated and counted towards the EB5 employment requirement by regional center investments. Along with indirect employment, induced jobs reflect the economic impact an EB-5 project has on the area. However, induced jobs are specifically created from project employee activity. As workers spend their income within the local community, induced jobs are created. This may be important for regional center investors to consider, as the creation of induced jobs depends wholly on the location of project employees.

Some traveling job positions and off-site work may be permissible depending on the nature of the EB5 business. Investors should consider the services of EB5 immigration attorneys to ensure compliance with EB5 regulations.