Age is not a factor in EB-5 eligibility; the program’s rules and regulations do not demand a minimum age or upward age limit. However, a prospective EB-5 investor under the age of 18 may face difficulties when it comes to signing contracts, particularly if investing indirectly, as many regional centers impose minimum age requirements. By law, any applicant under the age of 18 cannot sign a legitimate, binding contract. In this situation, a primary petitioner who is a minor can invest under the guidance of their parent or legal guardian and, in the same vein, have their parent or legal guardian co-sign any relevant documents.
While age does not determine EB-5 eligibility, there are a number of factors that do. The first step is to gather the required amount of capital to make an investment. The threshold amount is currently $1,050,000, while projects located in targeted employment areas (TEAs) have a required minimum investment amount of $800,000.
When submitting Form I-526 to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for adjudication, investors must append documentation to their petition that proves their lawful source of funds. This requirement stipulates the EB-5 investor must be the legal owner of their investment capital and have acquired the funding through lawful means. The conditions for proving the lawful origins of investment capital are applicable to both direct investments and regional center–sponsored projects.
Another factor is the project the EB-5 investor chooses to invest in. It must be a qualifying new commercial enterprise (NCE) that adheres to the definitions and criteria set out by USCIS.
USCIS will also assess the investor’s I-526 petition based on their fulfillment of the job creation requirement and whether the investment has remained at risk. The former refers to a mandated employment quota; the EB-5 investor’s investment must generate a minimum of 10 full-time jobs within the project or business. The at-risk requirement refers to how the investment must incur just as much risk of financial loss as opportunity for financial gain.