What are the age requirements of the EB-5 program?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not specified any age requirement or limit for primary EB-5 investors. However, an EB-5 investment is a legally enforceable contract, and anyone under the age of 18 cannot enter into such an agreement. Potential EB-5 investors can include their spouses and any minor children under the age of 21 in their petition. However, should a minor child be close to aging out of the process—turn 21 before the date of adjudication—an investor may see the need to make that child the primary investor in the petition. There are instances in which a minor can sign legal paperwork if their legal guardian co-signs, as well as other legal strategies that potential investors can employ.

Under the Universal Transfers to Minors Act, a parent or other adult can make a gift to a minor under the age of 18 without any formal trust agreement. The only provision is that the adult gifting the funds will manage them until the person receiving the gift reaches the age of majority in their state. Each state has adopted its own version of the Universal Transfers to Minors Act, and it is the responsibility of the potential investors to understand the law as it stands in their state.

While this is a legal strategy that can be used to gift funds to minors without a formal agreement, it is unclear whether it would be successful in the context of the EB-5 visa process. To avoid the denial of an I-526 petition, investors would do well to hire an immigration attorney who can answer any questions and guide them through the process.

USCIS does not require EB-5 investors to be of legal age to sign a contract. However, EB-5 regional centers may hesitate to accept funds from a minor investor. I-526 petitions that involve a minor investor have the potential to be denied and could delay an already lengthy adjudication process.