NREDC > EB5 Info > EB-5 Terminology to know

EB-5 Terminology to know

EB-5 Program

The EB-5 investor visa program enables foreigners who make an investment in a U.S. business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents, and potentially citizens, of the United States.

The EB-5 visa program is operated by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.


USCIS – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an agency that oversees the country’s naturalization an immigration system.

Regional Center(RC)

An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States that is involved with promoting economic growth. Regional centers are designated by USCIS for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program.

Designated Regional Center

Regional Centers must file Form I-924, Application for Regional Center Designation Under the Immigrant Investor Program, before they can obtain EB-5 investment. Upon approval (designation), a regional center may participate in the Immigrant Investor Program.

Targeted Employment Area (TEA)

A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is a region of the United States for which the threshold for investment for an investor to be eligible for the EB-5 visa is $900,000 (as opposed to the usual $1,800,000 threshold for the US as a whole).

Exemplar Project

Exemplars, or pre-approved projects, are projects that have been evaluated and certified by USCIS to meet certain criteria delineated in the EB-5 requirements. At the time that an investor moves forward with an exemplar project, most, if not all, aspects of that project should have already received approval from USCIS. These aspects include: the new commercial enterprise, business plan, business organizational documents, offering documents, job creation claims, etc. Because of this pre-approval, investors who file EB-5 petitions with an exemplar project may be able to enjoy faster processing times for their EB-5 application.

New Commercial Enterprise (NCE)

All EB-5 Investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise. Commercial enterprise means any for-profit lawful business. An EB-5 investor must invest the required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees.

Job Creating Enterprise (JCE)

Once an investor has invested in the new commercial enterprises, the investment itself is deployed as if it were a loan directly to the enterprise creating the jobs.

I-526 Petition

The I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur is filed by the EB-5 investor to demonstrate that they are in the process of investing, or have already invested the required amount of capital in a suitable EB-5 project. I-526 petitions are usually prepared on behalf of EB-5 applicants by an immigration attorney. Upon approval, an investor, their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years all become eligible to receive visas when they become available.

I-485 Petition

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status is a form used by EB-5 investors if they are already residing in the U.S. and have received I-526 Petition approval, then they can use this form to adjust their status to become conditional permanent residents.

I-829 Petition

Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status is used by EB-5 investors who have fulfilled the EB-5 Program requirements and need to remove the conditions on their green cards.

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