top of page

How EB-5 Works

Program: Provides permanent-residency visas to foreigners and their immediate families if they invest in a U.S. enterprise that creates at least 10 permanent, full-time jobs.


Investment: $500,000 in specially approved areas that are rural or have high unemployment.


Value: EB-5 capital backs at least $2 billion in current projects in Washington State.

EB-5 Frequently Asked Questions


What is the EB-5 program?


The EB-5 Investment Visa Program is the immigrant visa category for foreign entrepreneurs and investors.  Through the EB-5 program, a foreign national can obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States for himself / herself, a spouse and unmarried children under age 21, in return for making a qualified investment in a U.S. enterprise.  Key requirements of the EB-5 program are:

  • The applicant must invest a minimum of either USD$1,000,000 or USD$500,000 in a commercial enterprise.  The minimum investment is USD$500,000 for investments that are located in a Targeted Employment Area, or TEA, which refers to areas that have experienced high unemployment, as well as certain rural areas. 

  • The investment funds must be at risk.

  • The investment results in the creation or preservation of ten (10) full-time (at least 35 hours per week) jobs for U.S. workers, over a two year period.

Traditional EB-5 investments require that the investor demonstrate that the required 10 full-time jobs were created directly by the commercial enterprise in which the investment was made.  In contrast, EB-5 investments made through a Designated Regional Center, such as Columbia International Finance, receive credit for jobs created both directly and indirectly, which benefits the applicant by reducing the risk associated with job creation.  About 90% of all EB-5 investments are made through a Designated Regional Center.


Is the EB-5 Program suitable for me?


EB-5 investors have many reasons for seeking permanent residency in the United States through the EB-5 Program. They may be seeking economic opportunity, educational opportunity for themselves or their children, or retirement in the U.S. Obtaining an EB-5 visa through Columbia International Finance provides these investors the opportunity and flexibility to live and work permanently in the U.S.


Investments are generally available only to accredited investors. For more information about the requirements to qualify as an accredited investor, please apply with us HERE.



What is the EB-5 process and timeline?


For a chart showing every step of the EB-5 investment and immigration process, please click HERE.



What is a Designated Regional Center?


A Designated Regional Center is an entity or economic unit, public or private, approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to facilitate the pooling of capital by multiple EB-5 investors.  Each Designated Regional Center focuses on a specific geographic area within the U.S., and seeks to promote economic growth and creation of new jobs in that area.  Importantly, making an investment via a Designated Regional Center provides EB-5 investors with two key benefits:

  • The ability to invest alongside other EB-5 investors in a pooled vehicle, such as a limited partnership sponsored by Columbia International Finance; and

  • The ability to receive credit for both direct and indirect jobs created as a result of the EB-5 investor’s investment.



How many EB-5 visas are available?


Current U.S. law allocates 10,000 EB-5 visas per year for foreign nationals and their immediate family members (spouses and unmarried children under 21).  Of these, 3,000 EB-5 visas are set aside for applicants who invest through a Designated Regional Center such as Columbia International Finance.  It is important to understand that this pool of 3,000 visas set aside for Regional Centers does not represent a cap on the number of visas available to those who invest via a Regional Center.



Do I have to be involved in the day-to-day management of my investment in the CDRC?


No. The EB-5 regulations require the investor to be involved in management or policy-making in the enterprise.  A limited partner in a limited partnership that is properly structured and conforms to the Uniform Limited Partnership Act is sufficiently engaged in the EB-5 enterprise to meet this requirement.  Columbia International Finance investments are structured to comply with this requirement.



Where can I find a copy of the relevant EB-5 law and regulations to review?


The USCIS web site at provides information on the EB-5 Program and obtaining lawful permanent resident (LPR, or “green card”) status through investment.  The federal regulations governing the EB-5 program can be found at 8 CFR §204.6.



Will my children be able to remain in school in the United States if I leave the United States?


Yes. Unmarried children under age 21 at the time of a parent’s EB-5 petition is filed will receive first a conditional green card, and after two years, a green card without conditions.  This permits them to remain in the U.S. and attend college or university as permanent residents of the U.S., regardless of whether you (or your spouse) remain in the U.S.

Back to top



What are the risks?


EB-5 regulations require that all invested capital be “at risk” of loss. Therefore, no investment can be guaranteed – that is, without risk – if it is to qualify as an EB-5 investment. “At risk” generally means subject to normal business and financial risk. Other risks include the enterprise’s failure to meet the direct or indirect job creation requirement. While no investment can be guaranteed, Columbia International Finance investments are structured specifically to minimize these risks to the greatest extent possible.  These and other risks are described in detail in the documentation provided for each investment.



How long will funds remain invested?


Most investment partnerships have a projected life of five years.



How long will it take to receive a permanent “green card”?


The EB-5 investment process involves multiple steps, and processing times for each step can vary.  See THE EB-5 PROCESS section for an overview of the process.  Overall, the entire process from the initial application to unconditional legal permanent resident (“green card”) status usually takes 27 to 36 months. 



How do I apply?



bottom of page