EB-5 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EB-5 visa for?

The EB-5 visa is for foreign investors and their immediate families who want to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders) in the U.S. by making a qualifying investment in a U.S. enterprise.

What are the main requirements for the EB-5 visa?

The primary requirements for the EB-5 visa include:

Making a qualifying investment of at least $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise (or $800,000 in a targeted employment area).

Creating or preserving at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission as a conditional permanent resident.

What is a "targeted employment area" (TEA)?

A TEA is a rural area or an area with high unemployment designated by the state government or USCIS. Investments made in TEAs qualify for the lower investment threshold of $800,000.

Can I include my family members in the EB-5 application?

Yes, you can include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 in your EB-5 application. They can obtain green cards as derivative beneficiaries.

How long does the EB-5 visa application process take?

Processing times can vary significantly based on factors such as the complexity of the investment project, background checks, and the government’s workload. It generally takes several years to complete the entire process.

Can I apply for permanent residency (a green card) directly with the EB-5 visa?

Yes, the EB-5 visa is an employment-based immigrant visa category that leads to lawful permanent residency (a green card) for the investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children under 21.

What is the "conditional" green card for EB-5 investors?

Initially, EB-5 investors receive a conditional green card valid for two years. 90 days prior to the expiration of the two-year period, they must file a petition to remove the conditions and demonstrate that they have met the job creation and investment requirements.

Can I invest in any type of business to qualify for an EB-5 visa?

While the choice of business can vary, it can must be a commercial enterprise that creates or preserves at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers.

Can I invest in a troubled business to qualify for an EB-5 visa?

Yes, investing in a troubled business can qualify for the EB-5 program under certain conditions, but additional requirements apply.

What happens if my EB-5 investment project fails?

If your EB-5 investment project fails and the required jobs are not created or preserved, you may not be able to remove the conditions on your green card, and your permanent residency could be at risk.
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I've had the pleasure of working with DLG on various petitions over the past few years. US immigration could be quite complex and overwhelming making knowledgeable, trustworthy help critical to successfully navigate through the process. The team at DLG (Dana, Leyla, Jennifer, Melisa) are extremely knowledgeable, thorough, patient, transparent and responsive. Definitely recommend them!!
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Appreciate the Davidson Law Group for helping me secure approval for my H1b visa. The paralegal working with me was very responsive in answering the questions I had (usually always responded to my messages the day of my inquiry) and the answers were always detailed and professional. Would recommend working with the law group!
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I had an amazing experience with Davidson Law Group for my immigration case. Their team was incredibly professional, knowledgeable, and attentive, making the entire process smooth and successful. I highly recommend them to anyone needing expert immigration legal support.
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To the entire Davidson Law Group team, thank you so much for all the support during the past three years of my immigration journey in the US. They were especially supportive and responsive to all my queries about the different visas and were always prompt and kind. I especially appreciated it when Leyla got back to me beyond working hours on a Friday with, "Congratulations, your H1B has been picked." It definitely made my and my close ones' weekend a tad better. I would recommend them for sure just because I appreciated their humane approach to all of their cases. Kudos to all of you.

Dana Davidson - Full Bio

Dana T. Davidson holds degrees from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been practicing immigration law since 2003 in New York and nationwide. She represents corporations, individuals, and families in a broad range of immigration matters. Attorney Davidson has offices in New York City and Glen Cove.


  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, New York
  • Juris Doctor – 1988
  • Honors: Moot Court Board, Member, Judge
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
  • Bachelor of Arts – 1982
  • Major: Political Science
  • Concentration: Business

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Safe Passage Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2013-Present
  • Educating the Educators, Founder, 2012-Present
  • Momentum Project, Board Member, 1991-1994 Bar Admission
  • New York, Eastern District
  • New York, Southern District
  • Washington, D.C.

Speaking Engagements
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Berlin, Germany, Speaker on “Public Charge” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa, Speaker: “Practice Management in the New Age” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Madrid, Spain, Speaker: “El Traje de Luces: Self-Sponsored Petitions – EB-1A and NIW”  AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2017, Brussels, Belgium, Speaker: “Continuing Blanket L Challenges”
  • Safe Passage Project, March 2017, Speaker: “Representing Unaccompanied Minors: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Effects of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2016, Speaker: “It’s Not About Money: I-864”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2016, Vienna, Austria, Speaker: “K-Visa: Differences Between K-1 and I-130 Processing”
  • New York Institute of Technology’s Center for Entrepreneurship, January 2016, Entrepreneur/Executive-in-Residence
  • AILA Fall Conference 2015, London, UK, Speaker: Impact of joint sponsors on family-based cases
  • Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business Education Program, October 2014, “What is required to grow a business?”
  • Dowling College, May 2013, Keynote Speaker at the first annual Latino Summit at Dowling College
  • International Taxation Conference, 2010