The EB-5 classification was created in 1990 for certain foreign national investors. The two main requirements for obtaining an EB-5 employment based visa is, first, the foreign national must invest $1 million in a new United States business (or $500,000 in a targeted employment area). Secondly, the foreign national must guarantee to provide full-time employment to at least 10 (ten) qualified United States workers (not including the applicant, his/her spouse, his/her children or any non-immigrant workers).

A foreign national investor may obtain an EB-5 classification by establishing a new business in the U.S. If there are more than one investor, each petitioning investor must have invested or is actively in the process of investing the required amount for the area in which the new company is principally doing business, and each individual investment must create at least ten full-time jobs for qualifying United States workers.

To obtain an EB-5 classification a petition must be filed with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) regional service center. There is no labor certification requirement for this special category. Conditional permanent residence is granted initially for a two-year period. After the second anniversary of granting permanent residence, a review is made. If the company continues to employ the required number of U.S. workers and is continuing to do business permanent residence will be granted.