How to Get EB-5 Visa Through Investments
Investors can apply for a work permit to enter the US and become a lawful permanent resident through the EB-5 investor visa program. The EB-5 program was created to encourage foreign investments and stimulate the economic growth of the US. If you’re an investor looking to get an immigrant visa and apply for a green card, read on below to learn about the visa requirements you need to meet and the steps you need to take.
To be eligible for an EB-5 investor visa, you should make an investment to a for-profit US business and create or maintain at least ten full-time job positions for US workers for two years. The amount invested to qualify for work visas should be at least:
- $900,000 for businesses in targeted employment areas (TEA);
- $1,800,000 for business in other areas.
These values are adjusted every five years to account for inflation. Also, places considered to be target economic areas are set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The qualifications and requirements for this employment-based preference category are narrow, which means that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may reject certain work visa applications.
If you’re unsure whether you qualify for an investor visa, speak with an immigration lawyer to discuss the immigration options available to you.
The funds which you invested to qualify for EB 5 visas should come entirely from you. These can be in the form of cash or cash equivalents, such as certificates of deposits, loans, and promissory notes. Any equipment, inventory, or other tangible property that you’ve put into the business counts towards the required investment amount. You may also use borrowed funds that you’re personally liable for since investments should come entirely from you and not shared with other parties.
You’ll need to make an equity investment or ownership share, and place it at risk of partial or total loss should the business do badly. The USCIS will evaluate the source of your funds to ensure that it’s lawfully obtained, which means you’ll need to provide paperwork regarding your inheritance, investment, gifts, salary, and sold assets.
Job Creation Requirements
By investing in a US business, you should be able to either create or preserve at least 10 full-time positions for qualified US workers. This should happen within two years of you becoming a conditional permanent resident in the US. Direct, indirect, and induced jobs count toward the job creation requirement for EB5 projects.
Alien investors have two options for getting a green card through investments.
- Direct Investments. For this type of investment, direct investors need to find their investment projects and directly manage and oversee that project. This gives them more control over businesses that they’ve invested in.
- Regional centers. EB-5 investors can invest in organizations that run businesses and create jobs, which means that they won’t be responsible for directly managing their investments. This is the best option for investors who are more interested in immigration and prefer a more hands-off approach.
Since USCIS is the one that designates regional centers, a regional center is responsible for adhering to the regulations of the EB-5 program. It’s important to choose regional centers that can meet the investor visa program requirements so you can go through the process of immigration and get a green card as a foreign national without issues.
EB-5 Visa Application Process
There are three main steps to apply for immigrant visas, and obtain a permanent resident status under the EB-5 program.
- Choose a business or regional center to invest in, making sure that your investment will contribute to the creation or maintenance of 10 fulltime US jobs.
- Submit your application for conditional permanent residence after receiving your Form I-526 approval. For the green card application, you’ll need to fill out either Form I-485 “Application for Adjustment of Status” or DS-260 “Application for Immigrant Visa” for you and any family member with you.
- Compile all paperwork and documentation as evidence that you’ve met the EB-5 requirements at the end of your conditional residency, and file it to a USCIS office along with your completed Form I-829 application for lawful permanent residency. You and your family members will become lawful permanent residents and receive your ten-year green cards.
Hire an Immigration Attorney
While the EB-5 program provides opportunities for investors to reside and become a permanent resident in the US, any missing documents or mistakes in your immigration forms can get your application denied. It’s best to get legal assistance from someone knowledgeable about immigration laws. If you’re considering immigrating to the United States, call AmLaw Group today and get in touch with an experienced immigration attorney to help you through the immigration process.