The following are some common questions about the investment-based EB-5 green card.
Can someone obtain a green card through investment in the US? How much does one need to invest?
Every year, 10,000 investor visas are available for foreign investors who invest at least USD $1,000,000 (or $900,000 in targeted employment area) in a commercial enterprise in the United States which creates at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, or other lawful immigrants, excluding the investor and his or her family.
What is a targeted employment area (TEA)?
A targeted employment area (TEA) is defined as a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.
Are there different investment programs?
Yes, you can apply as direct individual investor or as one of the investors in a Regional Center. Regional Centers are CIS designated entities, organizations or agencies that focus on a specific geographic area within the United States in order to promote economic growth. These Regional Centers are located throughout the country, and cover a variety of industries from commercial real estate properties, hotels, shopping centers, to motion picture and television production. Many of them are in the targeted employment area (TEA).
Are there are advantages of regional center over individual director investor?
There are 3,000 visas annual set aside for investors in an approved Regional Centers. Advantages of the Regional Center include:
- Generally there will be less up-front investment required as many of the Regional Centers are located in targeted employment area ($900,000 versus $1.8 million USD)
- Passive investment: no day-to-day management is required for the investor.
- The required 10 jobs creation can be documented through direct or indirect methods.
I have the necessary capital to invest in the U.S. What are the steps do I need to follow?
There are many critical steps one should follow:
- Verify and document the source and availability of funds for your EB-5 business investment. Source of funds must be obtained through lawful means.
- Research and conduct due diligence on your preferred business investment, either as an individual investor or in a regional center.
- File Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur with the USCIS.
- Once the I-526 is approved, proceed to file Form I-485 Adjustment of Status application or apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S Consulate.
- When the I-485 is approved, you will be granted conditional resident status for 2 years.
- You must file I-829 to remove conditional resident status prior to the expiration of your conditional resident status, proving to the USCIS that you have made the full investment and created the requisite 10 full time jobs.
- Once conditional resident status is removed, you will receive a full Green Card.
Are my spouse and children included in the petition?
Yes, spouse and dependent children under 21 years of age will be included and receive the same status as the principal investor.