EB5 Visas (PART 1)

The EB5 green card program allows investment in America.

What Does It Take to Get An EB5 Visa?

Why the interest in an "EB5," or (Employment-Based 5) category of green card, or Legal Permanent Resident, in the United States?

The short answer is: Speed.  

The EB5 category is the fastest method of a noncitizen to become a Legal Permanent Resident in the United States.  As with all methods of immigration, however, there's a tradeoff.  The speed of permanent entry is offset by a high standard of eligibility, and more importantly a high expense.  But those that can afford a sizable investment into U.S. business, hiring employees, OR local government projects along with high legal fees may consider this mutually beneficial approach.  But beware, the documentation required rivals an SEC audit.  In short, the EB5 is a "strings attached" process of mutually beneficial immigration to America.

  1. The applicant must invest in a new, expanding, or troubled business.
  • New: created or restructured after November 19, 1990
  • Expanding: existing net worth or number of employees by a minimum of 40%
  • Troubled: has existed for at least 2 years and incurred a net loss of at least 20% during the previous 12-24 month period. If investing in a trouble business investor petitions to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be based on jobs ‘saved’ by the investment verse the investment creating 10 director or indirect jobs.
  1. The applicant must invest $1,000,000. If the project is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) the minimum investment requirement is reduced to $500,000. The investment must stay at risk throughout the entire process.
  2. The investor must demonstrate that the investment capital was “lawfully gained” and the required capital is at risk for investment purposes. Necessary documentation (primarily consisting of tax records for past 5 years) will need to be submitted to the USCIS for green card review – we suggest investors utilize one of the referred lawyers who specialize in EB-5 documentation to facilitate this process.
  3. The business must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
  4. The investor must enter the U.S. within 180 days of visa issuance. The visa holder must demonstrate the “intent” to be a resident. This includes:
  • Renting or buying a home
  • Opening bank accounts
  • Obtaining a social security number
  • Obtaining a driver’s license
  • Paying applicable taxes
  1. Maintain Permanent Residency

This overview provides a flavor of what is required to be eligible.  The following posts will explore specific issues sensitive to applicants.

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