The United States EB-5 visa, employment-based fifth preference category or EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, created in 1990 by the Immigration Act of 1990. It provides a method for eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents — informally known as “green card” holders — by investing at least $1,000,000 to finance a business in the United States that will employ at least 10 American workers or it can be more.
THREE BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR US EB-5:
- The Investor must establish a business or invest in an existing business that was already created or restructured since November 19, 1990.2. The Investor must have invested USD $1,000,000 (only USD $500,000 while investing in a USCIS designated regional centre) in business.
3. Its mandate that the business must create full-time employment for at least 10 US workers.
MAJOR BENEFITS OF US EB-5 VISA PROGRAM:
- Qualifying Investors and their spouse and minor children (under age 21) will be granted US Lawful Permanent Residency (GREEN CARD)2. There is no restriction for age, spoken English, employment experience, or education
3. Investor and family may live/work anywhere in the United States. Minor Children may obtain employment, subject to age, state and governmental laws and restrictions.
4. Educational benefits include admission to Universities at US residents costs.
5. The EB-5 program does not require immigrant investors to manage their investment on a day to day basis.
6. After completing 5 years, the investor and their family may obtain US citizenship, subject to meeting all immigration requirements, as per US Law.
HOW MANY MONTHS SHOULD I STAY IN UNITED STATES?
Under the regulations, an investor who has been approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card, which will be reissued after two years, subject to removal of conditions. Otherwise, both the cards offer the same rights and privileges.
PROCESS OF BECOMING THE US CITIZEN:
DO I REQUIRE ANY KIND OF BUSINESS EXPERIENCE OR EDUCATION?
-The investor is not required to have any prior business experience. Likewise, the investor is not required to demonstrate any minimum level of education. The only requirement for the investor is that he or she has the required net worth and capital.
IS ENGLISH AS A LANGUAGE IS MANDATORY?
-No, an investor should obtain the services of a translator (friend, attorney, family member) to read the materials and contact our office for more information.
IS IT NECESSARY TO BE IN GOOD HEALTH?
-Yes. You must submit to and pass a health screening as part of the Consular review process before a conditional EB-5 Visa is granted.
FOR AN EB5 INVESTMENT, MONEY FROM PARENT/RELATIVE OR FRIEND CAN BE USED AS INVESTMENT?
-Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual arms-length transaction and is not a mere ruse or that the gifted funds will be given back after permanent resident status is granted.
WHATS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVENTIONAL AND UNCONVENTIONAL GREEN CARD?
-Upon approval of I-526 Petition, you must wait for notification from the United States Consulate in your home country to prepare documents for the Visa interview. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the investor and his or her family undergo medical, police, security and immigration history checks before the conditional permanent resident visas are issued. At the interview, the consulate officer may address these issues and information printed on the I-526 application, including asking the investor to summarize the nature of his or her immigrant investment. If the investor and his or her family are in the United States, then you may apply for adjustment of status by filing form I-485, and supporting documents, the application may be filed at the appropriate office of the USCIS.
THE INVESTOR ASSETS MUST BE LAWFULLY GAINED- WHAT IS MEANT BY THIS REQUIREMENT?
-Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that his assets were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the investor to prove his investment funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan, or other lawful means.
IF MY I-526 PETITIONS IS APPROVED BY USCIS, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CONSULATE APPLICATION AND INTERVIEW, AND HOW SOON DO I GET MY “GREEN CARD”?
– Upon approval of I-526 Petition, you must wait for notification from the United States Consulate in your home country to prepare documents for the Visa interview. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the investor and his or her family undergo medical, police, security and immigration history checks before the conditional permanent resident visas are issued. At the interview, the consulate officer may address these issues and information printed on the I-526 application, including asking the investor to summarize the nature of his or her immigrant investment. If the investor and his or her family are in the United States, then you may apply for adjustment of status by filing form I-485, and supporting documents, the application may be filed at the appropriate office of the USCIS.
FOR HOW MANY YEARS GREEN CARD IS VALID FOR?
-There are several answers to this question. If you received your Green Card through marriage, and have not been married for two years when you got your Green Card, you should have a conditional Green Card that is good for two years. Also, if you received your Green Card through investment (EB-5), you should have a conditional Green Card for two years. You must apply for removal of the condition within ninety days before the two years are up. Once that is approved, you have a regular unconditional Green Card. If you apply either too early or too late, you have a problem and should consult with an attorney for advice. If you do not have the condition removed, the Green Card will become invalid at the end of two years, and your permanent resident status will be terminated. Unconditional Green Cards are good for ten years. This does not mean that after ten years, you stop being a legal permanent resident – only the card itself becomes invalid. You must apply for a new one using form I-90. Without a current Green Card, you cannot use the Green Card to travel out of the United States, and you also cannot use the Green Card as evidence that you are permitted to work.
WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY (“GREEN CARD”)?
– An individual or a family (husband, wife and any unmarried children under the age of 21) may receive permanent residency. It is also possible for adopted children to be included in the family.
HOW MUCH TIME IT WILL TAKE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY TO RECEIVE GREEN CARD?
– The average processing time for clients of the EB-5 Program can take up to a year or possibly longer. Under Exemplar status, the initial application and petition are usually approved in four to six months, with the balance of the time being required for completing other United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and Department of State forms and for scheduling the interview.
WHAT ARE THE CONSTRAINTS OF THE INVESTOR TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INVESTMENT?
-The investor must be “active” in the management of the investment by engaging in the management of the new commercial enterprise, either through day-to-day managerial control or through policy formation. However, the law does specifically allow that an investor will qualify as a “limited partner” as defined in the Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act. The project meets all the regulation requirements by enrolling the investor in the investment as a limited partner. This role allows the investor to continue to engage in his own business without needing to participate in the investment operations. Additionally, this allows the investor to live where he pleases and gives him the option to enter and exit the United States without any obligation to manage the investment. Most importantly, the limited partner, like the corporate shareholder, is only liable to the enterprise to the extent of the agreed-upon investment. XIPHIAS-GCRR uses this business structure to protect the investor.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE BY USCIS TO PROCESS MY VISA PETITION?
– Processing times vary from as little as a few weeks to as much as nine months. We cannot predict or promise a particular processing time. You should plan for the entire process to take approximately one year to one and a half years. Under Exemplar status, this will be shorter.