People keep applying to enter the U.S. for refuge, education, and work. In 1992, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a visa program to create jobs and secure foreign investment. The program has been renewed and tweaked annually since then.
According to the American Immigration Council, “The EB-5 program is currently the only visa program designed to allow foreign investors to gain permanent residence (a “green card”) in the United States.” It expects a million-dollar investment ($500,000 in rural or high unemployment areas). And, the investment must produce at least 10 jobs.
5 Important Steps to Completing Your EB-5 Visa Application
- Consider the options. Smart applicants will get legal help with your EB-5 green card. For example, applicants must invest in a new commercial venture or a Regional Center project. Any applicant needs help in locating a worthy enterprise, the most promising option for immigrants who want to build their own business and future.
Regional Centers present other complications. To encourage job creation in high-unemployment areas, USCIS invites foreign investors to play a passive role in backing a government approved entity with indirect employment. Regional Centers present some risk and low ROI, but they provide a real opportunity for those who have no desire to manage hands-on.
- Complete the Application. Nothing comes easy, so you can expect to complete a long application. As a government document, it needs every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed. And, given the application’s needs for information, you cannot do this alone. You don’t want the process to stretch out, so you must get it right from the beginning. The government always comes back for additional data, so you need the legal support to manage the application.
- Make the Investment. You make a capital investment from a legitimate verifiable source into an escrow account. Your EB-5 attorney completes and submits an A I-526 Petition form, testifying to the expected job creation and a comprehensive business plan.
- Go for Green Card 1: To get the visa, you promised to create 10 jobs. But, you are not expected to that immediately. They will issue a “conditional” Green Card if you provide the necessary information and job-creation plan. That “conditional” card last two years.
- Get your Green Card 2: With your EB-5 visa lawyer’s help, you complete and submit a Removal of Conditions (I-819). This petition must be filed 90-days before the anniversary of the day when the applicant received the Green Card 1. If all things are executed correctly, you’ll have that permanent green card in six months.
Relocating to the United States—with an investment in the future
Andy J. Semotiuk, a Forbes contributor, put the EB-5 Indirect and Direct Investment opportunities at top of his list of “best ways for foreign investors to immigrate to the U.S.” In a world of confusing advice on visa law, visa enforcement, and visa value. At a time when governments are tightening their borders. The EB-5 visa should stay at the top of that list. But, it’s not a DIY project!