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What You Need to Know About EB-5 Visa Applications

Are you interested in immigrating to the United States through an investment? Learn about the EB-5 visa which could be the best option for you!

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EB-5 Investor Visa is a Great Way to Obtain a Green Card

In 1990, Congress created the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category within the Immigration Act to attract foreign capital to the US and create jobs for American workers in the process. Ultimately, the investor would then be entitled to apply for US permanent residence.

  1. $1,800,000 capital investment, $900,000 in a TEA
  2. The investment must be made in a for-profit US commercial entity
  3. The investment must create 10 full-time US jobs for two years

EB-5 Visa Investment

Due to changes that started in Nov 2019, EB-5 visa applicants are typically required to make either a $900,000 or $1,800,000  capital investment amount into a US commercial enterprise.

The EB-5 investment can take the form of:

  • cash
  • inventory
  • equipment
  • secured indebtedness
  • tangible property
  • cash equivalents (valuated based on US dollar fair-market value)

The minimum amount of capital required for the EB-5 visa program may be decreased from $1,800,000 to $900,000 if the investment is made in a commercial entity that is located in a targeted employment area (TEA). The EB-5 project must either be in a rural area or in an area that has high unemployment in order to qualify for TEA designation.

Job Creation Guidelines

The USCIS requires that EB-5 investments result in the creation of 10 full-time jobs for US workers. These jobs are to be created within the two-year period after the investor has received their conditional permanent residency. In some cases, the investor must be able to prove that their investment led to the creation of direct jobs for employees who work directly within the commercial entity that received the investment. However, the EB-5 investor may only have to show that 10 full-time indirect or induced jobs were created if the investment was made in a regional center.

Indirect jobs –  created in businesses that supply goods or services to the EB-5 project

Induced jobs – created within the greater community as a result of income being spent by EB-5 project employees

EB-5 Visa Requirements Summary

  • EB-5 investment amount: $1,050,000 capital investment in a standard (non-TEA) investment project area; or a $800,000 capital investment in a TEA-designated area. 
  • The investor must demonstrate a legal source and path for investment funds.
  • The investment must be made in a for-profit U.S. commercial entity.
  • The investment must generate 10 full-time jobs in the United States within the first two years after conditional residency is granted.
  • Make a direct investment. A direct investment is one that is made directly into the business that creates jobs; these investments count as “direct” or operational jobs.
  • A regional center investment is made into a new commercial enterprise, or EB-5 fund, which then lends the funds to the job-creating entity; these investments include direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

EB-5 Visa for Canadians

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, oversees the EB-5 Green Card through investment program. EB-5 Investor Visa holders from Canada are granted conditional permanent resident status in the United States for the first two years. Conditional EB-5 Green Card holders can apply to have the conditions removed after 24 months of compliance with the program’s requirements, such as the job creation requirement. Once approved by US immigration authorities, EB-5 participants become unconditional lawful permanent residents of the United States.

If they so desire, Candians may make an eligible investment. After five years of living south of the border, Canadian Green Card holders can apply for US citizenship. EB-5 investors may also bring any dependent children under the age of 21 to the United States, allowing them to maintain their families. Children and spouses have the same visa status as the primary investor, giving them the opportunity to eventually become US citizens if that is of interest.

EB5 Visa Application Steps

Step 1: Find US Business to Invest In

The EB-5 applicant must first find an eligible business to invest in. Applicants must also ensure that they meet accredited investor income requirements in order to move forward with the EB-5 process.

Step 2: Capital Investment and I-526 Petition

After choosing a business to invest in, the applicants must make the required capital investment amount in the project that they have chosen. The investment must be $1.8 million, or $900,000 if the project is situated in a Targeted Employment Area. Then, an immigration attorney provides proof of this investment by filing an I-526 petition with USCIS. USCIS typically informs applicants whether or not their I-526 petition has been accepted after 31 to 52 months. Most regional centers will refund your investment if your I-526 is denied.

Step 3: Two Year Conditional Permanent Residency

Next, the applicant is to become a two year conditional resident of the United States. EB-5 investors are then eligible to become US residents once their I-526 petition has been approved by USCIS.

Step 4: Unconditional Permanent Residency and the I-829 Petition

The final step in the EB-5 visa process is for applicants to become unconditional permanent residents by removing their two year conditional status. The I-829 petition is submitted to USCIS 90 days prior to the second anniversary of the date that the applicant first received their conditional residency which proves that the investor has met all requirements of the EB-5 visa program.

USCIS most often issues a permanent green card 22 to 45 months after the I-829 has been submitted. The investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can then permanently live and work in the United States and have the option to apply to become US citizens after a five year period from the date they received their initial conditional residency.

Why Legal Help for the EB-5 Investor Visa is Important

It is not a simple process to invest in the US to get a Green Card. Although the funds are appreciated, there are still specific requirements that need to be met in order to obtain an EB-5 visa. Since there is a lot of paperwork involved, applicants for this visa will often enlist the help of a legal immigration professional who has the knowledge of how to present an application package to convince immigration officers of an investor’s merit.

Why Hire Us to Help with Your EB-5 Application?

When it comes to investing your money and your time, you want to focus on the business itself. This is where we can help, as we specialize in helping individuals reach their goals by applying our expertise to each immigration case. We have helped hundreds of investors to successfully get US permanent residence through EB-5 applications, and we can help you too!

The first step towards a successful EB-5 visa application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.