What is the EB-5 Investment Visa?
The EB-5 Investment Visa Program has become notably popular around the world, with families considering relocating to the USA or gifting their children opportunities to study at world-ranking educational institutions.
The EB-5 Investment Program allows an investor to acquire permanent residency for themselves, their spouse, and all unmarried children under the age of 21, by investing the current government required amount of USD 500,000 in a qualified EB-5 project.
Obtaining an EB-5 visa allows one to live, work, study, or open a business anywhere in the USA. It also offers opportunities for children to obtain access to world-class universities and colleges at discounted tuition rates. See our blog here about EB-5 and College: EB-5 Benefits for Students
Job Creation Requirements
In order to qualify for permanent residency, the investor must invest the minimum required amount into a project that creates at least 10 American jobs.
There are two ways to invest: The direct approach would entail investing the funds directly into one’s own business. The Investor would have to actively manage the business and prove that the business has created at least 10 jobs. However, this approach also comes with a large regulatory burden to ensure that the business meets the strict requirements of the EB-5 program. It also means that the investor will have to spend most of his time in the US to prove that he is actively managing the business.
The second approach is the indirect, or regional center approach. This would entail investing in an investment project with all the financing and regulatory requirements are already in place. By investing in such a project, the applicant can use the direct, indirect, and induced jobs creation to meet the job creation requirements. In addition, many of these types of projects have pre-approval from the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for having already met the requirements of the EB-5 program, including job creation. If the investor’s goal is to obtain a Green Card and not actively manage a business, then this approach is cheaper, more convenient, and reduces the risk significantly.
For more information about the two investment routes, see our blog here: Regional Centers and the Value of Experience
How Long Does it Take to Get a Green Card?
It takes an average of 18-24 months, depending on the investor’s country of origin, from when the investment is made to obtain a Conditional Green Card. From the moment that the applicant has obtained a Conditional Green Card, he has all the rights and obligations of being a U.S. resident. This means the immediate ability to live, work, open a business, or study in the U.S. The Conditional Green Card is valid for two years. Before the end of this two-year period, the applicant will need to apply to have the conditions on his Green Card removed. In order to do so he will have to prove to USCIS that his investment has created at least 10 US jobs. Once USCIS is satisfied that the investment has met all the requirements of the EB-5 program, the applicant’s Green Card will be converted into an Unconditional Permanent Green Card. It is at this stage that the funds that were invested in the project can be returned to the investor.
Limited Time Frame
This November 21, 2019, the minimum investment amount is set to increase from USD 500,000 to USD 900,000. This means that in order to meet the filing deadline, all applications need to be submitted as soon as possible to qualify for the investment amount of USD 500,000. All applications that are submitted prior to November 21 will not be affected by the regulatory changes that come into effect on this date. If you have any questions, please email our team at email@example.com.