What Is The EB-5 Program?

The EB-5 visa is a way to obtain your green card and permanent residency through investment. The EB-5 investor visa program enables foreigners who make an investment in a U.S. business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents, and eventual citizens if desired, of the United States. The investment can lead to a green card for the investor to permanently live and work anywhere in the United States with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

Why an EB-5 Visa Instead of an H1B/B1/L1 Visa?

While H1B/B1/L1 visa options can usually result in a faster entry to the United States, they are all non-immigrant visas and require renewals every few years, which may require additional investment or documentation from the applicant. In comparison, the EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa that has two main hurdles: the I-526 petition (Immigration Petition for Alien Entrepreneur) and the I-829 petition to remove conditions from your conditional green card.

So what does EB5 United do?

The EB-5 investor visa applicant have two main investment options. They can invest through an approved EB-5 Regional Center, or make a direct investment and take an active managerial role and hire 10 full-time employees. The most popular option is investing through a Regional Center that has received designation from USCIS to administer EB-5 investment projects. Regional Centers are responsible for adhering to USCIS EB-5 program regulations, removing this requirement from the investor so they can act in an indirect way.

The EB-5 Program

Background

The EB-5 investor visa program was established in 1990 by the United States Congress to facilitate increased investment in the US economy and to stimulate job creation. The program enables foreigners who make an investment in a US business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents, and eventually citizens, of the United States.

Benefits of Obtaining Permanent Residency in the USA

  • Green card for investor, spouse and children under 21 years of age
  • Path to US citizenship
  • Ability to work, travel and, live anywhere in the United States
  • Ability to enter and exit the United States as a permanent resident
  • Ability to start a business in the US without immigration restrictions on the enterprise
  • Children of investors may study in US public school system
  • No language or professional experience requirements

Requirements

  • Minimum investment of $500,000
  • Source of investment funds must be documented
  • Investor must be admissible into the US
  • Investment must create 10 jobs

Job Creation through Regional Center

Regional centers are entities that receive a designation from the US government to oversee EB-5 investment projects. The government allows businesses administered by Regional Centers to consider both direct and indirect jobs when calculating jobs created by an investment, thus minimizing the job creation risk to investors. They are responsible for adhering to EB-5 immigration program regulations.

Process

  1. Choose a project for investment – Retain an Attorney – Gather Source of Funds Docs
  2. Invest $500,000 into the project
  3. File petition for Conditional Green Card (I-526) (18-24 month wait)
  4. File petition for Permanent Green Card 2 years after receiving conditional green card. After verification that the capital was utilized and the jobs were created, the green card becomes permanent
  5. Receive capital back from project. Usually 5-6 years from the date of the investment
  6. Apply for US citizenship after having green card for 5 years

Investment and Costs (Estimate)

  • $500,000 investment (returned in US dollars after completion of process)
  • $50,000 Regional Center administrative fee
  • $25,000 legal fees
  • $10,000 government fees