Green Card Visa through EB-5
What is EB-5
Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB-5 Visa Program is an employment-based visa administered by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Its purpose is to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. The U.S. Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program to further promote economic growth by setting aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises.
Under this program, entrepreneurs (along with their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card/permanent residence if they:
- Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers EB-5 Visa
Step 1: Eligibility Check
The first step in this process is the eligibility check. Regulation ‘D’ of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 requires that the investor is eligible for the investment process. In order to be eligible, the investor must construct a business plan that fulfills the capital investment amount requirements and job creation obligations.
Step 2: Investment Selection
Once eligibility is established, it is time to make an investment selection. The investment can either be a minimum of $500,000 (in a TEA) or $1 million. It is important to perform extensive due diligence before making a selection, ensuring the receival of a permanent green card at the end of the process.
Step 3: Hiring of Immigration Lawyer
The next step is to hire an immigration lawyer to be primary counsel to the investor. An immigration lawyer will advance the process by facilitating proceedings and taking care of other legal matters.
Step 4: Preparation of Visa Petition and Documentation
Once hired, the immigration lawyer can start preparing a collection of required documents and information. The immigration lawyer will authenticate the investor’s capital investment as legally obtained.
Step 5: Filing Petition for Visa
Next, the immigration lawyer files an EB-5 petition, or Form I-526. It verifies the investor’s commitment to finance an entity that satisfies all requirements. They will prepare necessary additional documents, including Form I-485 or DS-260.
Step 6: Managing the Investment of Funds
While the immigration lawyer executes Step 4 and Step 5, the investment firm and/or investor manage the investment funds. The report of the entity’s progress is shared with all investors and relevant authorities. Real estate project funding meets the specified requirements of the EB-5 Visa program.
Step 7: Waiting Period for Application in USCIS Queue
The wait period in the USCIS queue for an application varies among the investor’s country of origin. The overall average wait time is 24 months, and the range is 18-26 months.
Step 8: Interview with U.S. Embassy/Consulate
After the approval of the application, an appointment is to be made at the U.S. Embassy or consulate for an interview. Once approved, they will provide documents to present to U.S. immigration upon arrival. At that point, the applicant becomes a U.S. permanent resident or green card holder.