Qualifying for an EB5 Visa as an Investor

EB5 Investor Visa

 

The EB5 visa program is a pathway to U.S. permanent residency for foreign investors who invest a certain amount of money in a U.S. business and create jobs for U.S. workers. In this blog post, we’ll briefly outline how to qualify for an EB5 visa as an investor.


Meet the Investment Requirement


To qualify for an EB5 visa, you must invest at least $1,050,000 in a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE) in the United States. Alternatively, if you invest in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is a rural area or one with high unemployment, you may be eligible for a reduced minimum capital investment amount of $800,000. The vast majority of EB5 applicants elect to go with the lower investment amount of $800,000 and put their money into specific geographic areas within the U.S. through regional centers.
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Prove the Source of Funds


To ensure that the funds used for your EB5 investment are obtained lawfully, you must provide evidence of the source of your investment funds during the initial Form I-526 application process. This may include bank statements, tax returns, and other financial documents. Form I-526 will be the meat of this qualifying green card application and will include other supporting evidence pertaining to the investment, including a description of how the applicant will be actively participating in the business.


Create Jobs for U.S. Workers


As an EB5 investor, you must prove that your investment in an NCE will create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years of receiving your conditional green card based on approval of Form I-526. These jobs must be direct jobs, meaning that they are held by employees of the EB5 project company. Alternatively, you may create indirect or induced jobs through your investment.


Choose an EB-5 Investment Project


There are various types of EB5 investment projects, such as real estate development, manufacturing, and infrastructure. It is important to choose a project that meets the investment requirements and has a strong business plan with a high likelihood of success.


File Form I-526


To begin the EB5 application process, you must file Form I-526 or I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, along with supporting documentation. This petition is used to demonstrate that your investment meets the requirements for an EB5 visa.


Attend a Visa Interview


If your Form I-526 petition is approved, you will be scheduled for a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country if you are abroad. During the interview, you will be asked about your investment and your plans to create jobs for U.S. workers. Of course, many applicants apply for the I-526 from within the U.S. while under various nonimmigrant status classifications, such as H-1B. There are also circumstances where an EB5 applicant may apply for adjustment of status on Form I-485 concurrently with Form I-526.

 

Receive Conditional Green Card


If your visa interview is successful, you will receive a conditional green card that is valid for two years. During this time, you must create the required jobs for U.S. workers and maintain your investment in the U.S. business.


Apply for Permanent Green Card

 

To obtain a permanent green card, you must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, within 90 days of the expiration of your conditional green card. This petition is used to demonstrate that you have met the requirements for job creation and investment. During the Form I-829 process, you will have to include evidence of any subsequent investments made into the business and disclose whether the commercial enterprise has sold any of its assets, filed for bankruptcy, materially changed the nature of the business or had criminal or civil proceedings filed against it or any of its owners, officers, directors, general managers, etc.

In conclusion, qualifying for an EB5 visa as an investor requires meeting the investment requirement, proving the source of funds, creating jobs for U.S. workers, choosing an appropriate investment project, filing Form I-526, attending a visa interview, receiving a conditional green card, and applying for a permanent green card. Although labor intensive, working with an experienced immigration attorney can help ensure a smooth application process and a successful outcome

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