EB-5 Green Card Guide
If you are an investor, you may be eligible for an employment-based, fifth preference (EB-5) visa. There are many different types of visas, but today we will focus on the EB-5 visa and how to obtain one.
What is the EB-5 visa?
The EB-5 visa is the fifth preference employment-based category or EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, created in 1990, administered by the USCIS program, provides a method for eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents (usually known as “green card” holders), the investor has to invest a substantial capital to finance a business in the United States that employs at least 10 American workers.
Are there different types of EB-5 visas?
No, this visa is only for investors. There are no subcategories.
Who can apply for the EB-5 visa?
If you are an investor, you may be eligible for an employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) visa.
What are the EB-5 Eligibility Criteria?
To be eligible for an EB-5 visa, you must invest at least $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). You can also choose to invest in a rural or high-unemployment area that has been approved by a government program.
The investor must invest the required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that will create full-time positions for at least 10 employees qualified.
Follow the steps below to learn how Eb-5 investors must invest and what the USCIS has established for a new commercial enterprise:
- Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results; or
- Expanded through the investment, resulting in at least a 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees.
Commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business, including:
- A sole proprietorship;
- Partnership (whether limited or general);
- Holding company;
- Joint venture;
- Business trust; or
- Other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned.
This definition includes a commercial enterprise consisting of a holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries, if each such subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business. This definition does not include noncommercial activity, such as owning and operating a personal residence.
Job Creation Requirements:
For a new commercial enterprise not located within a regional center, the new commercial enterprise must directly create the full-time positions to be counted. The new commercial enterprise (or its wholly owned subsidiaries) must itself be the employer of the qualifying employees.
For a new commercial enterprise located within a regional center, the new commercial enterprise can directly or indirectly create the full-time positions.
Direct jobs establish an employer-employee relationship between the new commercial enterprise and the persons it employs.
Indirect jobs are held outside of the new commercial enterprise but are created as a result of the new commercial enterprise.
In the case of a troubled business, the EB-5 investor may rely on job maintenance.
The investor must show that the number of existing employees is, or will be, no less than the pre-investment level for a period of at least two years.
Capital Invest Requirements:
Capital means cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents, and indebtedness secured by assets owned by immigrant investors. All capital will be valued at fair-market value in U.S. dollars. If you are interested to know more, please click here.
Note: Immigrant investors must establish that they are the legal owner of the capital invested. Capital can include their promise to pay (a promissory note) under certain circumstances.
How long is the EB-5 visa Processing Time?
This process takes around 6 to 9 months . After five years with your conditional green card, you can apply for U.S. citizenship.
Do I have to pay fees for the EB-5 visa?
The actual cost to apply for the EB-5 is $3,675 for yourself and any applicants. There are other administrative fees, such as: Form DS-260 processing fee. If you are interested to know more, please click here.
Can I bring my family on an EB-5 visa?
Yes, you can! Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence).
How is the application process?
According to the official website (USCIS), you must complete the following petition and application process:
- File Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor.
- After your Form I-526 petition has been approved, either:
- File DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the U.S. Department of State to obtain an EB-5 visa abroad to seek admission to the United States; or
- File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS to adjust status to a conditional permanent resident within the United States. Once your Form I-485 application has been approved or upon admission into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa, we will grant conditional permanent residence to the EB-5 investor and derivative family members for a two-year period.
- File Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status, within the 90-day period immediately before the second anniversary of your admission to the United States as a conditional permanent resident.
If USCIS approves this petition, they will remove the conditions from your lawful permanent resident status and any dependents you included.
If you are interested in learning more, please click here.
All information contained on this website is provided for general informational purposes only. The materials available are not legal advice on any matter. To obtain professional legal advice, it is always advisable to contact an Attorney.
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