The eb5 visa allows foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States if they meet specific requirements. If you have an eb5 visa, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 can receive an eb5 green card as well. This investor visa can lead to you getting a conditional green card and put you in a position to get a permanent one.
What Is an EB5 Visa?
The U.S. grants investors an eb5 visa through the U.S. Immigrant Investor Program, allowing applicants to obtain green cards, also known as Permanent Resident Cards. This program is an opportunity for foreigners to invest in specific projects in the U.S. and become permanent residents.
This visa promotes foreign investment, and the projects these visas are associated with can contribute to economic growth. It is also a program that can foster rural development. One difference between the eb5 visa and a green card lies in how you obtain one. But they serve the same purpose: to lead to permanent residency in the United States.
Who Qualifies for an EB5 Investor Visa?
If you want an eb5 visa, you must invest $1,050,000 in a project that creates 10 full-time jobs. An alternative could be to invest $800,000 in a rural or targeted region. Finding a qualifying project for such investment can be challenging unless you work with a USCIS-designated regional center.
What Is the Difference Between an EB5 Green Card and a Permanent Green Card?
Holders of a conditional eb5 green card and a permanent green card can enjoy many of the same rights and responsibilities, and residency requirements can also be the same. The difference between the two is in the validity period. If you have a conditional permanent resident green card, it is only valid for two years. You must remove some conditions about investments and job creation to receive a permanent green card.
When filing the I-829 form, you must prove that you invested in a qualifying project that created 10 jobs. Eb5 regional centers can manage the entire process and send you the requisite paperwork.
How to Apply for an EB5 Green Card
The steps to apply for an EB-5 investor visa include the following:
Filing a Petition
Submit Form I-526 to show you have invested in a project that meets the requirements. This form will also indicate that you created 10 new full-time employment opportunities for American workers for two years. Regional centers can help you through this process.
Submit Your Application for a Green Card
Start applying for a green card once Form I-526 is approved. This process may be complex if you live outside the United States. The process of applying for a green card while living outside of the U.S. is known as consular processing.
If you already reside in the U.S., you can adjust your residency status by filing Form I-485. You may or may not be required to attend an interview. If successful, you and certain family members can be granted a conditional green card with a two-year validity period. Family members must have been presented in the application process.
After you receive your two-year green card, you can apply to remove conditions on your green card to grant you permanent residency. This will happen after two years.
Near the end of the two-year validity period, you can apply for the conditions to be removed. The stage requires you to file Form I-829 within 90 days of the green card’s expiry. Here, you need documentation proving the following:
- That at least 10 jobs were created through your investment
- Project location
- Capital invested in the project.
Since the process may be long and complex, working with an eb5 regional center can make it easier. If successful, you can be granted a permanent green card that lasts 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely. After obtaining a permanent green card, you can even begin the process of applying for U.S. citizenship if you so desire.
Work with EB5 Immigrant Investor Regional Centers
You can apply for the immigrant investor visa directly as long as you meet the requirements. Applying for the EB5 green card through a regional center can be a safer and more convenient option.