Investment (EB-5) Immigration
What is the investment (EB-5) immigration program?
The investment (EB-5) immigration program provides two ways for wealthy people to get green cards for themselves, their spouses, and their children under age 21. The two ways are called the Individual Direct Investment and the Regional Center Investment. Both options have a minimum amount of money you have to invest.
Individual Direct Investment option
The Individual Direct Investment option means the money goes to one entity, or business. This business has to create ten jobs within two years using the money you invested. There are certain standards the business has to meet. We can help you decide if the business you want to invest in meets those standards.
Regional Center Investment option
Regional Centers are organizations that connect you to projects in the U.S. to invest in, like buildings or a health care system. There are certain standards a project must meet, and we can help you decide if the project you’re interested in will most likely work.
Minimum investment for EB-5 immigration
There are two options to pay the minimum investment: 1) invest $1 million in an eligible business that will create ten jobs within two years, or 2) invest $500,000 in an eligible business in a targeted employment area (TEA) that will create ten jobs in two years. An area is a TEA if it meets certain standards, like if it’s rural or has very few jobs available.
Advantages of the EB-5 program
Many people find the EB-5 visa has more benefits than some other visas. Some of the advantages include:
- If parents give the EB-5 investment money to their children before sending them to college, the students pay less tuition. The students can also live and work in the U.S. after graduation.
- You don’t need experience in business or management.
- The process to get a green card for your family is faster for some countries (only 12–24 months).
- The money you invest will be returned to you in about five years.
- The money you invest is kept in a secure escrow bank account.
- If the visa is denied, you get all of your money back, except the administrative fee.
- You and your family are eligible for U.S. citizenship after five years.
- You are allowed to continue your business activities in the rest of the world as long as your primary home is in the U.S.
The process to join the EB-5 program
- Choose the Individual Direct Investment option or the Regional Center Investment option.
- Begin the EB-5 application. You can pay advisory and legal fees at this point.
- Send the amount of money you need to invest and the Regional Center Fee to the escrow account.
- Complete the Immigrant Petition by an Alien Entrepreneur application (I-526) and turn it in to USCIS.
- Your Immigrant Petition is either approved or denied.
- If the Immigrant Petition is approved, you’ll complete a visa application and turn it in to the National Visa Center. You and your family may need to have biometric or DNA tests done.
- You and your family will have medical and health screening. You can read more about the screenings here.
- You may need to be interviewed at a local U.S. embassy. We can help you prepare and tell you what documents to bring with you.
- Your visa is approved and your passport is stamped!
- You and your family are given conditional green cards. That means you have to do something in order to keep the green card. In this case, you have to move to the U.S. within 180 days.
- Once you and your family move to the U.S., you can fill out a form, the I-829, to remove the condition after about two years.
There are many options to consider and a lot of forms that need to be filled out at the right time. We can help you decide which option is best for you. We can also tell you what forms to fill out and when to do it.