EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program – Invest in a U.S. Business and Receive a Green Card
Many people do not know that they can obtain a green card within 2 years by simply investing money. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was created in 1990 to stimulate the economy through capital investment by foreign investors and job creation. For many countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, and Mexico, the EB-5 program is a great option because there are currently no wait times.
Overview of the EB-5 program
Under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, foreign investors can apply for green cards through investment in an existing or new business in the United States and creation of 10 permanent, full-time jobs. An investor can passively invest in a pre-approved regional center (often a large hotel or resort) or directly participate in the operation of a business. The spouse and unmarried children under 21 of the investor are also eligible for green cards through the investor’s investment. Once approved, the investor and his family will receive conditional two-year green cards, which can later be converted to a full-fledged green card.
The EB-5 program has the following basic requirements:
* Minimum capital investment of $500,000;
* Creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers;
* Source of EB-5 investment must originate from lawful sources; and
* Investment must be at-risk.
EB-5 Processing Timeline
The process starts with filing a petition with the USCIS to demonstrate that an eligible investment amount from a lawful source has been invested into a business in the United States. Currently, USCIS is taking approximately 16 months to adjudicate the petition. For foreign nationals with no wait time, once the petition is approved, they can immediately begin the process to obtain their two-year conditional green card, which takes approximately 6 months. 90 days before the two-conditional green card expires, the EB-5 investor and his family can file for removal of conditions in order to obtain a full-fledged green card. Each of these steps is complicated, requires extensive paperwork, and necessitates the guidance of an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.
Given the lengthy backlogs of other green card categories, an EB-5 visa is a good alternative. There is currently no wait time for EB-5s for many foreign nationals, and through an EB-5 investment, the investor can apply for green cards for himself, his spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 21. As a green card holder, you are considered a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., which allows you to lawfully reside in the U.S., work in the U.S., and travel internationally with your green card.