If you’re considering immigrating to the United States, you may be researching various processes for obtaining a visa. These processes often involve paperwork, applications, and other steps that may provoke questions. Here are a few commonly asked questions about the EB5 green card program:
What Is the EB5 Visa Program?
The EB-5 visa program is designed for those who are interested in immigrating to the United States and have the funds to invest in a U.S. business. The EB5 green card program presents specific investment requirements for prospective immigrant investors. Once those requirements are met, the program allows the investor to apply for a temporary visa. Once an investor and their family members acquire temporary residency through the EB5 green card program, they may also apply for permanent residence later on. This program was designed to assist prospective immigrants in the process of acquiring a green card while also supporting workers and local economies in need.
How Much Do I Need To Invest?
To qualify for the EB5 green card program, investors must invest a minimum of $900,000 in a qualifying business. The EB5 investment must also create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. This minimum amount applies to investments in what are known as targeted employment areas (TEAs). TEAs are areas that are designated as rural or that have unemployment rates that are higher than the national average. Because these areas have a stronger need for investment capital, the lower investment amount can still create opportunities for significant change. Investing in a TEA may also increase the chances that your investment will lead to job creation. EB5 investments made in businesses outside of a TEA require a higher minimum investment of closer to $1.8 million. To find eligible TEAs for investment, it can be beneficial to consult an EB5 regional center.
What Is an EB5 Regional Center?
While investors can choose to invest directly in a new business, many choose to invest through an EB-5 regional center. EB-5 regional centers can help identify and oversee investment opportunities that meet the requirements of the EB-5 program. They are designated organizations approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that aim to promote economic growth, job creation, and increased capital investment in certain geographic areas in the United States. They can assist in monitoring compliance with the requirements of the EB-5 program and following the progress of investments. EB-5 regional centers are often located in TEAs, which can help them track potential qualifying investment opportunities.
How Long Does It Take To Acquire a Green Card?
While specific timelines will vary based on several factors, it may take up to two years to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program. After an investment is made, investors must file an I-526 petition. This petition is used to demonstrate that the investment meets the requirements of the EB-5 program. The processing time for an I-526 petition can vary but generally takes several months. After the I-526 is approved, the investor can receive a conditional green card that lasts for two years. After this, they are able to apply for permanent residency. Because this process involves several steps and applications, the time it takes to receive a green card may vary.
Are My Family Members Eligible for Green Cards Through the EB5 Program?
The EB-5 visa program allows an investor, their spouse, and their children under 21 to apply for permanent residency in the United States. These family members are considered to be dependents of the primary investor. This means that if the primary investor’s EB-5 visa application is approved, their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can apply for their own green cards as dependents. Qualifying family members may also be required to meet specific eligibility requirements to be granted a green card. They may need to undergo background checks and medical examinations. This allowance for family members to apply alongside the investor is a significant advantage of the EB5 visa program.
An EB5 Green Card May Be Right for You
The EB5 green card program can assist prospective immigrants in acquiring a green card and eventually becoming permanent residents of the United States. If you have more questions about the EB5 visa process, seek out a local regional center for more information.