The U.S. Congress created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category in the Immigration Act of 1990 for qualified foreigners seeking to invest in a business that will benefit the U.S. economy and create or save at least 10 full-time jobs. 5,000 of the 10,000 visas available in this category are allotted to investors who participate in an EB-5 program who focus on low employment areas, i.e programs found on the AAA Senior Center website.
No, speaking English is not a requirement for any potential foreign investor interested in applying for the EB-5 Visa Category program. Those interested in applying, however, should consult an English speaking legal counsel who specializes in immigration law before contacting USCIS. This counsel can help translate all requirements and needs of the EB-5 program. This counsel can also help translate all documentation to English, one of the EB-5 program requirements. When the investor is going through the application process, USCIS will provided translation services if the applicant does not have one available.
Yes, it is important the potential investor be in good health standings. All family members of the investor who will also apply through the EB-5 program via the same investment should also be in good physical and mental health. This also means applicants and should not have diseases or disorders that may pose a potential issue to society members.
The investor must prove his assets were attained in a lawfully sound manner according to standards put forth by the USCIS. Potential funds to be used for the EB-5 program must be obtained through a legally sound business, salary, investments, property sale or sales, gift, inheritance, loan, or other sound means.
Reasons that foreigners might want to gain permanent residence in the United States vary, and finally attaining a green card helps reach desires such as:
Investments can be gifts from family members, but can only be used after appropriate taxes are paid. The gift must be proven to be a natural transaction rather than a scheme to be returned after permanent resident status is attained.
The only difference to a "conditional" green card and an "unconditional" green card is the former is provided to investors who are approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa program. These can be reissued to the investor after two years if needed. All other factors of the two green cards are the same.
All applicants and their direct family members who are investing for a green card via the EB-5 program are subject to a "conditional" permanent residency for two years after USCIS approval. 90-days or less prior to the second anniversary of the foreigner's granting of permanent resident status, a petition to remove these "conditions" must be submitted. This business will be inspected by the INS and to assure the investment meets all necessary requirements.
The U.S. Consulate in your country of origin will contact you when your I-526 is approved requesting you start preparing documentation for the Visa interview. During this part of the process the investor and all family members applying for residency will undergo medical, police, security and immigration screenings prior to receiving the conditional resident visas. The consulate officer will discuss any topics that arise from these screenings and the I-526 application during the interview. He or she will also as for a description of the nature of the desired investment. If the foreigner and family members are in the U.S. at the time of this meeting, pending approval they can fill out a I-485 and additional supporting documentation, and apply for adjustment of status at a designated USCIS office.
1. If the spouse of an investor who has received conditional legal permanent resident status is seeking to also move to the U.S., he or she and the investor would have to be wed at the time of the investor’s first admission to the U.S. The spouse must also be officially considered a derivative beneficiary.
Yes, family members are able to complete the interview process in a different country than the United States. Generally this interview takes place in the family’s native country or where the family resided at the time of the original application. Typically one or more family member, for instance a child attending a university in the United States, is in a different country. The student outside of their native country can attend the interview in the United States at the USCIS district office.
Business ventures included in the EB-5 Investment program must be able to create 10 full-time positions for U.S. citizens or permanent residents legally able to work in the United States. A full-time employee is considered someone who works 35 to 40 hours in a week.
Inadequate documentation for the source of the investment capital is one of the primary reasons for issues when applying for the EB-5 Visa program. Potential investors commonly provide too little information surrounding the source and are responded to with an inquiry for more information and have their EB-5 application dealyed. The best option is to provide as much possible documentation up front. Given the recent spike in terrorism and money-laundering, USCIS holds high standards in reviewing history on EB-5 investment funding.
EB-5 investors are required to enter the United States and establish residency within 180 days of acquiring a visa from their U.S. Consulate. Investors can provide proof residency within U.S. boundaries by opening bank accounts, contacting necessary agencies to attain a social security number and driver's license, spending income on state or federal taxes, leasing or purchase of a home. A foreigner with permanent residency is offered the right to work out of U.S. boundaries if the work relates to their business or career. However, the minimum amount permanent residents are required to be in the U.S. is 6 months or less a year or their immigration status will be considered abandoned.
When someone attains a permanent residency status, also known as a green card or visa, they are granted nearly all rights as well as responsibilities natural-born U.S. residents possess. The only difference is foreign residents cannot vote and are not awarded certain public benefits. As far as U.S. resident responsibilities, foreign residents are required to file taxes following the standard tax rates and reductions.
There are two occurrences for which a green card is taken from an individual. First is being convicted of a substantial crime. Committing a serious crime makes the person removable or inadmissible.
For those who need to travel outside of U.S. boundaries for an extended amount of time, there is a re-entry permit (Form I-131). This form should be filled out prior to leaving the U.S., but does not need to be approved before exiting the states.
People obtaining a green card via the EB-5 investment program will receive a conditional green card that is good for two years. Likewise, spouses who have been married to a green card holder for less than two years will receive a conditional green card that will expire after two years.
There are only a few cases in which residents of a certain country are not able to participate, i.e. North Korea. Citizens of those countries are generally allowed to leave the prohibited country and apply for the program through legal counsel which can help the applicant qualify. Consult a legal counsel if you think your country is excluded from eligibility from the EB-5 Visa Category.
A bank account is considered an Escrow account if it is a legal, interest-bearing account at a recognized bank. Escrow accounts are frequently used for large sales, i.e. property, real estate or businesses. Your funds will be placed in an escrow account until approval by the USCIS to real ease funds to the EB-5 Regional Center.
The investment should be deposited into an Escrow account, which is a legal, interest-bearing account, owned by the investor. The investor will make an agreement, with the bank or attorney of choosing, to keep the money in the account until USCIS approves the petition. At that time, the money is released to the Regional Center.
People with out-of-state status are not able to apply for permanent residency status while in the United States. When a foreigner has out-of-state status, the individual is only permitted to stay within United States boundaries for their allotted time.
When the EB-5 participant gets and approval on their I-526 petition, the investor and family members 21 years or older can apply for a conditional lawful permanent resident status, CLPR. Investors do not always receive their CLPR admission when their I-526 petition is approved. The I-526 permit approval merely deems the investor an alien entrepreneur so they can then apply for the EB-5 program.
Step one of attaining legal permanent residence in the U.S. is to submit the I-526 petition, also known as the Petition for Alien Entrepreneur. The foreigner should also provide evidence which shows the potential investment is legitimate.
If an investor leaves U.S. territory while an AOS application is still being processed without previously receiving permission they will be considered to have abandoned that application.
The consular process was created for foreigners who live out of the United States and want to go through the application process with a consulate for any number of reasons. These reasons could be strategic, or it could just be out of convenience.
All applicants who want to work in the U.S. while their AOS is being processed must acquire employment authorization unless they have been granted a non-immigrant status that does not end before the AOS is approved. If the applicant is self-employed, they must receive employment authorization.
The allowance of non-immigrant or foreign visitors to the United States is dependent on their ability to prove the travel has an end date. Once an EB-5 participant has paid their project funds, it may be difficult to portray a non-immigrant intent because the it now seems they are attempting to establish legal permanent resident status. Prior to filing the I-526 or applying for the consulate interview within U.S. borders, investors should consult a legal counsel to establish methods of acquiring a temporary (non-immigrant) admission to the U.S. after making the investment.
If the investor and family members are granted approval of the AOS application or EB-5 visa, they are given the right to enter the U.S. with Conditional Lawful Permanent Residence, CPLU, for two years.
The process for Adjustment of Status, AOS is effective in allowing foreigners, who traveled to the U.S. as a non-immigrant or were paroled into the U.S., apply for permanent resident status without leaving the country's territory.