Capital: Washington DC; Time difference: GMT -5, -6, -7, -8; Total Area: 9,826,675 km2; Population: 308,745,538; Age Demographics: 0-14: 15.7%, 15-64: 68.5%, 65+: 15.9%; Languages: English; Government Type: Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic; Currency: United States Dollar (USD $); Exchange rate: 1 USD = 1.0346 CAD (2010); GDP (per capita): $47,123 USD;
The Immigrant Investor Program, commonly known as “EB-5”, was created by Congress in 1990 under 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by alien investors. Alien investors have the opportunity to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States for themselves, their spouses, and their minor unmarried children by making a certain level of capital investments and associated job creation or preservation.
There are two distinct EB-5 pathways for an alien investor to gain lawful permanent residence, the Basic Program and the Regional Center Pilot Program. Both programs require that the alien investor make a capital investment of either $500,000 or $1,000,000, depending on whether the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or not, in a new commercial enterprise located within the United States. The new commercial enterprise must create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the alien investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR). When making an investment in a new commercial enterprise affiliated with a USCIS-designated regional center under the Regional Center Pilot Program, an alien investor may satisfy the job creation requirements of the program through the creation of either direct or indirect jobs. Notably, an alien investing in a new commercial enterprise under the Basic Program may only satisfy the job creation requirements through the creation of direct jobs.
If you and your family are interested in living, working or attending school in the United States, then you should consider a residency permit (also known as a “Green Card”). But obtaining residency is limited to three general options: family-sponsored applications, employment-sponsored applications, or investment-based.
As an immigration Service provider, our only business is to help overseas clients immigrate. That is all we do – immigration and visas. So we know that unless you have a very close family member to sponsor you (such as a U.S. citizen spouse, parent or child) then the “family” based immigrant visa path is not a viable option to residency. With a record high 9% national unemployment rate in the United States, the “employment” based residency permits are very hard to obtain even if you have a permanent job offer from a qualified U.S. company willing to sponsor you.
With Family and Employment-based options having long visa backlogs and other major obstacles, the EB-5 “Immigrant Investor” program has become one of the fastest and most reliable visa options offered by the United States.
With relaxed program requirements and no visa backlogs, the EB-5 Investor Visa creates a fast-track to residency for retirees, entrepreneurs, students, business owners, professionals and more. Unlike many other countries, the American EB-5 investor visa program is surprisingly affordable and exceptionally flexible.
- Low investment requirement of $500,000 USD
- No English language requirement
- No minimum education requirement
- No management experience
- Allows for dual-citizenship
- Live, work or retire anywhere in the United States
- Physical presence expected only three to fourth months per year in the United States
- Residency for entrepreneur and family (spouse & unmarried children under age 21)
- Investment can come from gift, loan, inheritance, business ownership or any other lawful activities
- Eligible for U.S. citizenship (U.S. Passport) in only five years.
HOW DOES THE EB-5 RESIDENCY PROGRAM WORK?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) can issue residency to foreign investor (plus spouse and all unmarried children under 21) if he personally invests $500,000 into a qualified America business that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers.
The United States actually offers two different types of EB-5 visa options. The first option is for the traditional small-business entrepreneur. The second option, which is the most popular, is for passive investors called “Regional Center.”
EB-5 OPTION FOR PASSIVE INVESTORS (Regional Center Program)
More than 90% of all residency applications filed under the EB-5 visa program come under the “Regional Center” option. This is a very flexible program which allows you to be a “passive” investor and eliminates the requirement that you operate a new business. It also allows you and your family the opportunity to live anywhere in the United States.
The advantages of the EB-5 Regional Center program are many, and include the following:
PROCEDURES AND TIMELINES
Filing of initial EB-5 Immigrant Petition (I-526 Petition):
The Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, referred to as I-526 petition, is prepared and submitted to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). The Regional Center is responsible for providing all relevant information pertaining to the Investment Project to the investor’s attorney, and it is crucial for obtaining approval of the initial I-526 petition that the investment funds were legally earned.
It generally takes approximately 3-4 months for the I-526 petition to be adjudicated. The processing time can vary from one Regional Center to another, if USCIS has doubts and/or additional questions about a given Regional Center or project.
Applying for Permanent Residence (2-Year Conditional Green Card):
When the I-526 petition is approved, investors have the option of adjusting their status to permanent residence in the U.S., if they are already living in the U.S. in non-immigrant visa status. If they live outside of the U.S., they must complete the immigrant visa process through the U.S. consulate. Adjustment of status in the U.S. generally takes 6-12 months or more, while immigrant visa processing through the consulate takes about 4-6 months. Once either of these two processes is completed, the investor will have obtained a two-year conditional permanent residence.
Removal of Conditions (Applying for the permanent green card):
During the final 90 days of the two-year conditional residence period, the investor must file the Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, referred to as I-829 petition, to remove the condition from his/her permanent residence. As part of that process, we must show that the investor has maintained the investment, and we must present proof to USCIS from the Regional Center that it has brought about the creation of at least 10 jobs per immigrant investor, as presented in the I-526 petition. The number of jobs created is calculated with the help of an economist’s model, and consists of a combination of direct, indirect, and induced jobs. This process currently takes 6-12 months.
Investors who have lived in US for at least 50% of the time in the past five years after receiving their Green Card, maintained a clean criminal record and have acquired knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as understanding of US history, values, institutions and symbols are eligible to apply for Citizenship.
For complete details on US citizenship requirements, we suggest you to go through the content on our website under the tab ‘Citizenship’.
Application Fees are required to be paid directly to the US government by the applicant. Please check with us for an up-to-date information on current fee requirements.
USCIS policy requires that the investment be in place until the condition is removed from the investor’s conditional permanent residence. Additionally, it is a legal requirement that the funds be placed at risk of partial or complete loss in a commercial sense, as any real business investment would be. The Regional Centers are not permitted to guarantee the return of the investment funds. However, it goes without saying that the Program’s success depends entirely on the safety of the investment. Hence, it is very important for the investor to understand the investment “exit strategy” of the chosen Regional Center.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)
- What is the amount of investment required under the EB5 Program?
If an investor invests in areas other than “targeted employment areas,” the minimum amount of investment is $1 million. Investments in ‘targeted employment areas, including many approved regional centers, can qualify with a minimum of $500,000.
- How long does it take to obtain the Immigrant Visa (Green Card)?
- What does being a USCIS designated regional center mean?
- When do we need to transfer the investment Must the entire amount of the investment be made at the time of filing an EB-5 petition?
- What is the other cost involved in the EB5 application apart from the Investment?
- How to choose the right EB5 Regional center to invest in?
- Who are eligible under the EB5 application?
- Is there any specific age limit under the EB5 Program?
It takes an average of 8 to 12 months depending on your home country and if your application requires some addition checks or documents.
It means USCIS reviewed the regional center application and gave its no objection that the regional center operator can launch EB-5 projects within the approved area pursuant to the investment structure and other criteria in its regional center application.
The entire amount of the investment need not have been made at the time of filing the petition. However, the investor must prove availability of the funds and an actual legal commitment of the required amount of capital. A mere intention to invest or plans for a future investment where there is no present commitment of the funds will not qualify.
The other cost would be related to the Attorney’s legal fees, I-526 petition fee, Embassy fee for issuance of visas, future I-829 conditions removal processing fees and other cost pertaining to accumulation of documents.
Please keep in mind the below mentioned points when you are choosing the right EB5 regional center:
1) that utilizes a job-calculation methodology that appears to be “reasonable” to common sense expectations
2) that involves the job-creating business/companies which are solid, financially and business-wise
3) that has good track record of approved I-526s and I-829s and
4) is run by knowledgeable and experienced staff or professionals.
Under this application, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old can immigrate together. Step-children qualify under if certain conditions are met. They do not have to immigrate with you, if they do not wish to.No, your parents cannot immigrate with you. They can do a separate EB-5 case, however.
There is no age limit.