What is the EB-5 Investor Green Card?
The Employment-Based Fifth Preference Category, commonly referred to as the EB-5 Visa or the EB-5 Green Card, was created with the goal of attracting foreign capital to the United States in order to create new job opportunities for U.S. workers and benefit the U.S. economy.
There are 10,000 EB-5 Visas available to applicants every year and there are two different EB-5 pathways for Foreign Investors to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States under this category for themselves and their immediate family members: either through a Direct EB-5 Investment or through a Regional Center.
In order to qualify for the EB-5 category, Foreign Investors who wish to apply must:
- Invest at least $1,000,000 in either a new or existing business or commercial enterprise in the United States that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers; or
- Invest $500,000 in a new or existing business or commercial enterprise in the United States that is located in either in an area with a high rate of unemployment or in a rural area; or
- Invest in a Regional Center designated by the U.S.Government; and
- Prove that the business will somehow have a positive impact on the economy of the United States.
When it comes to knowing how your situation may conform to these regulations exactly, the best way to do it is to consult with an EB-5 Business & Immigration Lawyer.
What are the Advantages of the EB-5 Category?
On the positive side of the EB-5 Immigrant Visa category, we find that it has many advantages over other employment-based Green Card options, including:
- You are not required to obtain PERM labor certification.
- You are not required to have an offer for a permanent job in the United States.
- You are not required to maintain a business in your home country.
- You will not need to demonstrate that you possess an extraordinary ability.
What are the Disadvantages of the EB-5 Category?
When it comes to the negative side of the EB-5 category, it is important to note that it has its fair share of disadvantages, which include:
- A significantly large upfront investment that is typically affordable only for very wealthy Foreign Investors;
- Ongoing financial risk because the business in the United States is required to engage in commercial activities that do not guarantee success; and
- A “conditional” status of permanent resident that will last 2 years, within which Foreign Investors need to meet certain requirements.
How Does the EB-5 Green Card Application Processing Work?
Applying for the EB-5 Green Card from a foreign country is a multi-step process, the first one is filing Form I-526, “Immigrant Petition for Alien Investor,” with a U.S. Consulate in your home country. After this, the application will need to go through consular processing, which involves completing a DS-260 online immigrant visa application form and participating in an in-person interview with a consular officer.
During this interview, you – the applicant – will be asked several questions about your background, the nature of your investment, and your plans for your business in the United States. Ultimately, the purpose of this interview is to make sure that your EB-5 case is legitimate.
After the interview, the consular officer will make the final decision on whether to grant you the EB-5 status and approve your new Green Card. If approved, once your Green Card is granted, it will remain valid for an initial “conditional”period of two years. During this conditional period, you will need to make sure your business creates at least 10 new full-time jobs for American workers,among other requirements.
At the end of the two-year conditional period, the second part of the process will involve filing a petition to remove conditions. This must be done within 90 days of the expiration. An EB-5 lawyer can explain the process in greater detail.
Why Do Foreign Investors Need an Immigration Lawyer to Apply for the EB-5 Green Card?
When a million dollars or more are on the line, Foreign Investors certainly do not want to leave anything to chance. Hiring an EB-5 Immigration Lawyer to help you handle your application can be the difference between the approval and denial of your visa.
When you hire me as your Business & Immigration Lawyer, I will help you gather your application documents, file your petition properly, make all the right payments of application fees, and guide you through the resolution process of any unexpected issues that may emerge down the road.
I will work as hard as can or harder to guarantee that your application is in its best possible shape in order to increase your chances of success.