There are many ways to immigrate to the US- yes, we are talking about US Immigration through Investment
We all know that one way to get a Green card is by asking your employer to sponsor you. However, not everyone who applies in this category is awarded a Green Card. This is because there are a limited number of Green Cards awarded through each category.
For most categories, the number of applicants surpasses the number of Green Cards available. However, there is one category where the number of applicants has never exceeded the number of Green Cards available. This is the EB-5 Visa. This category is applicable for high-net-worth individuals who choose to apply for US immigration through investment.
US Immigration through Investment -What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa?
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa is given to immigrants who can invest a minimum of $5, 00,000 to the US economy. Thus, individuals who choose to apply for US immigration through investment means are eligible for this visa.
This category was created in 1990 to encourage economic growth and foreign investments. Through this program, an investor can get a conditional Green Card for himself/herself, their spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21. This Green Card is valid for 2 years. If the investment conditions are met, he and his family will then be awarded permanent Green Cards.
US Immigration through Investment Types
There are two ways an individual can apply for the EB-5 Visa. This depends on whether the investment is made directly or indirectly.
EB-5 Regional Center Investment
This is a passive investment where the individual does not have to choose a project to invest in. Instead, an investment can be made in a regional center that is EB-5 government-approved. This may be a private or public entity.
In this case, the individual’s money goes towards buying equity stakes in the regional center’s investment fund. This can then be used to fund commercial projects such as residence complexes, hotels, office towers etc.
EB-5 Direct Investment
In this case, the investor can choose exactly where he wants to put his money. The individual may choose to be an entrepreneur and invest in a new company. This may be in the form of a sole proprietorship, joint venture or partnership.
It could also take the form of a corporation, trust, holding the company or any other privately or publicly owned entity. Else, he may invest in an existing company that is being restructured or expanded. Thus, the investor has complete control over his investments.
Conditions for US Immigration through Investment
There are many factors to consider when opting for US Immigration through Investment. Below are a number of conditions that must be met when applying for a Green Card through investments:
- The individual must invest a certain amount in the US In the case of backward segments, this amounts to $5, 00,000. In other cases, it must be a minimum of $1000,000.
- The immigrant must prove that the money being used as an investment has been obtained legally.
- In case a loan has been taken, the individual must be held personally liable.
- The Investor must play an active role in the company the money is being invested in.
- The investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 3 years.
- The company being invested in must offer a product or service that is beneficial to the US economy.
- The company must provide full-time employment for at least 10 US citizens.
How to Apply for US Immigration through Investment?
If you can afford to put aside a minimum of $500,000, this is the ideal route for US immigration. Once an immigrant has decided how to invest his money, he or she must then fill out the I-526 form.
This must be accompanied by documents proving where the money was invested, how it was obtained etc. The form may be submitted to the California or Texas USCIS Service Center. A processing fee will also have to be paid when the form is being submitted.
Once the application is approved, a condition Green Card for two years will be awarded to the applicant. His or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 will also be given a conditional Green Card.
Before this Green Card expires, the immigrant must prove that all conditions for the visa have been fulfilled. He may then adjust status to get a permanent Green Card.
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