There are many different ways to apply for a Green Card and one amongst them is the USA EB5 Visa program.
If you are married to a US citizen, you could apply for a family-based Green Card. If you’ve been offered a full-time job, your employer could sponsor your Green Card application.
These are the two most common ways of applying for a Green Card. In both cases, the number of applicants is usually much higher than the number of Green Cards awarded. However, in the EB5 category, the number of Green Cards awarded is not usually surpassed by the number of applicants.
What Is The USA EB5 Visa Program?
The EB-5 visa program was created by Congress in 1990 with two objectives. Firstly, this would be a way to infuse capital into the US economy. Secondly, the USA EB5 visa program would help create job and fight unemployment. This category of visas is very popular with high-net-worth individuals.
Applicants who meet the conditions for the EB-5 visa can also get a Green Card their immediate family. This includes their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
Read: 5 Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Preference Categories For The American Green Card
What Conditions Must Be Met for the USA EB5 Visa Program?
To apply for the EB-5 visa, an individual must invest a minimum of $10, 00,000. This could be in a new or restructured company. The minimum amount for an investment made in a targeted employment area is $5, 00,000. There are two ways this money can be invested.
- Direct Investment
In this case, the individual will decide which company the money must be invested in. The investor must also play an active role in how the homey is being used. Thus, the investor has full control over his investments.
This is considered a passive investment. In this case, he or she must make an investment in a government approved EB-5 Regional Center. This may be a public or private entity. The center will then use the investment to buy equity stakes in their investment fund. This may be used to fund a number of commercial projects including hotels, office towers, and residential complexes.
Terms and Condition for Application
A few other conditions must also be met for an individual to apply for the program. These include:
- The money must be invested in a company that offers a product or service that benefits the United States.
- The money being used for the investment must be obtained legally.
- If a loan has been taken, the company being invested must not be held liable.
- The investment must be maintained for at least 3 years.
- The investor need not be in control of the company but must play an active role in it.
- The company must generate full-time jobs for at least 10 US citizens.
EB5 Qualifying Businesses
An EB-5 visa applicant can invest his money in a number of different ways. For an entrepreneur, a company could be formed in the form of a sole proprietorship, partnership or joint venture. The company could also be a trust, holding company or corporation of any kind.
All new ventures must have been established after November 29, 1990. However, older companies may also qualify for an investment. In this case, the investment must result in a 40% increase in net worth or number of employees. Companies being restructured or expanded can also qualify for investments.
How to Apply for USA EB5 Visa Program?
For high-net-worth individuals, the EB5 is the ideal way to get a Green Card. Each year the USCIS awards 10,000 EB5 Visas. This does not include visas given to the investor’s spouse and children.
The first step to applying for a Green Card in this way is to collect the required money. Next, you must decide how you would like to invest it. The investor must then fill out the I-526 form. This form, accompanied by supporting documents should be submitted to the USCIS Service Center. A processing fee will also need to be paid.
Once the application is approved, the investor and his dependents will be given a conditional Green Card. This Green Card is valid for 2 years. Before it expires, the investor will need to prove that his investments have fulfilled all the conditions for the EB5 visa. His status may then be adjusted to a permanent Green Card.
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