Is an EB-5 Green Card the right choice for me?
Do I need any special training or education for the EB-5 U.S. green card?
As long as you have money to invest and can demonstrate that you are in the process of investing it in a for-profit business, you yourself do not need to have any particular business training or experience. Nor does the law restrict entry to applicants from certain countries, although the immigration authorities are more suspicious when dealing with applicants from countries that have exhibited a pattern of fraudulent applications.
Will I be granted an EB-5 investor visa if I apply?
USCIS rejects many more applications than it accepts in this category. That is partly because the eligibility requirements are narrow, and partly because of the category’s history of fraud and misuse. Some lawyers counsel their clients to use their wealth to fit themselves into another category with a greater chance of success. For example, by investing in a company outside the United States that has a U.S. affiliate, the person might qualify to immigrate as a transferring executive or manager. For a free consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys, please call or email us today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
How many EB-5 green cards are issued every year?
EB-5 green cards for investors are limited in number, to 10,000 per year. Of these, 3,000 are reserved for investors in rural areas or areas of high unemployment. If more than 10,000 people were to apply per year, you would be placed on a waiting list based on your Priority Date (the day you filed the first portion of your application). However, the 10,000 limit has never been reached. What’s more, only principal applicants are counted toward the 10,000 limit. Accompanying relatives are not. Therefore, many more than 10,000 people per year can be admitted with EB-5 green cards.
Where can I invest my money in the U.S.?
You can choose to invest your money in a business anywhere in the U.S., so long as you maintain your investment for at least three years and are actively engaged with the company you invest in. It’s also important to realize that you won’t be able to send the money, sit back, and await your green card. The investor must be actively engaged in the company, either in a managerial or a policy-forming role.
Passive investments, such as land speculation, do not ordinarily qualify you for a green card in this category—except under a temporary program, such as TEA. For more information on TEA and other regional investment programs, please read here. [LINK TO EB-5 W/$500K]
How long do I have to keep my investment in the states?
You must actually live in the United States. You may not use the green card only for work and travel purposes. After approximately the first three years, you can work for another company or not work at all.
What kind of business can I invest in to apply for the EB-5 green card?
The investment must be made in a new commercial enterprise. You can either create an original business, buy a business that was established after November 29, 1990, or buy a business and restructure or reorganize it so that a new business entity is formed.
What exceptions are there to forming a new business?
There are two exceptions to the rule that the investment must be in a “new” commercial enterprise. The first exception is that you can buy an existing business and expand it. You would need to increase either the number of employees or the net worth of the business by at least 40%. You would also need to make the full required investment ($1 million or $500,000 depending on location) and you would still need to show that your investment created at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
The second exception to the “new” commercial enterprise rule is that you can buy a troubled business and save it from going under. To do this, you would need to show that the business has been around for at least two years and has had an annual loss of 20% of the company’s net worth at some point over the 24 months leading up to the purchase. You must still invest the full required amount, but you are not required to show that you created ten jobs. Instead, you would need to show that for two years from the date of purchase, you employed at least as many people as were employed at the time of the investment. At JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office, we focus exclusively on U.S. immigration law and are at the forefront of immigration law reforms. For a free consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys, please call or email us today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
Can my family accompany me to the U.S.?
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can get green cards as accompanying relatives. For assistance in bringing your family to the U.S. after you obtain an EB-5 visa or green card, please call or email JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office. Our experienced immigration attorneys can help you today! [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]
What rights will I be entitled to with the EB-5 green card?
Your green card will initially be only conditional. This means that it will expire in two years, after which you will need to apply to renew it and make it permanent. As with all green cards, yours can be taken away if you misuse it. For example, you live outside the U.S. for too long, commit a crime, or even fail to advise the immigration authorities of your change of address, you may become deportable. However, if you keep your green card for five years and live in the U.S. continuously during that time, including your two years as a conditional resident, you can apply for full U.S. citizenship.