Unlocking Permanent Residency: Everything You Need to Know About Acquiring an Investment-Based Green Card
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is the most common way to obtain a green card through investment. To qualify, an individual must invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 in certain targeted employment areas) in a new commercial enterprise that will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the United States.
The EB-5 program has been incredibly successful, with over 90% of applications being approved in 2017. Not only does it provide a path to permanent residency for those who invest, but it also stimulates economic growth in communities across the United States.
If you are interested in applying for an EB-5 visa, there are a few things you should know.
- Go through an immigration lawyer or accredited representative to ensure your application is completed and filed.
- Undergo an interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Make sure that your investments meet all of the requirements set forth by USCIS.
Benefits of Having an Investment-Based Green Card
There are many benefits to having an investment-based green card, which allows an individual to live and work permanently in the United States. Some of the key benefits include:
- Pathway to Citizenship: An investment-based green card holder can eventually apply for U.S. citizenship if they meet certain requirements.
- Live and work anywhere in the United States: There are no restrictions on where an investment-based green card holder can live or work in the United States.
- Access to government benefits: Investment-based green card holders are eligible for government benefits.
- Reunite with family members: investment-based green card holders can sponsor certain family members to come to the United States to live and work.
Investor Qualifications for an Investment-Based Green Card
To qualify for an investment-based green card, investors must meet the following requirements:
- Make an investment of at least $500,000 in a new commercial enterprise in the United States.
- Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the United States on their immigrant visa.
- Investments must be lawfully obtained and not linked to criminal activity or unlawful purposes.
- Prove that investment will benefit the economy and create job opportunities for U.S. citizens or other lawfully admitted immigrants.
- Show a track record of lawful immigration status since the applicant has been in the United States if they are already living here.
Documents Needed to Apply for an Investment-Based Green Card
If you are interested in obtaining a U.S. green card through investment, there are a few documents you will need to gather before beginning the application process. These include:
- A copy of your passport, as well as those of any family members who will be accompanying you to the United States.
- Birth certificates for all family members traveling with you.
- Marriage certificate, if applicable.
- Police certificates from your current country of residence and any other countries you have lived in for more than six months since turning 18 years old. These must be obtained for each family member traveling with you who is 18 years of age or older.
- Medical examinations must be conducted by an authorized physician and include required vaccinations. You will also need to provide proof of valid insurance coverage in the United States.
- Financial documentation is essential to make the necessary investment and support yourself and your family in the US. This can include bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and other similar documentation.
Choosing the Right Investment Program: EB-5 vs. E-2 Visa
Investing in a foreign company can lead to permanent residency status, so consider which program is best for you. The EB-5 visa and the E-2 visa are both investor visas that can provide a path to a green card, but there are some key differences between the two.
The EB-5 visa is reserved for those who make a significant investment in a new commercial enterprise in the United States. To qualify, you must invest at least $1 million (or $500,000 if the investment is made in a “Targeted Employment Area”), and create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
The E-2 visa, on the other hand, is available to foreign investors who are looking to invest in an existing business or start their own business in the United States. The investment must be “substantial” enough to ensure financial gain, and skills or experience must be demonstrated to run the business successfully.
So which program is right for you? If you’re interested in starting your own business or investing in a high-growth startup, the EB-5 visa may be a good option. However, if you’re looking for flexibility and don’t have a large sum of money to invest, then the E-2
EB-5 Application Process for the Investment-Based Green Card
The EB5 Investment-Based Green Card application process begins with the filing of an I-526 Petition. This petition must be filed with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) by the prospective immigrant investor. The I-526 Petition must be accompanied by evidence that the investor has invested or is in the process of investing the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise in the United States.
Once the I-526 Petition is approved, the investor will then need to apply for an immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State. A medical examination and various other supporting documents must accompany the Application for Immigrant Visa. If everything is in order, an immigrant visa will be issued, and the investor can then travel to the United States to live and work permanently.
Consular Processing vs Adjustment of Status
There are two ways to obtain a green card through investment: consular processing and adjustment of status. Both require the applicant to invest a certain amount of money into a qualifying enterprise, but there are some key differences between the two.
- Consular processing is the traditional way of applying for a green card. Applicants must first file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Investor with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once that petition is approved, they can then apply for a green card at a US consulate or embassy abroad.
- Adjustment of status, on the other hand, allows applicants to apply for a green card from within the United States. This is typically done after the investor has already obtained a temporary visa, such as an E-2 or L-1 visa. To adjust their status, investors must file an Application to Register as Permanent Residents or Adjust their Status with USCIS.
So which method is best? It depends on each individual’s situation. Generally speaking, consular processing is faster and simpler if everything goes smoothly. However, it does require applicants to travel outside of the United States and may be subject to delays caused by things like governmental changeovers or scheduling issues at US embassies and consulates. Furthermore, consular processing may not be an option for those who do not have access to travel documents like a passport or who have been previously denied entry into the United States.
Adjustment of status, while more complicated and time-consuming, maybe the better route for those unable to travel or those who have already entered the United States with a valid visa. Moreover, investors who apply for an adjustment of status are not at risk of being denied entry into the United States during the application process.
Green Card Renewal and Conditions Removal
The Investment-Based Green Card, also known as the EB-5 visa, is a United States immigration visa available to foreign investors who invest a minimum of $900,000 into a new commercial enterprise in the USA. The EB-5 visa allows its holder and their immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21) to live and work permanently in the United States.
If you already have an Investment-Based Green Card, you will need to renew it every 5 years. You will also need to meet certain conditions every two years to keep your status. These conditions are:
- You must maintain your investment in the commercial enterprise;
- The enterprise must continue to create full-time positions for at least 10 US citizens or permanent residents,
- You must not be involved in any criminal activity.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Investment-Based Green Card
An investment-based green card allows an individual to live and work permanently in the United States. The process of obtaining an investment-based green card can be long and complicated, but it is possible to obtain one if you meet the requirements. To qualify for an investment-based green card, you must invest a certain amount of money in a business in the United States. The investment must create full-time jobs for at least 10 American workers. Other requirements must be met to qualify for an investment-based green card. Here are some frequently asked questions about the investment-based green card:
- What is an investment-based green card? An investment-based green card allows an individual to live and work permanently in the United States. To qualify for an investment-based green card, you must invest a certain amount of money in a business in the United States. The investment must create full-time jobs for at least 10 American workers. Other requirements must be met to qualify for an investment-based green card.
- How much money do I need to invest? The minimum amount of money you need to invest is $1 million. If you are investing in a rural area or an area with high unemployment, the minimum amount is reduced to $500,000.