EB-5 Visa Attorneys at Bassey Law Firm can explain the process to you and determine whether you are eligible for the EB-5 visa. For well-to-individuals, an EB-5 visa is the most convenient way to attain permanent residency in the US. For an investment ranging from $800,000 (in a Targeted Employment Area of high unemployment) to $1,050,000 in a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE), along with the creation of at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs for US workers, the investor may receive a Green Card in as little as two years. It is a pathway to US citizenship.
What is an EB 5 Visa?
The EB-5 visa program was created in 1990 by Congress to boost foreign investment in US industries and create jobs. To receive a permanent Green Card, the investor must prove that the Regional Center or NCE where they placed their funds created at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs for US workers. Full-time is identified as at least 35 hours per week, and eligible workers include US citizens and those with permanent residency status.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines an NCE as “any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business.” Examples include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, Limited Liability Companies, or similar business structures. NCEs appeal to those who want to run their own businesses.
However, most EB-5 visa applicants opt to invest their funds in Regional Centers. These centers are economic units, public or private, in the United States involved with promoting economic growth and designated by the USCIS. Investments are pooled from various investors to fund Regional Center development.
Who is Eligible?
The investor, spouse, and unmarried children under age 21 may receive Green Cards under one EB-5 visa application. The unmarried children’s age is determined when the I-526 petition receives approval. In addition, adopted children may receive Green Cards via the EB-5 application.
Benefits of an EB-5 Visa
The many benefits of an EB 5 visa include:
- Fastest way to obtain US permanent residence
- Freedom to study, work and live in the US with no additional immigration requirements for you and qualified applicants.
- No restrictions on where you may live in the US.
- No need for outside sponsorship.
- Potential for US citizenship within five years.
What type of capital is permitted for the EB-5 investment?
Investors may use cash or cash equivalents for a Regional Center EB-5 investment, but such capital cannot include loans made by the investor to the project. In addition, the USCIS requires that the investor submit evidence that the funds were obtained by lawful means. Such evidence may include:
- Personal or corporate tax returns
- Foreign business registration records
- Certified copies of court judgments or other identifiers of capital sources.
In short, the evidence needs to trace the funds from the source to the investment.
The Two-Stage EB 5 Visa Process
The first stage of the EB-5 visa process involves identifying a suitable business project. As noted, most applicants choose Regional Centers, which are often large commercial real estate projects. Investors may also select their own investment projects in NCEs.
The second stage involves making the required capital investment and filing the I-526 petition. Once the petition is approved, conditional permanent residency is granted for two years.
The Granting of Unconditional Permanent Residency
To receive unconditional permanent residency, the investor must file a Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829) within 90 days before the two-year anniversary of the date conditional permanent resident status was granted.
Contact a Tampa, Florida Immigration Law Attorney
If you or someone you know needs an immigration law attorney, contact Bassey Law Center today and schedule a consultation. The EB-5 visa process is complex. Therefore, it is wise to seek professional advice so that the required paperwork, including a business plan, source of funds, and other supporting documentation, is submitted in a proper and timely fashion.