What are the benefits of investing in Regional Center projects?
Investing in an approved project satisfies all the requirements for the EB-5 visa program. The investor does not have to worry about presenting a business plan for approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is easier to satisfy the job creation requirements in a Regional Center, which is important to ensure that the condition is removed after the two-year period. Regional Centers are permitted to count both jobs that were created as a direct result of the investment (e.g., manufacturing jobs), and as an indirect result (e.g., suppliers of materials for the manufacturing process). The investor is not required to take an everyday role in the management of his investment. The investor may live and work anywhere in the United States; he or she is not obliged to live in the area where the investment is situated.
When and for whom was the EB-5 visa program created?
The EB-5 visa program was created in 1990 under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The program allows for qualified non-US citizens to seek permanent resident status on the basis of an investment in the American economy.
How many EB-5 visas may be issued per year?
There are 10,000 EB-5 visas available to qualified aliens each year. 3,000 of these visas are designated for aliens who invest through a program at an USCIS designated Regional Center.
How does the EB-5 visa differ from an L-1 visa (manager transfer)?
With an EB-5 visa, you obtain a green card for permanent residence in the United States. After 5 years, the investors and their family may obtain US citizenship, subject to meeting all immigration requirements. Other visas, such as the L-1, may never result in permanent residence, have time limits, must be renewed, and require additional filings with the USCIS or Department of State.
Who may obtain an EB-5 visa?
Any person who can demonstrate the ability to invest the required amount into the American economy, can document that the capital was legally earned, and satisfies general eligibility requirements (e.g., medical, criminal) is qualified to apply. The investor’s spouse and any minor children (under 21) also qualify. The age of the minor children is “frozen” at the time of the I-526 application so, for example, a 20-year old dependent is not in danger of “aging out” during the process.
What is the minimum investment required?
An investment of at least $1,000,000.00 is required for an EB-5 visa. If however, the investment is made in an area that has been designated a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the investment is a minimum of $500,000.00.
for how long is the green card valid?
The investor and dependents receive a conditional, 2-year green card. Before the expiration of the two year period, a petition is submitted to the USCIS confirming that the investment has been made and that ten direct and/or indirect jobs have been created as a result of the investment. In a non-regional center investment, job creation is limited to direct jobs only.
How long does the application process take?
In general, the process takes less than one year. After the I-526 petition is approved, it is forwarded to the overseas consulate or local USCIS for further processing and final visa issuance and conditional residency approval.
Where can I find more information about the EB-5 visa program?
Further information regarding the application process, requirements, and benefits of the EB-5 visa program can be found on the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services .
Is it required that I have a degree of higher education?
No. There are no education requirements for EB-5 visa applicants
Must I have previous business experience?
No, it is not required that an applicant have had any previous business experience
What if I do not speak English?
It is not required that an applicant speak English.
Is it required to show that I am in good health?
Yes. You must prove that you and any accompanying family members are in good physical and mental health, and do not have any diseases or disorders that may present a threat to society.
Do I need to have earned the money for the investment myself?
No. For example, the money can be a gift. The only requirement would be to show that the gifted money was legally earned, and that taxes (if applicable) were paid on the gift. Another example would be using the proceeds of the sale of real estate or a prior investment to fund the investment.
May I apply for an EB-5 visa if I have previously been denied a visa to the U.S.?
If you have been previously denied a visa to the U.S., you may still apply for an EB-5 visa.
Can qualified individuals from any country apply or are there restrictions based on citizenship?
With the exception of individuals from countries with which the U.S. does not hold diplomatic relations, citizens of any country may apply for permanent residence in the U.S. through the EB-5 investment program. As long as the applicant is able to leave his or her home country and has sufficient investment capital, a qualified immigration lawyer can assist the applicant with the process of obtaining an EB-5 visa.
What is the most common reason for rejection of an EB-5 visa application?
In most cases when an EB-5 visa application is rejected, the applicant failed to demonstrate that he or she had legally earned his investment capital.
What other requirements are there in order to obtain an EB-5 visa?
To obtain an EB-5 visa, as with any other visa to the U.S., the applicant and any accompanying family members must meet all requirements (e.g., criminal, medical) stipulated by the immigration laws of the United States.
What are Regional Centers?
Regional Centers are entities, organizations, or agencies that focus on a specific geographic area within the United States in order to promote economic growth within that area. Regional Centers work to increase export sales, improve regional productivity, create new jobs, and increase domestic capital investment. Regional Centers are designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
What are the financial risks involved with the Regional Center investment projects?
All investments are risky by nature and the Regional Center projects are not exceptions. Under the law, the Regional Center cannot guarantee profit or the return of the principal investment.