EB-5 IMMIGRANT VISA FOR INVESTORS
General Requirements for EB-5 visa
- Minimum investment capital should be $1 million, or else $500,000 in a high-unemployment area or rural area. Investment capital cannot be borrowed.
- An investor should invest in a “new commercial enterprise,” which is defined as a commercial enterprise that is:
a. Established after November 29, 1990
b. Established on or before November 29, 1990, which is:
i. Purchased and dramatically restructured so that it can be called a new enterprise,
ii. Expanded through the investment to produce a 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees.
- Within 2 years after obtaining a Green Card, the investor should create at least 10 full-time jobs. This can be proved by tax documents and Form I-9, which should be kept at the employer’s office for at least 3 years after a new employee is hired. Completion of a Form I-9 is a federal law requirement for every U.S. employer. The requirement to create 10 full-time jobs will not be met if any of those employees is the investor’s daughter, son, spouse or a nonimmigrant visa holder.
- The investor should hold a managerial or policy-making position in the company in which he/she invests. This can be demonstrated in multiple ways, for example: based on the title of the position and duties to which the investor is assigned, or the fact that he/she is a corporate officer or has a seat on the board of directors.
- The enterprise should benefit the U.S. economy. This should be interpreted the way it is written, because there is little information on the meaning of the benefit for this purpose. If the company produces something valuable, this should not be difficult to prove.
Process to Obtain Green Card
- The investor files a form I-526 with supporting documents evidencing that he/she has invested or will invest in a new commercial enterprise. He/she should also show that the investment capital has been legally obtained. The investor can show this by foreign business registration records, personal and company tax returns, or by producing any other documents showing another source of money.
- It takes from 6 months to 1 year for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to process the application and make a decision.
- After this, the investor will go through consular procedures, which will take up to another 6 months.
- If the decision is favorable, the investor will be granted a conditional Green Card, which will expire in 2 years.
- After obtaining the Green Card, the investor should submit a Form I-829 within 90 days before the second year anniversary of the investor’s admission to the U.S. The investor should show that he/she has fulfilled all the requirements. That is, that the investor has invested in a new commercial enterprise and he/she has created a minimum of 10 full-time jobs.
- If the application for I-829 is approved, the investor is granted an unconditional permanent residence card (Green Card). USCIS is silent on any obligations the investor is required to meet after the unconditional Green Card is obtained.
It is worth noting that the U.S. government does not have clear rules and policies that regulate all of the above-mentioned requirements with regard to EB-5 visa.
Should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact me by submitting the form or by calling me at (917) 426-8227 or (248) 630-3239. I accept clients from across the U.S. and around the world. My law offices are conveniently located in Troy, Michigan and in Lower Manhattan, New York for in-person meetings. For phone consultation, you can reach me from any part of the United States or abroad.