What is EB5 Visa Application Procedure
Over 533,000 people were granted a United States visa under the immigrant category in 2018, according to data provided by the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs. Around 10,000 EB5 visas are issued each year, with a majority of them being issued to individuals from China, Taiwan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
EB5 Visa Application Procedure
There are four major steps to obtaining a green card through the EB5 visa program.
Locating an EB5 Project
The first step in the EB5 process is to find a suitable project to invest in. The applicant can invest in a new or old for-profit commercial enterprise. For new enterprises, you can consider investing in business trusts, sole proprietorships, corporations, limited or general partnerships, or any other publicly or privately-owned business structures. For old enterprises, the investment need to increase the employment generated or the value of the organization by 40%.
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One can also invest in regional centers, which are particularly advantageous, since you are not required to set up EB5 projects independently. The project must also create at least 10 full time jobs for US citizens. It is also important that the applicant meets the accredited investor income requirements for the EB5 visa.
Investment and I-526 Petition
The value of the investment must be at least $1,000,000, or $500,000, if made in a targeted employment area. An escrow account is generally used for these investments. The investor must also be able to prove that the invested capital is from lawful sources. After this, the individual needs to provide proof of the investment by filling Form I-526. Generally, the processing of the I-526 form takes about 12-18 months. In case your petition is rejected, your investment will be refunded.
Conditional Permanent Residency
The next step is to become a conditional resident of the United States for two years, for the purposes of implementing the project funded by your investment. Once the I-526 petition has been approved by the US government, the investor is eligible to become a US citizen. The residency can be achieved in the following ways:
- In case the investor already holds an immigrant visa issued by the US Department of State, then Form I-485 needs to be filed for the adjustment of their status to conditional permanent resident.
- Those who do not have lawful status in the United States need to file for an immigrant visa by filling Form DS-230 and submitting it to the National Visa Center.
Unconditional Permanent Residency
The final step in the process is the removal of the two-year conditional permanent status and becoming an unconditional permanent resident. For this process, the applicant needs to submit Form I-829 to the USCIS at least 90 days before the completion of their two-year period. The green card is generally granted 6-8 months after the submission of Form I-829.
After this, the investor, their spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age can live and work in the US permanently.
If you have any further questions, it is recommended to contact the US embassy or consulate in your home country.
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