The United States is aptly known as the land of opportunity. The world’s only superpower, the U.S. has an incomparably powerful political, financial and cultural influence around the world. It’s a melting pot of diverse cultures with a thriving economy, high standard of living, one of the strongest currencies in the world, and a wealth of opportunities.
The United States is literally at the economic center of the globe, connecting Asia and Europe and acting as a hub of international trade. Not only is it a powerful country, but it’s a beautiful one. The geography of the United States has every natural wonder you can imagine. Towering mountain ranges, sprawling deserts, lush forests, beautiful beaches, verdant swamplands, sweeping canyons and an abundance of national parks.
Equally matched in its metropolitan offerings, the U.S. is home to world-renowned cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of 5 employment-based programs in the U.S. It was created by the U.S. Government in 1990 to stimulate the economy, create jobs, and encourage foreign investment in American businesses. EB-5 stands for the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive. With the E5-5 program, entrepreneurs, their spouses and unmarried children under 21 are all eligible to apply for a green card. In this article we will give you all of the information you need about how to get US citizeship by investment and become a permanent resident.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program offers an avenue for entrepreneurs and their families to secure permanent residency in the United States. Although this is not the typical US citizenship by investment program you can get citizenship by naturalization after 5 years of permanent residency. There are three qualifying investment options for the EB-5 program.
The monetary investment amounts for all three options are the same:
$1 million – Direct investment
$500,000– Reduced investment for businesses in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is defined as a rural region or an area with a high unemployment rate (at least 150% of the national average).
Invest at least $1 million in a new or existing commercial enterprise that directly creates at least 10 full-time jobs within 2 years and benefits the U.S. economy.
A commercial enterprise is defined as a for-profit, lawful business that can be any of the following:
Business trust, or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned. It is the investment option that provides bigger chances of variety and other benefits.
Invest $500,000 in a business enterprise affiliated with a Regional Center. Regional Centers offer curated investment opportunities that are pre-approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Regional Centers were specifically created to actively manage EB-5 investor funds and the immigration process.
The benefits of using a Regional Center include:
Investors do not need to live near the EB-5 project
Invest $500,000 in a business that is at least 2 years old and has generated a net loss that is at least 20% of the company’s net worth for 1-2 years prior to the application submission.
In addition to the monetary investment requirements, there are several other qualifications and conditions that applicants must meet in order to apply for the permanent residency and US citizenship by investment program. The general requirements as well as qualifications mandated by each different investment option are described below.
New Business Enterprise Requirements
In order to meet the EB-5 program requirements of this investment option, the new business must:
*If it was established on or before this date, the business must since have been restructured to become a distinctly different enterprise, or expanded through the investment to create a 40% increase in the net worth or number of employee. Example: if the business was a restaurant, it could be re-structured into a store.
Regional Center Requirement
Create full-time employment for at least 10 qualified U.S. workers. Indirect employment is permitted, meaning that the investor does not need to prove that they themselves created 10 new jobs for U.S. workers, only that the regional center created ten or more jobs, directly or indirectly, or that it increased regional productivity.
Troubled Business Investment
The business must maintain the same level of employment that existed prior to the investment.
The investor must be involved in the management of the business directly or indirectly as a corporate officer or board member.
After complying with all conditions of the US Immigrant Investor Program for 24 months, conditional EB-5 Green Card holders can apply to have the conditions removed. Once this is approved by U.S. immigration authorities, EB-5 participants officially become unconditional lawful United States permanent residents.
Investors who have been non-conditional Green Card holders for at least 3 years (after being conditional Green Card holder for the 2 years prior) can apply for citizenship by naturalization in the United States if they meet the following requirements:
Be of good moral character in keeping with the principles of the Constitution of the United States.
This petition shows that the EB-5 applicant has already made the required investment or is actively in the process of doing so. Acceptable forms of evidence can include bank statements, promissory notes, loan certificates, security agreements, and/or any other proof that the necessary amount of capital has been invested.
File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS to adjust status to a conditional permanent resident within the United States, or
File DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the U.S. Department of State to obtain an EB-5 visa abroad to seek admission to the United States.
Upon the approval of a Form I-485 application or upon admission into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa, the EB-5 investor and their family members will be granted conditional permanent residence for a 2-year period.
Along with the I-829 form, you should provide evidence that you met the EB-5 conditions, such as investment in the enterprise and the creation of 10 full-time jobs as a result of your investment. If all of the EB-5 Visa obligations have been met, you and your family dependents will receive unconditional Green Card
60 months after you receive the Conditional Lawful Permanent Residence Visa (CLPR), you will be eligible for American Citizenship.
Documents you'll need to provide :
This is a general list of documents—please contact us for detailed information on documents you should submit with Form I-526 (Petition for an Alien Entrepreneur) and Form I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions).
There are many reasons that the U.S. has become the successful melting pot that it is – people from around the world flock to this land of economic success and opportunity to chase their own version of the American Dream. When it comes to outlining all of the benefits of securing a permanent residence in the United States, there are just far too many. Some specific key benefits include the following:
A: Yes. The EB-5 investor visa program ignores your location, or domicile, at the time of your application. There are two possibilities. If you are lawfully in a third country (not your home state or the USA) then you may apply via the US Embassy in that country. If you do not have lawful status in that country (because your visa has expired, for example), then you may apply from that country, but you would have to return to your home country for consular processing.
The principal investment is typically returned in one of two ways, depending on the kind of investment made. In a loan model, the principal is returned when the Job Creating Enterprise repays the loan to the New Commercial Enterprise (NCE), and the NCE cashes out its investors.
In an equity model, the investor must find a willing buyer to purchase the equity interest at fair market value. The buyer may be the NCE, the developer, or a third party. The funds cannot be returned until after I-829 approval.
There are countless reasons for high-net-worth investors to secure residency and citizenship by investment in the United States. Not only is it the most powerful country in the world, but one that also offers an outstanding standard of living and endless opportunities. As you can see by all of the compelling benefits above, there is very good reason that the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program is one of the desirable programs of its kind. When it comes to expanding your mobility, protecting your wealth, increasing your freedom and improving your quality of life, a permanent residence in the United States is a wonderful opportunity.
If you are interested in learning more about the United States EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, please contact us today for your free initial consultation.