One-click away from living in the US!?

By Guest Author | location | February 1, 2021

Are you looking to become a permanent US citizen? Do you want your children to have the most quality education? Are you interested to live in the land of great opportunities? You are one click away from American Dream by simply doing the EB-5 (employment-based fifth preference category) Visa Program.

By GENC EMINI

The U.S. Congress drafted and created this immigrant visa category in the 1990. This visa category is targeted at qualified foreign nationals seeking to obtain lawful permanent residency in the U.S. by investing in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs per investor. Initially, the program required foreign investors to invest the minimum $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area or $1,000,000 if the investment was in an urban and low unemployment area. Recently the USCIS adopted some changes to the program after the Congress asked for those changes. As of November 21, 2019, the foreign visa program went through its first major change since the inception of the program in 1990. In July of 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published these changes to the Federal Register, which are called the Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Regulations. The new regulations increased the minimum investment amount to $900,000 (or $1,800,000 if not within the TEA) and now gives the USCIS the authority to determine TEA designations instead of the individual states.

The EB-5 Visa Program is a way for foreign nationals to obtain a U.S. “Green Card” by making a qualifying investment in a business located in the United States. Green cards obtained via the foreign visa program provide permanent residency for the applicant, for their spouse and for any unmarried children they have under the age of 21. The visa program path to a green card avoids the usual requirements of having family connections, securing a job, or running an actively trading business.

How does the process work?

In order for a foreign (non-U.S. resident) to obtain a lawful permanent residence, green card, through this program, he or she must follow a few steps self-petitioning in accordance with the USCIS rules and regulations.

There are several steps in the immigration process for a foreign investor to receive a permanent U.S. green card. Upon the foreign investor decision to invest in a project through an approved regional center, the program participant files an I-526 petition requesting conditional residency in the United States. The USCIS together with the Department of State will review the petition and in accordance with their rules and requirements will conclusively determine whether this participant qualifies for the conditional visa. Due diligence during this part of the process includes a detailed review of the sources of the investor’s funds (SOF), family history, and other representations of the investor, their spouse, and qualified unmarried children under the age of 21. This petition also includes a thorough description of the program investment and any economic models used to determine job creation. If approved, the investor applies for a conditional green card through a consulate interview or an adjustment of status. If approved, the investor receives a conditional green card that is valid for two years.

Within the final 90 days prior to the end of the two-year period of conditional residency, the foreign investor must file the I-829 petition in order to remove the conditions on the green card. This petition demonstrates that the investor’s capital was properly and fully invested and at risk during the two-year period and that the requisite 10 qualifying direct, indirect or induced jobs have been created. Upon approval of the I-829 petition, the investor and his or her qualified family members become lawful permanent residents and can ultimately choose to become U.S. citizens after five years.

USCIS approves 10,000 yearly visas for immigrants seeking to live in the U.S. In recent years, we are witnessing a tremendous increase in demand for the Immigrant Visa Program. Because of this program, many foreign investors are residing now in the U.S. and they have provided means of capital to many projects. American Immigration Group will follow you on this journey!