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Complete EB5 Visa Program Application Process and Requirements

If you want the best for yourself and your family, the  EB-5 Visa program should be on your bucket list, especially if you are an investor in the United States. With this visa, you can acquire a green card automatically, making you a permanent resident. That’s cool, right? Definitely!

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In this article, we have carefully researched, compiled, and explained everything you need to know about this program. We will show you the application process and requirements of the EB-5 program and many more. Read on!

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Overview Of The EB-5 Visa Program

The EB-5 visa program, which stands for Employment-based 5th Preference, is a program that allows investors to become permanent residents. This visa covers both the spouse of the investor and their unmarried children, who must not be more than twenty-one (21) years.

 

This visa is offered by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services’s (USCIS’s) Immigrant Investor Office. It was also introduced in 1990 to help boost the country’s economy through employment and foreign investors.

 

Meanwhile, you must meet the eligibility criteria and tick the right boxes before being granted this visa. Keep reading to discover more!

Requirements For An EB-5 Visa

The U.S. won’t give out green cards to investors like that without eligibility. You must be qualified, and for one to be qualified for an EB-5 visa program, the following must be met;

1.Invest in a New Commercial Enterprise.

The first criterion is investing in a new commercial enterprise, a business formed after November 29, 1990. The enterprise must be for-profit and not a non-profit organization. 

 

However, businesses started before November 29, 1990, can benefit only if they show a 40% increase in the number of employees or net worth.

Furthermore, you must invest not less than $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or $1.05 million outside TEA.

 

As an investor, you can invest directly or make a regional center. By direct investment, we mean;

 

  • Purchasing an already existing business 
  • Start a new business 
  • Invest in an existing business.

 

While direct investment gives you total control to some extent, regional center investment does the opposite. Also, you must participate actively and not passively in the type of investment made.

2. Creation Of Job

Another criterion for obtaining an EB-5 visa is the ability of your enterprise to generate at least 10 full-time jobs for US citizens or lawful permanent residents. By full-time jobs, we mean that the employees must work for about 35 hours a week. 

 

Here are some points to note;

 

  • Your partner or children won’t be counted if they are among the employees.

 

  • Two part-time jobs do not make up one full-time job. 

 

  • A full-time job can be shared by two employees (1 job handled by two employees).

 

  • The jobs can be direct or indirect. For direct investment, direct jobs are counted, while regional investment can count direct, indirect, and even induced jobs.

3. Source Of Funds

The funds used in making investments as an investor must be legit. This means that it must be legal, and you must be ready to prove how you earned it to the USCIS.

 

Another essential thing to note is that your investment must not contradict the “at risk” rule. This means the funds invested in the commercial enterprise must be staked at risk. This helps you do proper research and due diligence. 

Documents Needed For EB-5 Visa Program 

Aside from the eligibility criteria, the following documents are essential;

  • Your passport should be valid for at least six months
  • Your passport photographs
  • Birth certificate 
  • Marriage certificate 
  • Medical examination file
  • Proof of funds used in investment 

How To Apply For An EB-5 Visa

To conveniently apply for an EB-5 Visa after ensuring that your investment meets the criteria, do these;

  • Submit the Form 1-526 to the  USCIS. The USCIS would then direct you on where to submit the form. You can check their official website

  • The USCIS will then review the form and then forward it to the NVC. The NVC will then contact you. You may be required to pay the needed fees and submit some relevant documents.


  • Proceed to schedule an interview with the US embassy. NVC has to tell you the location, date, and time for the interview.

 

  • After the interview and you are qualified, the embassy will issue you the green card and the immigrant investor visa. Meanwhile, if you are in the US already, you do not need to visit the embassy. You only opt for an adjustment of status (Form I-485).

Cost And Timeline Of The EB-5 Visa Program 

There is no specific time of processing or cost for the EB-5 visa application. However, the form I-526 usually takes between 17 to 41 months, while the cost is between $4,020 and $4,900.

 

Meanwhile, the cost of acquiring an EB-5 visa is significantly affected by whether or not the applicant resides in the US.

Conclusion 

The EB-5 is an opportunity for investors in the US to secure permanent residency (green card) and enjoy other benefits of a permanent resident after meeting the USCIS criteria. 

 

We are confident that you know who this visa program is for, the required documents and eligibility criteria, and how to apply.

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